Yesterday I was interviewed by a reporter about SOMETHING MISSING and my life in general. She was surprised to hear about the many things that I manage to squeeze into the day, and when she asked how I managed to do this, I told her that I sleep less than most and attempt to live my life like it is my very last day on Earth.
Considering my experience with near-death experiences, this is not an unreasonable position for me to assume. As cliché as it may sound, I think I come damn close to achieving the much sought-after goal of living each day to its fullest.
My perspective on death is simply more extensive than most.
“So do you think about death all the time?” she asked.
“Then how can you ever be happy?” she asked, absolute incredulity in her voice. “Doesn’t thinking about death ruin your day?”
I tried to explain, in vain, that my thoughts of death do not revolve around the means of my ultimate demise or the decay of my body, but simply in the constant, persistent reminder that my time is limited, and therefore I must accomplish as much as possible and take pleasure in every moment possible, as long as I live. I am not consumed by morbid thoughts but instead by a sense of urgency and appreciation.
After all, my heart and respiration have already stopped twice before, so it’s not unreasonable to think that a third time will someday come. I simply live with this thought in mind at all times.
I’m happy to be alive.
She didn’t buy it. She couldn’t understand how someone who thinks about death as often as I do and lives with the notion that this hour, this minute, this second, could be my last could ever find happiness. But when you believe that today could very well be your last, you stop trying to make people understand this position. It’s not the best use of my finite time.
In the spirit of finite time, however, comes this fascinating study on mortality rates which demonstrates that your likelihood of death doubles every eight years. As a 38-year old man, my likelihood of death is about 1 in 1,200. But by the time I’m 42, that number will be down to 1 in 750.