Remember the comedy series ‘One Day at a Time‘ starring the very attractive Valerie Bertinelli? I know every boy had a crush on her, I did. That’s one television show I could relate to growing up. The Brady Bunch? No chance. Welcome Back Kotter, heck no, I hated school. Today’s blog entry has nothing to do with a television show (even though I watched a ton as a kid and rarely do I watch it now).
As the author of Container Diaries, I’m always hearing about people from the neighborhood who have passed away (I don’t mind getting the word, I’m glad I can share the news with so many people). Lately though, I find myself thinking about something that is inevitable; death. I know, you’re probably either saying what he is getting at? Or how about, boy Red is acting like that crazy red-headed kid we all knew from the neighborhood.
I too am thinking this essay is starting out a bit odd, but I can’t help but think of all the people I know who have passed away in the past year or so; people in their 50’s and 60’s.
I’m fast approaching the big 5-0.
As youngsters or even as teenagers, we never thought about dying; at least I never did. We never knew how long our life would last. Looking back I realized I put my life in danger many times but it never occurred to me that it could all end at any moment.
When someone closer to my age passes away, it hits me a lot harder; I think about how it’s going to feel. Wait a minute, I’m pretty sure you don’t know when you die. (Forgive me, but this is getting harder and harder to write)
I guess what I’m trying to say is get the most out of each day; do something you always wanted to do, let things go if you have been holding a grudge. Maybe you haven’t talked to someone in a long time because of something that happened between the two of you? Maybe you always wanted to try something new? Take a class, begin working out, lose some weight, stop drinking and stop smoking.
Do you remember as teenagers we wanted to grow up so fast and become adults? Now, I find myself as an adult, wishing I was a teenager again. The cycle of life is wild.
A close friend once told me, “death reminds us how to live“, and boy was he right. When a friend dies, I think back and reflect on the impact that person made on me and I try to live my life a little better.
One improvement I have made over the years is I don’t get mad at little things anymore; I don’t get upset at people who cut me off on the road and I treat people with kindness everywhere I go. I really couldn’t care less about people who talk behind my back or if I am running a little late in the morning. I finally eat healthy, I exercise and I try to enjoy life a little more these days. I’ll admit, I took life for granted for a long time.
I’m 46 and I know my time is winding down, I’m not sure when it will all come to an end but each and every waking moment, I try to get the most out of the day. And oh yeah, I try to be the best husband to my wife Mary and try to be a better father to our 11 year-old daughter Taylor.
Maybe this entry did take on a television theme, how about ‘The Twilight Zone’?