It’s a delicate balance. One is never sure how to dress, for example. Today's high temperature is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit but tonight’s low is expected to be in the 20s. Our sasanqua camellias and encore azaleas are still blooming
For that matter, so could we. We could lay our heads on our pillows tonight and just not wake up in the morning.
No one likes to think about death and dying, but it happens to us all. One day you’re here and the next day you’re not, just like the contestants on Project Runway. At some point in every person’s life cycle, there comes a time when it’s all downhill from there. Or uphill, depending on whether you're a glass-half-empty or a glass-half-full sort of person. That time, that place from which there is no recovery, is called the tipping point. [Editor’s note. Okay, so maybe it’s not, but work with me, people, I’m trying to sound profound here. --RWP]
I’m sure you younger people don’t waste a minute thinking about your eventual demise and just want to get on with the partying, but for us old codgers the thought of it (our eventual demise, not yours) occupies more and more of our waking hours.
I want to see my grandchildren grow up, get married, and have children of their own. If it were possible, I’d like to see my great-grandchildren grow up, get married, and have children of their own as well. But it’s just not possible, unless the scientists make some really great advances quickly.
I am hoping to be around for the U.S.’s semi-quincentennial celebration in 2026. I’ll be 85 then. By the year of our country’s tercentennial in 2076, though, the likelihood of my being here to help celebrate is slim to none since I would be 135 years old.
Some of you reading this may make it. Take Punk Chopsticks, for example. She’s a 17-year-old girl who once lived in Brooklyn but now lives in Malaysia who reads this blog. In 2076 she’ll be, let’s see, divide by 7, carry the 4, a mere 82 years old.
I’m 70 now and grateful to have lived this long. I hope to be around for quite a few more years. My grandfather lived to be nearly 96 and I want to beat his record.
But I could go to sleep tonight and not wake up tomorrow, and so could you.
I’m not trying to be morbid, just realistic.
Each and every last one of us has a tipping point.
The earth gets to go around its orbit over and over and over. You and I get to go around ours just once.
Make it count.
And Punky, if you’re still here in 2076, raise a glass for me. You’ll recognize my glass. It’ll be the one that’s half-full.
[Editor’s note. Reader Elizabeth S. from England expanded my words “make it count” in her comment and said just what I was trying to convey: “Make it count. Shout it from the rooftops. Live every moment with abundance,never fail to tell people how much you care about them, to appreciate this beautiful, amazing world and the astounding people within it, each with significant, special, individual stories to tell, to build meaningful memories in the hearts of both yourself and those who will be left behind and to celebrate every precious, valuable second as though it was your last. Make it count.” Thank you, Elizabeth. --RWP]