Do One Thing

How am I not dead yet? That’s a completely reasonable question for any humanoid considering the crapshoot that is life. You could be peacefully sleeping at home when a mountain crashes through your bedroom. You could go on a trip where your plane disappears, your bus gets hit by a truck or your ferry capsizes.

What I’m saying is, a lot of shit can happen and it’s a damn miracle that any of us are still breathing, especially people in their 90s and above. Imagine the sheer luck it would take to have your crappy human body survive for a hundred years or more with you still in it.

Misao Okawa, world's oldest person, 116 years, bitches.
Misao Okawa, world’s oldest person, 116 years, bitches. (Getty Images)

High five, Misao! She said her secret to longevity is eating and sleeping a lot. “Eat and sleep and you will live a long time. You have to learn to relax.”

Excellent advice, Misao. Unfortunately, I’ve never really been able to follow it. Thanks to PTSD, I’m hyper-aware of my surroundings and I have social anxiety disorder. If you followed me around for a day, you’d see me jump out of my skin a few times. Out in public, I’m typically about as relaxed as this:

scared-catAnd I sleep about as well as this:

I’ve got that eating thing pretty much down though.

I’ll never live to be 116 years old and I’m okay with that. I can only imagine how utterly awful the 80s will be. The 2080s, that is.

I’m already falling apart and I’m barely a third of Misao’s age. I don’t want to be 116 years old, but I wouldn’t mind living to 60, or maybe even 70 or 80, if I can manage to keep my brain intact that long. I’m not counting on it. With as much damage as my brain has received from meningitis, traumatic brain injuries, and drug and alcohol abuse, I’ll be lucky if I can hold it together until 60.

The sad fact is, I’ve probably lived as much or more of my life already as the life as I have left. I’m standing very near to the top of the hill. I’m probably already over the apex, so it’s downhill from here. My brain will slow down. My bones will begin to deteriorate. My vision will get worse. My hearing will be nonexistent. I’ll be one of those old ladies who yells a lot.

Aging is the human condition. This linear progression of ours kind of sucks. I’m already older than I was when I started this post. The thing is, will all these moons under my belt, you’d think I would have wised up by now. You’d think I’d take better care of the meat sack that houses my brain. You would think I’d appreciate just how fleeting even the longest of lives is.

Nope. I still trudge along doing boring day-to-day things as if my life will go on forever. It won’t. My life won’t last even close to forever. Our planet isn’t even forever and it’s at least 6000 years old, as scientific evidence of dinosaurs on the moon shows us.

Science, bitches.

6000 years is a very long time, but that’s at least eleventy hundred times the lifespan of an average human. (I don’t know. I’ve always been bad at math, and with life as short as it is, I don’t have time to figure it out.)

This post may have taken a turn for the depressing.

I apologize for that.

Really, I didn’t mean this post to be depressing, but inspirational! * insert jazz hands here * I want you, yes you, to really appreciate how short life is. I want you to stop worrying about weight, appearances, Justin Bieber or whatever else you are obsessed with, because none of us know how long we have to live.

At the outside, we’re talking 100+ years and I’d imagine most of us have already lived quite a few of those years since not too many infants read FOG. * waves at any outlier babies * At best, we’re talking a few measly decades. Decades are pretty damn short.

Stop being miserable and start being alive. Do one thing a day that makes you feel alive. Look at the stars. Smell a flower. Sing a song. Roll down your car window on the freeway. Eat an ice cream cone. Write a love note. Whatever it is, do one thing that makes you surreptitiously giggle like a child and reminds you that you are well and truly alive.

I’m not you life coach; I’m not even qualified to be my own. This isn’t advice for you so much as it is for me, since I have spent far too long with my head down, but if you’d like to try doing one thing, too, let me know how it goes.