Date with Death

I was actually typing up an entirely different blogpost when my computer’s battery percentage caught my eye. It’s nearly dead, and the icon is red, urging me to go get my charger, as if everything is so urgent. (It’s the same with the dashboard lights in your car. I swear the alarms go off when you are running low on window washer fluid.)

And so, I do what any lazy one of us does: I procrastinate. I let the battery run down to the wire, playing a terrible game with my valuables. Will I lose all of the words I have just typed out when the screen goes black, or will I get my charger in time to reboot it up quickly, leaving me where I left off?

I wonder all of this, and then I wonder, if somehow, the fact that my computer keeps track of when it is going to die somehow makes it worse.

I mean, what if people were notified in the same way about when they were going to die? Like a special watch or an egg timer that you kept in your pocket that incessantly clicked. Would you want that device? Or more to the point, would you want that knowledge?

Of course, some of us don’t get that choice; it is thrusted upon us. Terminal patients are given an estimate. Some exceed the limit, some don’t. But they are more or less told when their lives are going to end. And so, you have to decide what to do with your time left. You either make amends or you make memories. You do what you can with the best that you have.

But.

Isn’t that what we are all doing anyway? We may not know when we are going to die, but we know it will happen. This encourages us to make decisions and forego others. We’re all doing what we can with the best that we have, whether we know it or not.

And you may argue that people with terminal illnesses are different because they know the time they have, and it isn’t much. A sense of urgency is not lost on them like it is on the rest of us.

But I have to wonder if it actually is. If we’re all not procrastinating bigger decisions, just letting our batteries run out, no matter how long we have. Because even if we know when we’ll die, does it make it any easier to live right now? Shouldn’t we all be living like tomorrow is our last day?

The end of this story is that I eventually got up and grabbed my charger before it was too late.

I only want to make sure that it isn’t too late for you, either.

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