My death is

coming swiftly. In a moment of idle thought today I worked out how many days I had left if I made it to 80. I have 21,993 days left. My wife thinks that expecting 80 years is pessimistic. I don’t think it is. Now I’m left to work out how I spend these days. If I could stock pile unused time in a savings account to use near the end of my life I wouldn’t do it. I don’t know how to save money, much less time. My wife thinks I shouldn’t bother myself over how I spend my time; a bucket list is healthy, but striving to color each day’s schedule with cosmic meaning isn’t worth the effort.

I also asked my wife what the top five on her bucket list were. Here they are in order.

No. 1 To have a large family. Preferably with 12 children.

No. 2 To see as much of the world as possible.

No. 3 To finance normal life and such adventures comfortably.

No. 4 To live on a beach.

No. 5 To start our family’s own holiday traditions.

When I asked her she said this top five wasn’t going to change.

My top five are

No. 1 On my deathbed, to be at peace with what I did up to that point.

No. 2 To see as much of the world as possible.

No. 3 To write beautifully and meaningfully for a career.

No. 4 To love my family so that I can help them, to have many good relationships, and to be true to my humanity.

No. 5 To publish writings that last beyond my death.

I often worry that I am living wastefully – that I am not doing things that matter. I also find myself in moments of happiness because life hasn’t handed me the bristly end of the stick yet. Eventually it will. Many deep thinkers have been mistakenly understood as insecure people. I think most of the “insecure” people are just intelligent. Life has tricked many; to me, it’s the people who recognize when they’ve been tricked who eventually do something that helps humanity. Confident people are the stupid ones, but that isn’t always the case. It’s always a good skill to know how much salt to mix in your judgment of a person. Everyone needs at least a grain.

After you’re dead, you won’t care about anything that you did while living, but the people who outlive you will either have better lives or worse ones because of what you did. That is why life is so serious. Almost every thing that I do will affect people who are alive today or will be alive tomorrow. It’s responsibility and guilt that haunts me every day. But, I know that I would be more annoying than inspiring if I took each moment so seriously. In the end it is probably wise to treat each diminishing day as seriously as Jim Carrey, and as comically as the holocaust.