Sunday, November 15, 2009

How much time do I have left?

"Do you want to live forever?" is a cliché used in war movies when the sarge exhorts his troops to go over the top. He doesn't want any cowards.

Well, of course we're all cowards. Nobody wants to die; we all want to live forever. Or at least we want to live out our lifespan. It seems unfair if that lifespan gets cut short. For me the ideal would be to live long enough to outlive everyone who would come to my funeral and say, "Man, I'm glad I got a chance to see him dead."

Or we might think we still have unfinished business. I woke up this morning thinking of some things I'd like to do yet, time permitting, and it seems that no matter how late in the day it gets the major projects are unfinished. That's because I'm a procrastinator. I like to think--or fool myself--that I have a lot of time left in order to accomplish the things I want to accomplish.

To that end I took an Internet test to determine my "real age," and also to see how long I have to live. You can take the same test, and then come back and we'll talk about it a little bit:

Your Virtual Age

Does that make you feel better? It did me. What a relief it was when I found out that my virtual age is 49, not the 62.5 actual years since I clocked in on this planet. I'll live to be 91.6 years old, which gives me approximately 29 years left. Or maybe you noticed they even included the days. In my case it was 10,800. Since I took the test a couple of days ago I guess it's now 10,798.

I haven't gone back to see if I can add a few years to that total. Since I didn't use those two days I just mentioned to get anything important done I'd like to get them back. Maybe I shouldn't have clicked yes on the question of whether anyone in my family has died of a heart attack. Maybe I can squeeze out a few more days, months, or even a couple of years if I'd lie about my family's general health.

I got lucky because the test didn't ask if I'd ever had cancer. Yes, I've had cancer but it was removed and so far there's no sign it's come back. If there had been a question about cancer I would have answered yes and they might have chopped a decade or more off my longevity, giving me even less time to procrastinate.

So, I think I'll just be happy with my 10,798 days and go with those. I've already lived 22,812 and 1/2 days and not gotten done what I've wanted to get done, so maybe it's a wake-up call, time to shake a leg, as they say.

In the meantime, here's the procrastinators' theme song, "Mañana" by Peggy Lee. Peggy is gone now, and I hope she got done everything she wanted to get done before she left.

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