Maybe you missed it, but I certainly didn’t. Due to Covid-19, life expectancy has now dropped for the first time since World War 2–about 1.5%–due to Covid-19’s ravashes.
According to statistics, the average life expectancy for a man is now 74 years and six months. As I write, I AM 74 years in six months–honest. But being caucasian I could have another three years or so compared to other racial backgrounds (and women fare better at 80 years).
Most people who know me do not visualize a guy on the verge of death. Yes, I have snow white hair (at least I have some) and to a much younger person I must look a little like Father Time. But I am not doddering–in fact, I play tennis regularly, hike and bike, swim etc. and even write a column in my local paper called “Active Over 50.”
A year ago, however, I was diagnosed with a fairly rare form of cancer that more men get than women. (Strike 2?) I won’t go into details here–believe me, I could–it affects the bladder. Major causes are smoking and exposure to industrial chemicals (I’ve researched one other–tainted water). Neither the previous two were causatives in my case–I never smoked or worked in a factory. My urologist just called it “bad luck.” That was hardly comforting or satisfying.
I am not looking for sympathy.
I’ve had a very good life up till now and if I ceased living today or tomorrow no one should really (or likely will) shed tears except my closest of kin–my loving wife, kids, grandkids and a handful of friends and extended family.
What’s important for me to say at this point, however, is that I don’t WANT to die.
I still have things I want to do, even if none are likely to be earth shaking. The cancer treatments should keep me alive for a few more years even though there is no absolute cure. Staying fit should stave off a heart attack or stroke, Being loved or at least admired keeps me going and I hope if you are of a “certain age,” you have these things, too.
Recently, I have started to even think about what happens WHEN you die. I’ve never been particularly devout so I am sure you are not reading this in a Roman Catholic journal. My thoughts on all this can be seen at Medium.
Go to: https://medium.com/p/f540ee0f9d0a/edit. I think there is a chance you could be reborn in some form within another living soul. (This is more scientific than religious). THAT is somewhat comforting. It’s kind of an all-matter-that-is-created-cannot-be-destroyed kind of philosophy.
Speaking of philosophies, have you ever really thought deeply about how amazing life is?
Despite all our scientific achievements as a species, we haven’t (yet) been able to prove life exists elsewhere in the universe much less on other planets in our solar system. The earth is one amazingly perfect ball of water, ambient temperatures and carboniferous substances that have made life possible. I’d also say that we humans, having taken it for granted for eons, now face a global catastrophe if we do not rein in our more squanderous impulses…
So even though I am possibly nearing the end of my life, I still try to do the right things–be a cooperative family man, not overly consume or pollute, pursue time-wasting activities like watching too much tv–OR dwell on things I know I cannot change.
What you do with time will no doubt affect YOUR life expectancy even if Covid or some other out-of-left-field event doesn’t.
So make good use of it.