I wrote recently about a brutally fascinating book, Being Mortal.
It struck several chords, rather loudly. Not just how best to spend your end of life, when you know that you’re probably going to die quite soon. Hopefully, at that stage the medical profession will give you some palatable, more humane options, instead of fulfilling their surgical obligations to maintain life as long as possible, through any means available.
In sporting parlance, I’m close to hearing the bell for the start of the final lap of the 1,500 metre race that is my life. At 58, I’ve hopefully got a long final lap still to run, but I think it’s fair to say that my PB is some distance behind in the rear view mirror.
I never used to read obituaries in the newspapers, but I find myself increasingly drawn to them. Most are about people who have had incredible, interesting and rewarding lives. Poets. Soldiers. Politicians. Writers. Sporting icons. Movie stars.
Listening to Desert Island Discs is also a source of simultaneous joy and envy. Hearing an interesting guest uncover their life story and achievements, to the soundtrack of meaningful music, is a delight. But it’s also a violent kick in the shins, the pain screaming that my own days are numbered. And demanding to know what I’ve achieved, compared to titans of industry, sporting giants, artistic legends.
To continue with the sporting analogies:
“You might be on the back nine of life, but it’s good to finish strong.”
So much to do, and so little time…..