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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Entry for June 22, 2008

We know we are getting older when we hear more reports about someone dieing than someone giving birth. To live out a natural life, fate must guide us away from natural disasters, disease, accidents, acts of war, and crime. In the end, senescence claims all of those survivors; nobody gets off this big spinning rock alive.

The objective, we learned, is to play the game conservatively, for as long as we can, to breathe our last breath when there is no longer anyone from our past left alive to favor us with a memory. Face it, whether we die while young or old, the passing of time dooms all members of the masses to
damnatio memoriae. Fleeting legacies belong only to ourselves and to those we love. Within limits, we can choose that our last breath can be from the exhaustion of living a complete life rather than from infirmity or the tedium of futilely attempting to defy mortality.

Outliving others should not be the goal. Our aim should be to live life to the point where we have few if any regrets. We need to at least take a chance occasionally and hike that mountain trail for as far as it goes, or for as far as we can endure, then to sleep under the stars. If we gauge our steps, there is room for adventure while living a life of caution. We can live lavishly while spending parsimoniously. We need some adventure throughout all of our life, if we wait until the end there will never be enough time to complete the “bucket list.” There is no logic in starting a twelve-step program or a hundred mile hike when there are only six steps left to the grave.

Early on, we need to make a list for life, live that list, then make another.

James A. Zachary Jr.

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