#273 I Give Down

I had a fun lineup for this week. I wanted to discuss modern philosophical dilemmas, like protocol for grabbing a stranger’s phone to help them with an app at a checkout if they are ahead of you and creating a longer line. It was going to be a good one…

Unfortunately, my mind keeps going back to my plans for Wednesday, which involve waking up after not drinking any liquids or eating, giving myself a water enema, and then heading down to a hospital for a semi-serious surgery to have a polyp removed.

There are two issues I face: First, I’m 38 and a dear friend of mine died a year ago from liver cancer, so even though the odds are slim that my colonic polyp will be “adenoid” (cancerous), Wednesday could be the beginning of the end.

The second area of concern is that because I’m going to be put under anesthesia, if something goes wrong, I won’t be conscious to experience my own death, so I’m distractedly focused on the fact that Wednesday could be my last day on Earth.

So what do I write to a small but important group of people who may or may not be reading my last public statement? What could I or would I say that even matters? And I think that’s why I waited until my deadline to write and send this: Nothing matters except being present and enjoying the time I have. Whether I am 8, 38, 68, or 88, it’s always the same: I do or do not appreciate each breath I have.

I’m appreciative for all my breaths, even the ones that came between sobs. I am appreciative for every hug and every laugh, but I’m not appreciative of the many times I made life harder for myself, by insisting that reality conform to my wishes.

I think the meaning of life is not quitting, which requires having a meaning of life that exceeds the “benefit” of giving up. I’m thus happy to say that on a day when I almost didn’t write this essay, since I might die, I didn’t, so, I’ll see you in a week!

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