Footprints in the Sand

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It’s been a week of mortality. One of my fellow AIDS LifeCycle riders died of a massive heart attack during the ride. A high school friend and fellow band member passed away after several weeks in a coma — the victim of a botched murder/suicide domestic violence incident. Another friend’s father passed away. And it’s Father’s Day on Sunday — all the ads are making me miss my own father and wish that I’d had more years with him.

All this untimely death has me thinking dark thoughts about the meaning of life and how fleeting we are in the final analysis. All the contemplation has lead to two trains of thought.

Play now, work later. If Edna suffered a massive heart attack in her early 40’s, after cycling like a maniac for years…that means I could have as little as three years left. My own father died at the tender age of 36, which genetically means my clock has already run out. Logic tells me that it’s time to party like it’s 1999. Coincidentally, several of my friends seem to be taking amazing vacations in places like Maui, Sydney, and Brasil. I’m in the mood to be somewhere other than a musty office building in Silicon Valley.

Focus on legacy. What have I done over the past 30+ years that’s actually memorable? Would I be remembered by anything other than my Facebook posts? It might be time to build a lasting legacy. And if that’s not kids/family (which seems to be most people’s answer)…what is it? Should I become a closet novelist? Raise millions for charity? Build a monument to myself out of mashed potatoes? The possibilities are endless, but the final solution needs to have meaning and permanence.

After all, daily life is the exercise of leaving our impermanent footprints in the sand.

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