What Happens If You Die Tomorrow?

The ISS with Dragon and the Center of the Milky Way Galaxy

“I dare you to look at yourself through my eyes and see what who I see when I look at you.”

What Happens If You Die Tomorrow?

I have no reason to believe I am going to die tomorrow or any time soon. Based upon genetics, desire and force of will I expect to be around for another 90 years or so.

If you know me well you know I am not kidding when I say that if Death showed up I would kick his bony ass or die trying. But that doesn’t stop me from wondering about life or asking hard questions because the goal is to be able to say I lived a full life. The goal is to do whatever I can to ensure that when I die people don’t spend time talking about all that I could have done if only I had more time.

Unless something incredible happens there will never be enough time to do all that I want to do. There will never be enough time to do all that I am capable of doing.

Some of you might think it sounds like hyperbole, arrogance or some combination thereof but I don’t think it is either.

It is recognition that much of what we accomplish in life comes from making the effort to make that happen. It doesn’t mean there aren’t limitations because there are but most of the limits we live with are things we apply to our own lives.

What Could I Do?

Ask me to give you a list of things I could do and I’ll tell you I could be a doctor, researcher, teacher, writer, scientist, politician, athlete or philosopher.

Ask me to elaborate and I’ll tell you that is an incomplete list and that it is not set up in order of preference or likelihood. It is just what came to mind first.

I haven’t any doubt about my ability to go to school and obtain the education that would allow me to take coursework that would lead to my receiving a piece of paper that established my expertise in any or all of those fields. My experience with obtaining my college education proved to me much of it is contingent upon my willingness to work and study hard enough to pass the exams.

Give a person who is willing time to do what is required and they’ll find a way to figure it out and get that degree. That is part of why I am not impressed with degrees and titles. I know a lot of people who obtained multiple degrees but only a few of them strike me as being truly outstanding but that is a different topic altogether.

The point here isn’t to diminish or demean nor is it to prop up or praise.

It is about recognition that our time is finite and that if we want to fill our lives with activities and people that mean something to us we have to work at it.

Effort is required.

What Scares Me

I wonder if what scares me scares you too. I wonder if some of you wake up and wonder why you are spending time with certain people. I wonder if you wake up and wonder why you do what you do because it doesn’t make your heart full and your soul sing.

I wonder if you’d tell me that I am talking about a good game but not making the changes in my own life that are required. I wonder if you would tell me that this is woo woo, new age crap and that it is not practical to talk or act like this in real life.

You might be right.

Maybe I am full of shit. Maybe I am a 45 year-old man who is stuck between youth and older age and is wondering where his place is. Some of that might be accurate.

Hell, it might all be accurate but experience has taught me to believe that money isn’t everything. Maybe having more and losing it has made me more cavalier than I sh0uld be.

Or maybe I have figured out more clearly what I need and what I want.

What scares me more than anything is reaching the end of my life and seeing a ton of regrets because I didn’t let myself live the way I want and need to.

I am just as frightened by the idea of saying I wasn’t selfish enough as reaching that point and saying I was too selfish.

Dad Is a Soccer Coach

We lost our second consecutive game today.

It is my second time coaching my daughter’s team but not my second time coaching. I have been down this path multiple times before. Walked this road enough times to have a clear vision for how to teach the girls to play the game and to know what sorts of tools and resources we need to be successful.

Watching them play today I made mental notes of the good things they did as well as the errors and I thought about how we just don’t have enough time to practice.

If we had more time to work on things they wouldn’t make the mistakes they made with spacing and the defensive breakdowns wouldn’t occur. They wouldn’t tell me that it is hard to play when it is 103 because they would be better conditioned and we would have prepared for this.

Staring out the window at a starry night it is hard not to think about how much better I could be at coaching if I had more time. It is hard not to wonder where I failed the girls.

There are a few who irritate me to no end. They are mouthy little know it alls who don’t want to listen and work hard because they have bought into the hype their parents have sold them about how working harder during the games compensates for lack of practice time.

I understand that some of them have lots of other activities. Piano, ballet, homework, softball and soccer make it impossible for them to focus their attention on any one thing so it is spread out.

They don’t know that I get it. They don’t know that I have thought about what would happen if I had the time to focus solely on certain activities and how I believe it would make a significant difference in skill and ability to execute.

But our time is limited.

My daughter runs herself into exhaustion. She chases after the ball and players with single minded purpose and I smile. I smile because I love her effort. I smile because watching her proves that there must be some sort of genetic thing going on. I have never told her to play this way yet she plays as I do.

It offends us to stand around. It irritates us when exhaustion takes away our ability to perform as we think we should.

Our time is limited.

What Happens If You Die Tomorrow?

I don’t know how not to worry or think about this and I am not sure that it really matters. I only know that I am the guy who is driven to live a certain way.

If I should die tomorrow I won’t have done all that I could or accomplished all that I want to. It will never be enough. There will always be challenges to overcome, things to see and moments to share and experience with those I love.

All I can do is try my best to make peace with that and accept that I have done my best.

And maybe that will be enough.

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11 Comments

  1. Sebastian Daniels September 15, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Life is about choice and sadly we don’t have infinite time. I don’t know if I would do anything though if I had unlimited time. Why bother if I could just do it later? I too believe that I could do a lot of things if I put my mind to it, but you can only do so much. You have to focus to achieve great things.

    Hopefully your daughter’s team wins some soccer games .

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  3. Larry Bernstein September 14, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    You do come off as cocky at first. By later on, it seems like false bravado. It’s easy to say I could do this and much harder to actually do. There’s only so many recreations of selves we have left at our age.

    • Jack September 14, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      It is not intended to be cocky. I really do believe that most of us are capable of becoming experts in multiple fields and that it is contingent upon time.

      That is, if we were given time to study and focus on a particular area there is little reason in my mind why we couldn’t become experts.

      Since time isn’t unlimited we have to make decisions about how we spend it and consequently…

    • The JackB September 14, 2014 at 10:37 pm

      It is not intended to be cocky. I really do believe that most of us are capable of becoming experts in multiple fields and that it is contingent upon time.

      That is, if we were given time to study and focus on a particular area there is little reason in my mind why we couldn’t become experts.

      Since time isn’t unlimited we have to make decisions about how we spend it and consequently…

  4. Jens-Petter Berget September 14, 2014 at 11:00 am

    I don’t think about death that often, but since I became a dad (I have three kids), I’ve been thinking about it more and more. Usually, I just keep living my life the way I want it to be, no matter what’ll happen next.

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