9/22/10

Contemplating death and loneliness

(This post was originally aimed to be written Wednesday night, but due to storms, I lost power and could not complete it. So I'm completing it now.)

Ever have one of those days where you come across readings that just speak to you?

For work I had to read an article about atrial fibrillation, a condition from which I mildly suffer (at least, I hope mildly. My understanding of the condition was limited to me being taught about it as a child). We always just called it heart palpitations, but really it's Afib and reading about it in the article was depressing (symptoms, side effects, mortality rates). I had the impression that I should value my life and live it to the fullest. Do what I want in case my hours are marked.

Driving home I considered (not for the first time) that maybe I've never really pondered the future, that I've never been able to envision the future because I don't really have a future. That sounds so morbid...But sit and listen to your heart beating quietly in your chest. Think about how fragile it is. Think about how with a single seize it could fail and then you'd be no more.

So I want to take better care of myself. I can't give up caffeine completely (and I'm not sure how much influence it has anyway) but I would like to cut back. And try to do more relaxation/meditation. That's it for now. We'll see how it goes.

Tonight I finished The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt. In it, after Philip's boyfriend has dumped him, he realizes he has alot of free time on his hands and if it weren't for work and his parents, he could just vanish into nothingness. This spoke to me, because I often wonder if I could just vanish. And then I got to wondering if I do all these things to fill my time so that I don't realize how easy it would be to vanish.

That's all.

4 comments:

  1. All of our "hours" are "marked." We have X hours left once we are born. That we don't know of a health flaw that limits exactly what those hours are doesn't make them less marked. Any sense that they aren't "marked" is either illusion or the use of blinders.

    For that reason you should always live life to the fullest.

    "Killing time" is really just slow suicide.

    The interesting question is do you cut out caffeine in an attempt to prolong your life by say 2 or 5 or what have you years, or do you enjoy tea with caffeine so that the next 50 or 70 are more enjoyable? There are limits, of course.

    I have to say that if it comes down to spending the last 6 months of my life in a drugged coma and in and out of hospitals, I'd rather just die 6 months earlier. Its not easier or better for me to live 6 months of hell. Even if I hadn't seen Grandpa go through that, I think I would feel the same way.

    You don't drive, or probably hit as many lights while driving, as I do, but try to take 2-5 deep, focused breaths while stopped. Even take 1 at a stop sign. Its relaxing and a great way to "add" minutes to your day.

    Your Kindle lets you save and read stuff anytime and anywhere - its the greatest time saving tool of all time!

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  2. Well, cutting caffeine won't prolong my life by 2 or 5 years, it's more a matter that when the heart "flutters" it can cause blood to pool in the chamber, which can then clot and so when the heartbeat returns to normal, it can cause stroke. So the limiting of caffeine is really a precaution measure. I won't be giving up my tea. More so mediocre chocolate treats that I don't really need to eat anyway.

    I've been trying to take deep breaths while driving (not just at stops) and I think it's nice. I hope I can continue doing it.

    ...I hope you were being sarcastic about the Kindle. Though, it is no better or worst a beast than any book in my hands!

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  3. re: Kindle - yeah, but I would still argue there are times when you could read a Kindle that make it more convenient than a true book. Hypotheticallly, you can pick up a Kindle and read it at a stop light - I think that is harder to do with a book. Or at least requires some workarounds to make it "as easy," which kinda makes the point.

    You could probably vanish for a couple days, at most. Then you'd be missed and the gig would be up.

    As to the the second part of that: Do you do what you do because you truly want to do them, or only because they fill up a void? To me, concious living - making informed and aware choices and doing things because out of those choices and not randomly or out of blindness, intentional or otherwise, is important. Indeed, it is perhaps of the utmost importance in life. D

    Doing something out of blindness or fear often leads to being miserable. Though the lead time is often long enough that by the time you reach miserable, you don't recognize how you got there. Sack up and figure it out.

    From my POV, I don't see you as simply a time filler. Too much of what you do seems to have a root interest to you and bring you happiness. You aren't eating and mindlessly watching TV, you are writing, volunteering, horse riding. Active things are seldom time fillers in the way you mean them because they require action. Sure, some people clean or do whatever to avoid lonliness, but this post isn't really meant to get into all the ifs and buts.

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  4. I'd actually think it'd be harder to pick up and read a kindle at a stop light, just because it has to turn on, while all I have to do is open a book. I don't read while driving anyway, unless I'm stuck in construction traffic or at a long train.

    Yeah, I am active and I do enjoy my time fillers, so they are more than just eating and watching TV, but I was looking more along the lines of my (perceived) inability to have free time. Allow myself free time, so to speak. Whenever I have time open, I schedule something. Maybe it's just me taking advantage of the time I have in life, but I could see another part being me wanting to avoid the loneliness that inactivity would highlight.

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