Monday, 1 May 2017

Thirty days

My memory tag for 11 January 2016 is learning that David Bowie had died of cancer. It was reported that he had a prognosis of 18 months to live before this and had spent his remaining days revisiting places with his family, recording a new album (to be launched a matter of days before he died), and preparing a stage show, Lazarus, featuring his music.

As a philosophical exercise, I wondered how it would be to know I had a similar period left and pictured my mental calendar coming to an end part way through 2017. At the start of the year, I put the number of 150 days on the time left. Now it is down to 30 days. Recently, I calculated the date of my hypothetical last day.

It has been an interesting exercise. At various times, things that might have worried or stressed me in the past have faded out of importance, because life is too short to worry about them.

I've reassessed aspects of my life, deciding to make some major changes to my working life, which I am in the process of putting into action over the final 30 days.

The exercise has focussed my mind to put time into activities, such as music, which I have neglected for many years.

I have tried to avoid seeing a developing digestive problem as a sign of what will kill me on the scheduled date. I warded off the paranoia and hypochondria by telling myself that these symptoms were probably nothing and it could be something sudden and unexpected like a traffic accident that is scheduled for my final day. I've had the tests anyway, and the problem is real, but not life threatening. I'm hoping that the change in my working life might make a difference.

So the final days are ticking by towards 29 May. We are moving country again and so I have seen all my wife's family to say goodbye and will be seeing all of my own over the coming 30 days.

It is important to value relationships. Although we do not know how many days we have left, they are numbered.

I don't really expect to die on 29 May. I certainly don't want or aim to make it happen. But I am approaching the day with a certain amount of trepidation, while making the most of the days until then.

I feel that something will happen on that day. Some change, even if it is only to how I look at life after it has passed and the future dates on my mental calendar stretch before me again, with a question mark hanging over how may are left.