Don’t Fear Death. Fear a Life Not Lived Well

We all fear death. Most of us at least. Understandable. So do I. Like others, I want to live forever too. But it’s not biologically possible, so I try to be philosophical about it and will figure when my time comes.

But I have a bigger fear than death. It’s life. Yes, you read it right. I fear life more than death. Or let’s put it this way: I fear not having lived a life to the full while I had the chance.

I do not drink (alcohol), I do not smoke, I do not dope. So what do I do, ask many people. I do not have an issue with any of these if done in moderation, but I abstain totally. I do not find these elevating so why have such indulgences. There are many other ways for me to live in stratosphere.

Those who know me also know of my interests – travel, photography and writing. I have made these interests my profession too. I like to read, watch movies, listen to music, and do my bit to improve our natural world. I exercise but should be pushing myself more than I do currently, and have to cut back my weakness for sugar; I maintain good health and body figure but there is no scope to do better. I like a daily dose of humour; smiles and laughs are important ingredients of my diet. I do all this and more but in moderation; I do not pursue any of my interests in the extreme so I have to time and energy to do varied things.

What I take to the extreme is the pursuit of love. I give everything that my partner would expect and then some more, but also expect the same intensity in return. It does not always happen, and there can be gaps between my expectations and what I get. I sulk, I pout, but I bounce back and go back to loving the only way I do. The optimist in me goes back to looking toward my partner like a puppy, expecting a high degree of emotional and physical intensity.

What I strive to is stay happy. Not always possible, but I set bar high. If I don’t, I will not achieve the state I seek. Personal and professional setbacks do pull me down, but I never forget my aspiration to stay happy. I bounce back, looking for things and people that bring cheer to my life. It’s not easy. One has to cause disruptions – let go of financial gains, shut down businesses, and walk away from people. I have started all over again many a time, but there was no choice. Hindsight has suggested alternatives, but I did what I figured was the right thing to do at the time.

Some may look at me as a jack of all trades (and hearts) and wonder what I am a master of, but I don’t see life this way. There are so many experiences one can have in a lifetime, so why not try as many as possible? I am not one to pick up one skill, and pursue that all my life. Heck, I have gone on myriad unrelated tangents boggling others when I tell them: engineering, business administration, technology, sports management, journalism, books, photography, blogging, publishing, training, farming, construction and then some more. How do I do it? By not mortgaging my life to the monotony.

I do not like a set routine for extended periods. I like to break patterns, follow my whims. I might drop everything and go shooting birds. Or procrastinate. Or binge read. Or write furiously. Or just load my car and head for a road trip lasting weeks and months at times.  

I covet money and material comforts like everyone else, but I am not driven by greed. As long as I can keep my head above the waters, as long as I am not compromising my longer term financial security, I am fine. I try to grow my net worth at a steady pace, but money matters occupy only a small part of my time.

Because I need the rest of the time to live a life – to the full. I am scared not to. Because, when death comes calling and I reflect upon what I did since I was born, I do not want to have regrets.

Death is infinite, life is not. If I want to do anything, it is possible only within the span of a lifetime. I do not know what awaits beyond.

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