That was one of the big lessons of cancer for me. You never know. The morning last spring that the Mainspring mass market paperback was released, I woke up happy and excited. That same evening I came within a couple of minutes of dying in the ER.
Since my recovery, I've really been pretty ruthless about how I live my life, who and what I embrace, and how I spend my time. Which is not to say I don't fritter away hours and days. Rather, I fritter them knowingly. And I still do things I don't necessarily want to do — a paycheck is needed for the mortgage, whether or not I'm going to die today.
But I do those things with a purpose, as I do other things. Parent the_child. Write fiction. Love the people closest to me. Blog even.
I'm still inefficient as hell. I can waste time like nobody's business. I still wish I were half as productive as my reputation would have me. I still make mistakes, follow false trails, misunderstand people and things. But that's okay, because it's all part of being human. I just do it all purposefully, with satisfaction. And I learn.
In the comic, Calvin wants to read Captain Napalm. In real life, I want to write it. And in the mean time, I'll laugh, love and make limeade.
I'm lucky to have learned this stuff before life's sweet inevitability killed me off.
|Originally published at jlake.com.|