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i know your stairs and your doorway

Published on December 27, 2017

I’ve got some definite gray around my temples now. I’ll be 39 in less than a month. Sobering, but my uneasiness about it comes and goes. It helps that I don’t think I feel my age. I still run twice a week and hit the gym 3 times (over lunch MWF), and I eat well (D’s wonderful cooking helps in that department). If I feel tired, it’s because of the hours I keep, or some combination of stressors unconnected with my physical health, thank goodness. I know all of that can change in an instant, but smooth sailing for now.

I’ve let myself dwell on the concept of mortality more over the past couple of years than I likely have in all my years prior. My last living grandparent—my mom’s mother—finally passed away at the beginning of the year at age 95, and those events always invite a protracted amount of reflection on the scope of this phase of our existence here on earth. Between that and an opportunity to see family we haven’t talked to in years, funerals are good that way. It’s time to wise up to the fact that we’re not invincible like we were in our teens and 20s and really ground our belief, or lack thereof, in the afterlife and what it means for the way we live now. To put it more crudely, staring at a dead body in a coffin throws the flaws in our worldview into sharp relief. Does it dispel all doubt? Absolutely not—that’s something I wrestle with more than ever—but at the very least it should propel our minds into places we so easily distract it from in our day-to-day.

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