Mortality Shows Up and Asks What You Want

Earlier this week we were on a short weekend holiday with the family; playing in the pool, having a cold beer at the beach and eating some nice food. During a lunch, my wife took a picture of me and my daughter. When I had a look at the picture, I got a shock. I saw my father and my daughter.


Some relevant background information here is that I recently cut my hair very short. The hairdresser used the 2 mm shaver. And my dad had his hair very short as well. But it was more than that. It was also the way I held my head and the way I looked and smiled. That was his pose.


And I didn’t look that young anymore. I didn’t see my young dad in that photo. I saw my older dad in the picture. He died when he was 63. I am 43 now. That realization came up simultaneously. If I look some much like him, I may have only 20 years left. 20 years… that is not a lot. What do I want to do in those 20 years, what do I want to accomplish, what shall my legacy be? I am in a hurry now.


And that is good and not good. It is not good to feel in a hurry but it is OK to have a sense of urgency and to become more focused. Being focused on what I want and taking action with a sense of urgency will also avoid that I start feeling like being in a hurry. When you do what you can, you do what you can. No need to feel more hurried.


But then now the question is “what do I want”. That is easier asked than answered for me. The approach to be taken now is to describe how I like my life to look like in the coming years and what I want to accomplish. This is more than just setting challenging goals. It also involves describing how I want to live and how the journey towards those goals should look like. The journey is just as much the intention as the final destination.


This to me means that I have to force myself now to become more focused and more clear on what I want and how I want to achieve that. I have been exploring my thoughts on this fort quite a while and it is time to make decisions and move forward. It is a soothing thought that I can always review these decisions later and change course.


Where would we be without mortality? Just laying at the pool and drinking cold beer at the beach gets boring eventually as well.