What If This Was Your Last Day?

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Something has been on my mind more than usual lately. Maybe it’s all the turmoil in the world. Maybe it’s a side effect of getting older. Maybe it’s all my neuroses having a party but not inviting me. Whatever the reason, I keep thinking about life and mortality. Events this week have me thinking about it even more. How would I spend my day if it was my last one?

Now, don’t go getting all worried about me. It’s a philosophical thing. I’ve spent the last four years miserable and I sure as hell wouldn’t have wanted any of those days to have been one of my last. Do I now take up the “live each day like it’s your last” mantra?

I have no idea.

There’s a bigger problem with that philosophy, at least for me. I don’t deal well with disappointment. Most people who know me well know this. I deal with it, but I usually bitch a lot until I’m over it. I admit to being a cynic and an optimist, which is really difficult. I mean, which personality do I start with each day? I like to believe that hard work pays off. I like to believe that things work out in the end. But I’ve seen a lot of good people screwed over. I’ve gotten my hopes up about events or life changes, only to see them crushed or beaten down. Even temporary setbacks can throw me to the ground. Call it a character flaw if you want.

Fate can be cruel sometimes. I’ve been moving along nicely when she’s come around and said “Oh, look over there!” When I turn back around, she bitch-slaps me with a cast iron skillet and sends me to the ground, laughing as she walks away. It takes a long time for the Le Creuset impression on my face to fade. But the internal scars? Those don’t fade with time. I wish they did. I know everyone experiences something like this. I know I’m not alone in being disappointed by life.

What do I do next? Do I keep getting up when I’m knocked down? Do I make my expectations so low that I can’t get knocked down anymore? What’s worse: living with low expectations or having optimism crushed? I spent the last several years living with low expectations and that didn’t get me anywhere. It mostly made me miserable. I guess I should try living with optimism and pursuing dreams, whatever they happen to be. I will try to live each day with integrity. I will hope and I will dream. When I get knocked down, I will get back up and keep going. I will do my best to push my fears and insecurities aside and live life the way I want. And if Fate wants to come after me with a skillet, I’ll deal with it.

Does anyone know where I can get a helmet and a suit of armor for cheap?

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