07 June 2006

Death Foretold

It is estimated that you will die at the age of 62 Years Old.

That grim forecast of My future is from the well-named DeathForecast website. Here's the thing: that forecast is down from 69 years of age, given to Me at the same website about 16 months ago.


Rationally, I'm aware that what's being forecast is a statistical average. I could die tomorrow or 47 years from now. Rationally, what's being offered is the end result of a numerical exercise wherein the bulk of people displaying My characteristics ended up dead at or around the age of 62.

Rationally, this has little more validity than the horoscope you read in the daily newspaper. And once again, the rational purpose behind the forecast is not accuracy, but the creation of an awareness of the strong link between behavior and life expectancy.

That's all rational. And yet, I can't rationalize that this is unimportant. I can't discount it as merely statistical, a subjective warning or a possible hoax. In My answers for the questionnaire, I can see the harsh reality of wasted time looming ahead.

The most recent drop is due largely to My divorce and no longer having a pet. I hope the lack of a spouse weighs more against My life expectancy than the loss of Engie Benjy (My son's dog, who I fed, bathed and bought toys for.)

The largest drop, from 104 to 69, happened because of My marriage, as I stopped being highly-active and My interaction with friends and family went from "Frequent" to "Rarely." My diet changed, My cholesterol level soared, I became overweight by about 20 pounds, I barely saw anyone outside of work and My exercise time went from 8-10 hours a week to zero. Yeah, looks like that marriage really agreed with Me.

Now I'm not going to obsess about 62 or 104 or any other number. I am going to obsess about exercise time, diet, My relationships and the ways I deal with stress. I'm already ahead of the game, as I don't smoke, seldom drink and never used drugs. But it also means, as the old joke goes, that when the doctor tells Me I have only 6 months to live unless I give up smoking, drinking and drug use, I'll really have only 6 months to live.

If I change what I can control, My forecast rises to 78 years of age. Again, it's only a number within a statistical cloud. But the years it implies, the day-to-day living they hint at, is filled with better health and thus more joy.

Then again, if I change everything I can control AND become a female, My forecast soars to 85 years of age.

I may look into that a little more closely. Just for research, of course…

The Jenius Has Spoken.

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