Blog post by: Danny W. Pettry II
Week # 1 of 52 (in 2022) blogposts.
None of us get off Earth alive.
The fact is that we all die one day.
The fun fact wasn’t really fun aftercall.
What is fun? Living life deliberately, on purpose.
Examples of Death:
Betty White passed away (at nearly 100 years).
A lot of people won’t get 100 years of life to live.
[A person I’ll call JD] is a social worker who I worked with in the mid-2000s decade.
I recently learned that he had passed in 2021 at the age of 45. He didn’t get half the years that Betty White had.
Death makes me think and feel
These two deaths have impacted me.
I feel shock with both deaths.
I thought Betty White would live for another decade, at least 110.
James (who was born three years before me) felt like he died too young too.
It makes me realize that my days are numbered too. Your days are too.
I have some feelings of grief for both of them.
How many days do we have to live?
No one knows this answer for sure.
This could be our last day and we wouldn’t know it.
Assessment # 1:
Norma Stumbo has an informal activity (assessment) to determine lifespan in her (2002) book, Leisure Education I: A Manual of Activities and Resources (second edition). The worksheet prompts the user to add or subtract numbers (for age) based on known heredity factors and life choices (in example: smoking, wearing seatbelts, etc. You can check out her book at this link: https://www.sagamorepub.com/products/leisure-education-i
Assessment # 2:
Tikker is a watch funded through kickstarter that estimates how many years a person has until she (or he) dies. This watch requires the user to answer a questionnaire. The watch sets a timer with number of years, months and days left. You can check out this watch at this link: https://mytikker.com/products/tikker
Of course, neither of the two assessments are completely valid, reliable and accurate.
Unexpected accidents happen too:
In Time is a (2011) movie based on a dystopian future where time is used as wealth. Poor people run out of time and die young. Rich people accumulate a millions of years of life. However, they can still die from accidents. The rich this world don’t drive fast or swim in the ocean because an accident could still kill them and they’d lose their millions of years. You can’t take it with you. Are they really living life?
Based on my experiences, both of these activities are useful for getting a person to think about their future and to plan ahead and to live a life deliberately on purpose.
Many musicians and songwriters talk about living life and dying
Here are three examples:
Bonnie Tyler says in her (1984) song, A Total Eclipse of the Heart:
“I get a little bit nervous that the best of all the years have gone by.”
Womack says in her (2000) song, “I hope you dance,”
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone.”
Kenny Chesney says in his (2007) song Don’t Blink: “
Don’t blink…Life goes faster than you think.”
What are lessons from the three songs?
These three song lyrics remind me that life goes by fast.
Request: Please post other songs about life, living and dying in the comments section of this blog post.
An unknown author put it this way:
“You can leave footprints in the sands of time if you’re sitting on your butt. And who wants to leave butt prints in the sands of time?”
You can laugh aloud now about the butt prints
People on their deathbed often report they don’t regret the things they did with their life. They regret the things that the didn’t do with their life.
The Steve Jobs Question:
Jobs was aware of his pending death.
He asked himself one question everyday:
If today was the last day of your life, would you want to be doing what you’re doing?
Jobs shared he knew he needed to make changes if that answer was “no” for too many days row.
Here are some questions I ask you to consider:
- Are you living your best life?
- Are you achieving your life goals?
- What would make your life worth living?
- What are some things you really want to do with your short life on Earth? I say short because 100 years. That is in comparison to astronomers claiming the universe if 400 billion years old. One-hundred years of life isn’t even a drop in the bucket of time.
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About the blogger:
Danny W. Pettry II is an existentialist
Danny W. Pettry II is the founder of and director of continuing education at Rec Therapy Today (an online continuing education program for recreation therapists). Pettry has graduate degrees in Mental Health Therapy (2012) and Recreation Therapy (2006) from Lindsey Wilson College (Ashland, Kentucky) and Indiana University (Bloomington, Indiana)respectively. Pettry has worked as a practitioner Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facilities (PRTFs) in Huntington, West Virginia since 2002 when he completed his undergraduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation from Marshall University (Huntington, West Virginia). Pettry has been a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) since 2003.