I’m glad I was sitting down when I read this

A co-worker sent an email to all of us hapless souls last week; here are a few excerpts:

“sitting more than six hours in a day can increase your risk of dying by 54 percent”
“Women who sat for more than six hours a day were 40 percent more likely to die. And men increased their risk by 20 percent.”

Which is worse: that someone wrote this trash, or that an otherwise halfway intelligent person bought into it (and felt compelled to share it)? Basically, the gist of the article is that if you never sit down, you’re never going to die. Fabulous thot, eh? But, the end of all this joy is one of the greatest gifts I can think of. Ok, so name one person you know who is, say 90 years old, or even 80 years old, that is having the time of his/her life. Find a really old fart who is in the pink of health (you might have to go down to the 40-somethings for this one). I had two cousins who probably died of agoraphobia, neither all that old, as far as candles on the cake is concerned. But, as sure as Death, afraid of Life.

I couldn’t have said it better. The point is, this fun ride we’re on has a price. Oh? and you think it doesn’t? How do you connect the dots? Absolutely everything you do in This Life has a price, but the sum total of the days of your life don’t? You spend your days, five out of seven, I’ll wager, trading the minutes and hours of your life for fun tokens that you then exchange for, well, I guess it’s called “fun”. Either “fun”, or “stuff”; in any event the same fluff. And that “stuff” is mostly the Madison Avenue definition; for if it had a meaningful definition, you wouldn’t be so eager to chase after the next fashionable bit of “fun”. But, no one ever says the car, the house, the dream vacation were “free”. Nobody with two cents to rub together.

I thought it was all about “immediate gratification” – that was last week. Now, I think it is all about the lack of accountability. Getting something for nothing. Enjoying the ride w/o buying a ticket. Somehow being the one bloke who’s figured out how to cheat the system – w/o getting caught, of course.

It all adds up to the same: a distraction. This Life is not the sum total of all the little activities that most people fill it with. Or, let’s hope not. How many episodes of “Wheel of Fortune” make a life? (thank you, Charlie Babbitt) Most definitely not the real thing. The distraction is buying into the idea that death can be avoided. Hell, you think taxes are inevitable? You ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Tell ya what, let’s thaw out James Hiram Bedford and listen to his first words. Nope: no one cheats Death.

Why persist then? Why continue running the race? Well, even if you’re in last place rounding the final turn, the fat lady hasn’t sung yet (only in America? Not!). No one asked you to lace up your spikes, no one forced you into the starting blocks, but there you are: in the race of (for?) your life. Gotta finish it. Euthanasia is just another name for loser. Quitters got to what circle of Dante’s Inferno?

Yeah, This Life is an every day sort of thing. Every day. Every day you put your gloves on and enter the ring. Or, you sit in the first row and get sweat and other body fluids showered down on you. Or, maybe you’re up in the nose-bleed section? Or, still outside trying to decide whether to buy tickets? News Flash: Life ain’t about the tailgate party. Participate or spectate – your choice.

But, you better choose, and choose soon: no telling how much time you’re going to need. No way to know if just this last straightaway is going to be long enough. Wanna bet you really do need more than one more round or inning?

‘Course, you can take the position that there is no final reckoning. This Life is all there is. Some live charmed lives and some don’t live a life at all. Some get all the breaks, and all the wrong people die young or live long. So, what difference does it make? There is no one to pay, anyway. I thank God for people like you: you are something else I don’t want any part of.

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