I know that this is a dangerous post to write, simply because one day I may find myself the situation that I am about to describe. Also, while I will often avoid formally commenting on emotionally charged subjects, this post is inevitable. And maybe, when that time comes, my wishes will be different. I don’t know. I hope it never is a problem, but you never want to take anything for granted.
Living long is not important as living well. I had this thought while I was in an elevator looking at the TV screen. It discussed the latest study where people who do X live longer than people who do not do X.
I think the obsession with living longer and extending one’s lifetime at almost all costs is misguided. Now, there is certainly nothing wrong with trying to live a very long life. That is not the point. In fact, I hope to be fortunate enough to live a very, very long healthy life. However, living well is more important.
I would rather live the best life possible and die at 50 than live miserably and die at 100. The specific ages do not matter as much as the point of the argument. I personally would like to experience everything life has to offer – live life to the fullest, as they say – rather than just live.
I already live very, very well. Much (read: all) of that I attribute to having great parents. While I am not quite there yet, I live almost at my goal lifestyle. I still get up every morning and go to work, come home and do more work for my other projects. That said, I am healthy. I get to work out almost every day. I can sleep in when I want. I can drink when I want. I can eat (almost) whatever I want. And I enjoy most of the work I get to do. So, as far as I am concerned, I live well. That is not to say I live as well as I like, but I have no real cause for complaint.
I want to propose a scenario I hope never happens. Lets say I am in a horrendous accident, with no chance of a full recovery. Either I am a vegetable, or paralyzed or something where I will never be able to be mobile again. If there is ever a question about what to do with me, and I am unable to communicate, please just kill me. Pull the plug. Do whatever it takes. I don’t want to be stuck the rest of life in a non-functional position. No one needs to see me like that, and I don’t want to be like that.
Just be sure I really have almost no chance of recovering. Otherwise, I’ve lived a great life already. If something bad were to happen, I’d rather go out now than live the rest of my life in misery.