So much left to get started

While recovering from a pulmonary embolism, more cautions were raised about various things that come up as one gets older. So I went in for an MRI today. Dunno the results yet. I’m a born optimist, so I’m defaulting in that direction.

Then a few minutes ago I heard that a friend half my age has a tumor the size of a fist in his chest. We’ll find out soon the nature of that as well.

Kinda brings up some perspective. Life, a priest once told me, is a miraculous exception. Death is standard. “To be or not to be” may have been a question for Hamlet, but “not to be” is a final fact for us all. If nothing else gets us, aging is still the fatal disease we all share. Mine is more advanced than most, though my elders are still sufficiently numerous to buoy my optimism.

On the way to Frankfurt the other day I watched The Bucket List. It’s the story of a couple older guys finding joy and bringing it to each other before they die. The “bucket list” is of stuff one wants to do before they die.

I don’t think so much of what I want to get done as what I want to get started. Puts a much better spin on “finished.”


  1. Geoff’s avatar

    I had this great experience this week of a couple who live on a canal boat here in the UK, they seemed just so happy pottering around the UK canal network never staying for more than 48hours in one spot hooked up to the net through a 3G dongle on their laptop!
    Made me think about all the superfluous ‘stuff’ in my life. They have been blogging for years 🙂 at
    Hope to see you again soon Doc! I really enjoyed our walk around Copenhagen.

  2. Dave Winer’s avatar

    You’re bumming me out Doc-a-rooney!!

    Two bits of feedback…

    1. One day at a time.

    2. Take a very very deep breath.

    Extra credit…

    3. Take another!

    Two facts:

    1. You survived birth!

    2. You’re still alive!

    One more thing:

    1. Smile!!! 🙂

  3. Charles Lee’s avatar

    And a bottle of red wine………you’ll be fine.

  4. bibber leffitz’s avatar

    Thanks Dave(s), & everybody.

    Got the MRI results late today, and they’re generally positive. There are several cystic lesions on my pancreas, and only one of the tiny ones warrants further study. If it turns out to be a Bad Thing, we’ve caught it early. There’s other stuff… sludge in my gall bladder, for example.

    The main upshot right now is slight injury to my wrist where they stuck it with a needle for an IV the test required. The result is that typing is very painful. So I think I’ll slack off on that for a day or two.

    Anyway, I’m breathing and smiling.

    -Doc, via a made-up identity on my crappy Palm Treo

  5. Steve Kayser’s avatar

    Hey Doc.

    Don’t know you.

    But know of you.

    This aging thing is an SOB.

    All-time undefeated SOB at that.

    Ran across a quote by Richard Bach that always perks me up though when having to confront it (and you have no choice).

    “Here is a test to find whether your mission on Earth is finished: If you’re alive, it isn’t.”

    Breathing always beats the alternative — hahaha.

    Was writing a story/interview with Steven Pressfield (author of Legend of Bagger Vance about one of his other books – the “War of Art,” when he gave me a couple of mind humpty-thumps. It was about … starting. Or re-starting, so to speak.

    “a woman finds out she is going to die of cancer in six months. She quits her job immediately. She goes to a hospice (or – insert any life long dream here), and volunteers to help other dying people. She’d always dreamed of helping others. Everyone thinks she’s crazy, friends and family alike. But she’s happier than she’s ever been. And, P.S. … Her cancer goes into remission.

    Remember Tom Laughlin? He starred in the movie “Billie Jack.” He now works with cancer patients. I heard him speak once, and he said (paraphrasing), The minute a person finds out they have cancer, everything changes. What was important seconds ago to them now no longer is. Everything changes.

    When it happens, people think back to unrealized dreams. Think back on their unfulfilled dreams of being a musician, painter, farmer, or dancer. Maybe cancer is caused by not following your path − your dreams − what you should have, or should be doing.”

    Steven Pressfield was swimming in the deep end of the thought pool — and I’m a dog-paddler, so I just said, “Okay.” Said it with alacrity though.

    But, made me think – going through some challenging neurological issues myself at the time. Maybe it could be a signal to reconsider what I was doing – how I was living — or what the hell I was even doing with the precious time allotted to me on this wondrous blue-green orb.

    So much to get started. That’s a great title line — but a greater attitude.



  6. Stephen Lewis’s avatar

    D. Another perspective: We both escaped the fates of Schwerner, Goodman, and Cheney and managed to dodge our free one-way tickets to Vietnam. Likewise, we (mostly or in part) escaped imprisonment in the arbitrary tasks and repeatable trajectories that characterizes the work lives of most people. SL

  7. Charles Lee’s avatar

    YES, SL, agreed except the fate coming from Cheney is just coming on stage, APPLAUSE PLEASE!!!! WOW, next quarter is big time period of adjustment, another bottle of red, Please….

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