The letter arrived in a cream-colored envelope on Black Friday. Just as we were slipping into the insanity of Silly Season. I ripped it open.
The Neptune Society was reminding me, kindly but firmly, that I am going to die. But oh, by the way, ACT NOW for cheaper pricing, for better deals, just in time for Christmas.
What impeccable timing.
Not only can I light a fire in my living room, I can light a fire under my own carcass.
I struggle to embrace the thinking here.
You would send this notice at the beginning of holiday season WHY?
The letter, which begins with elegant script, TIME STANDS STILL FOR NO ONE reminds me at the base to mail the response form TODAY, “you’ll be glad you did.”
Um, no I won’t. I’ll be dead.
Luckily I have no loved ones who will be burdened. Besides, the way I’m going I’m far more likely to end up as bear food in the wild somewhere rather than needing to be burnt to ashes. Which, in fact, is NOT the ecologically-friendly method it’s made out to be. (Please see https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/10/how-to-be-eco-friendly-when-youre-dead/382120/)
As I consider the smooth, hard muscle that I’ve worked hard to develop, the extraordinary cardiovascular system I’ve spent decades building, the disciplined workout routines, the mindful eating habits, I considered sending an ecologically- friendly response.
I had just taken a quick test offered to help us determined how long we have before we keel over (https://apps.goldensoncenter.uconn.edu/HLEC/). Based on a few simple premises (working out five more days a week, gender, age, weight, overall health, income, smoking, driving history, etc.) I’ve got another 38.5 years.
That will make me just over 103.
Like the British woman of the same age who was featured on Facebook yesterday, doing pushups, yoga and still driving, I fully intend to keep motoring along. Barring, of course the errant skydive accident, a paragliding mishap, another angry horse, tipping my kayak upside down in the frigid waters north of Iceland, crashing my much-abused noggin on a rock in white water. Hey, it can happen. I assure you, however, that I will be having one whale of time when and if it does .
In no way do I intend to join the ranks of the couchbound, diabetic, overly-medicated, remote-wielding, oxygen-dragging wheelchair-bound. This is what spells an early death for vastly more of us these days. Yes, we’re dying younger.
Not at my house.
I will likely outlive the Neptune Society. All due respect, guys, but no thanks. By the time I’m ready to keel over there will be a host of intelligent new options to recycle this muscle and bone sack that I’ve been borrowing.
I’d rather light a campfire in the wilderness on my brand new ecologically-friendly campstove.
Better uses for fire. Like the one I keep lit under my butt to stay healthy, hearty, sassy, engaged, exercised, educated and moving on down the road.
Thanks for the reminder. For my part, as the great poet Robert Frost said, “I’ve got miles to go before I sleep.” (Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening)
Indeed. Now I’m off to practice my kickboxing routine.