I don’t frequently take the goofy tests that proliferate online…and even when I do take them, I certainly don’t put much stock in them since most were more likely written by bored 20-year-olds–there’s not a lot of scientific data to back up the findings that the Muppet to which I’m most akin is Scooter. (SCOOTER!! Please.) But scientifically accurate or no, this one on OKCupid caught me off guard in the effect it had on my always-delicate psyche.
(And no, I’m not out trollin’ for strange on the ‘net dating scene; my good buddy -b passed the link along because, I believe, it had much the same effect on him.)
According to this particular test, I’m going to die in September, 2050, aged 80, most likely of cancer. “Wow, 80,” I thought to myself; “That’s pretty good, especially for a guy what’s got the diabetes.” I felt that little satisfaction at knowing that all my attempts to live a somewhat healthy life–trying to control the urge to eat pre-processed crap, cutting out alcohol and coffee, running three times a week–could, if this online test were to be believed, going to pay off with a nice long life. (I hope it will be nice, anyway; it sure has been thus far.) Considering the average male life expectancy is 72-and-a-half, that’s good news for me indeed.
But then I got to this last little statistic at the bottom:
You’ve already lived 43% of your life.
And that kind of hit home to me.
We know the test itself is ludicrous, of course; some silly web script can’t tell me how long I’m going to live. But the principle of the results is the same whether the science is valid or not: even if I do indeed live a long life, I’m getting on up toward halfway done. I still have plenty of years left in front of me, barring freak accidents or hideous diseases, but it drove home the point that (and this is where we tie into the previous post) I should stop wasting time and get serious about the things I want to accomplish.
Don’t get me wrong, my life is not all about my accomplishments or the lack thereof; even if I never succeed in becoming a professional writer, I have the love of an amazing woman and two (maybe more at some point) spectacular children. Those things are far, far, far more important to me than any career goals. But regardless, I think that I’ll be happier with myself, more personally fulfilled, if I can reach the goals I’ve set for myself, and if I’m happier with myself I’ll be better for my family. (Also, I want my children to see me reach said goals to show them they can accomplish whatever it is they want to do.)
And I have more than just career goals to achieve, too–there’s so much of this world I haven’t seen yet, both in the United States and outside of it, and I would dearly love to show as much of it as possible to my family. I still can’t speak any foreign language fluently (since my three years of Spanish have atrophied horribly; my one year of Russian was barely enough to let me order vodka were I ever stranded in Moscow). I want to play the piano better. Guitar, too. I want to run a marathon at some point (some point far in the future–I’m still a long way from this one).
Forty-six years left. That’s really not much time, if you think about it.