“Free” Time

Therefore, I’m not sure what to do now (if you’d like to know why I’m starting a sentence with “therefore”, see my “Therefore Time” post).

I’ve always assumed that I’d live until I was 80 with a lot of extra time thrown in there for good measure; I always figured I’d have a lot of weekends and late afternoons and midmornings to fill up throughout my life – it’s one of the reasons I wrote a comic that would take 20 years to make.  But now with this heart thing, I have to reevaluate my entire system.

See, I’ve fashioned my entire life around free time.  Getting things done (or at least almost done) has always been what I’m about.  I don’t really have any friends or family or responsibilities to speak of – other than the responsibilities that go along with my age – and most of that is done pretty consciously.  Too many friends, too much family, too many jobs… these will land you with a lot of weekends taken up with birthday parties and house-movings and overtime.  Before you know it, you’re the most popular guy in the retirement home who has a lot of memories of taking people to the airport but not a lot on your résumé.

My life expectancy after major heart surgery is 21 years.  If I have it done this year, that gives me until 55 to get everything accomplished.  But with kids and a wife, should I be spending my time accomplishing things?  Shouldn’t I be spending time with them?  Shouldn’t I be making memories of going to Disneyland and riding ponies and making s’mores?  Shouldn’t I be working another job to make sure their college education is paid for (notice that’s not plural; I already know one of them’s not graduating)?

If time – particularly free time – was always my goal when I expected to live until 80, shouldn’t more free time be the goal if I’m expecting to live to 55?  And what do I do with all that free time?  Draw comic books that no one reads?  Make podcasts that no one listens to?  Make money that I won’t spend?

Ironically, one of the themes of Tiny Life is “What if you could see to the end of your life?” and that’s pretty much where I’m at.

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