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If I should die, let it be AFTER I get the beach house

August 10, 2009

When we were kids, we were taught to recite the bedtime prayer, “Now I lay me down to sleep,” every night before we went to sleep.” For those who don’t know the words:

“Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake,I pray the Lord my soul to take.”

I never told my mother, but that prayer really scared the shit out of me. I would lay there at night thinking, “Did I have to say that prayer because there was likelihood that I was going to suffocate in my sleep?” Then I would contemplate the whole idea behind breathing, questioning how it was that your body would continue to breathe when you were unconscious. And then I would start to believe that it was all a 50/50 chance — to breathe or not to breathe, once sleep overtook you.

That damn prayer kept me up long hours, just breathing. Keeping one eye open – inhaling, exhaling — so that my soul wouldn’t be sucked out of my body before I got my first training bra.

Thankfully, my soul is still intact. And even though I’m not reciting that prayer at night, I do keep a list of things I’d like to accomplish (you know… before the big day) in my life. And every year around this time I review the list, adding new things and removing things that have lost their zing. Skydiving, for example, was removed last year. At one time — probably after a few too many Merlots — I thought the idea of jumping out of an airplane sounded exhilarating. And for many, it probably is. After reviewing the pros and cons, I decided that I would rather not hurl through the sky at mach speed hoping that a big, colorful balloon will float me safely to the ground without getting twisted around me because of a sudden shift in air pressure caused by a fluke storm brewing in Alabama. Sorry. I’ll keep my feet planted firmly on the ground, for now.

So, the list. Well, after reviewing my 2008-2009 accomplishments, I was a little disappointed. I could only check off two: Sports car. Nude beach. At this rate, assuming I don’t add one more thing to the list, I will be nearly 70 by the time I’m done and I’m not so sure that I’ll be up to climbing a mountain at that age so I better get that one out of the way soon.

Things that were not “checked” included things like:

  • Join a gym (or make peace with my thighs)
  • Learn how to back into a parking space
  • Take guitar lessons
  • Finish first draft of novel
  • Do something for the greater good…

I think I’m going to have to step it up a little. After all, my soul is on the line here and time if of the essence.

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