Fear of death resides in the abyss of our minds. We claw at its inevitability at some point in our lives. Immortality reigns in all of us then fades, leaving the clear knowledge that yes, we all die—shit, me included.
We go through life with doors opening in front of us, and doors closing behind us. I’m not talking about job opportunities; I’m talking about life. For example, there came a time after the birth of my second child that I acknowledged life’s door to childbearing had shut.
My cousin Tony has achieved the age of 71. Despite his age, he has the drive to excel. But doors have slammed shut in both directions, so he has found a way to capture the endorphins of success in a different way. He fishes.
Each time Tony catches a fish, it is a blast of success—a blast of endorphins. He is driven to fish to experience this. I have no doubt he is masterful at fishing.
Tony and I had a conversation in which he told me he constantly faces his mortality. As our bodies break down, our minds feel the need to propel us forward regardless of the consequences. Our minds drive us towards life often at the risk of the body’s demise. He very well may die with a fishing pole in his hands.
I relayed to Tony my experience on beBee—how every time that little golden globe indicating response or reaction to my work appeared, I would think to myself, I caught a fish. I related the experience to happy days when my youngest and I went deep-sea fishing, and the exhilaration I felt when I caught a fish. Bang—those endorphins strike. I can relate to Tony. I face my mortality every day. I would love to die at the keyboard.
Why do we put our aging, dying, and disabled out to pasture? There is a wealth of experience to be had. The drive to succeed drives on despite obstacles. It seems one has to be able to run through an office appear useful.
In the meantime, Tony and I will fish. We’re here. We’re alive. Those little blasts of success sustain us.
In the end, many of us go fish.