What is life?

Having been bit by the monster, the cancer monster, the mind races to answer a bunch of questions and find a good or reasonable solution. 

First, I have come to understand and accept that life is not forever, and even more, that my life may be shorter than everybody else’s. How much shorter? No idea, but my feeling is that while it’s possible that I can live to be eighty or more, it is also possible that I could depart any day. Dehydration scared me crazy in February, and while I have learnt a lot and I know how to deal with it, I was surprised by how quick was the onset and how helpless I was, and hadn’t I happened to be with a good friend of mine, I have no idea if I would be writing now. Blockages can also happen and then the intestines can twist around making a wild knot, and so many stupid things that don’t happen to normal people, I can somehow experience them. My guess is that I will live less, but I still have a reasonable amount of time left, enough to be concerned about retirement, for example. 

So, back to my thoughts: what is life? My question is not about the deeper thinking of philosophy, my concern is, how to use my time in the best fashion given that my life can be shorter, it can be significantly shorter. People do weird things: those that parachute from a plane, those that jump from the bungee, and so on. I’m not jumping from a plane. I don’t think I’m missing anything important. I can die without it. The bungee? That’s probably worse. I don’t feel like shaking up my already messy insides. At best, I would throw up. Diving? It is really interesting, but I don’t feel my guts are stable enough to handle something like that, and besides, I wouldn’t be able to go deep if I always need to be close to a toilet. 

I would be happy to run and swim. I wish I could run 5 km again. I don’t think I will run the marathon again, but that’s ok. If I can run 5 or ten km, I will be more than happy. If I were able to run 2 km in eight minutes again, I would be very happy and I would show off. If I were able to swim for an hour in an Olympic pool, I would be happy, and given that two weeks ago, while on vacation, I was able to swim a lap properly, I believe this could happen. 

But life is more than that. Since I was a kid I was seen as someone intelligent. I believe that I was very smart until I was about 12, and then I was also smart but not as when I was a kid. But I like science, engineering, technology and such, and I despise alternate medicine, religion, superstition and some silly tales that are just too silly to be a good tale. 

What can I do? I want to entertain myself programming. I want to learn one or two programming languages. I want to learn some programming techniques. Should I structure my study? Should I just go all out programming whatever I find interesting? There are some awesome courses for free in the Internet! But should I try to dive in the theory? Or is it too much, why bother and better learn the basics? How much time should I invest? Time is a scarce resource. I spend a long time lying around waiting to feel better, I can’t just use it all up to learn an obscure chapter about math. Maybe it would be better if I can use it to learn less and program more. But learning is the only thing that we make ours; that’s the true richness of the soul. There’s nothing we take with us when we pass, I have been into deep anesthesia sleep and I felt it. I was completely gone. Passing must be the same, but worse. But if you buy a private jet, it will definitely stay here when you are gone, and your knowledge and your experience, those are completely yours. So I favor knowledge and richness of the soul, but I also like my toys, I won’t deny it. 

What would I like to do? I would like to learn to play the electric guitar, I would like to learn to program, I would like to understand object oriented programming, I would like to understand more about computer science, I would like to program my micro controllers and achieve fun projects, I would like to make my own fun circuits, I would like to read more science fiction, I would like to play more harmonica (and do it better!) and I would like to build and design cool toys and my furniture at home. 

What do I do with the books about numbers and math that I bought at the beginning of the year? Read them? Keep them until I read them? What books should I get? Theoretical stuff, like the books about numbers, won’t be as much fun. 

I think for now I should keep learning Python, building my circuits, programming them, buy the books that support this activity, read science fiction, and dive deeper into computer science as time becomes available. 

As for activities that waste my time, I already took the steps to lose contact with that Christian girl that published tons of stupidity in Facebook, and I also got rid of that other girl that published against vaccines and about chakras and acupuncture and homeopathy, and some other idiocy. I have no time for that. I will get rid of anything that doesn’t amuse me, entertain me, makes me grow, makes me smile or give me some benefit. 

Meanwhile, I think I will order a couple of books to support my programming, a few components for my circuits and I will try to start running again as soon as I feel fit enough. I have been improving a lot, but I still need my tummy to behave better. 

I hope I can beat cancer, I hope my modified body works reasonably well, I hope I can keep working and I hope I can keep very close my dearest people. 

Now it’s time to stop writing, I gotta go pick up my wife. I don’t know how I was able to find such a beautiful person in this world, she fills up my life with sunshine: warmth and bright light. Add my fun, programming and circuits, and what more could I ask for?


2 thoughts on “What is life?

  1. WOW. So glad you commented on my blog; and glad to follow you back. This is a great post, and I’d say one of my bucket things since diagnosis is LEARNING PORTUGUESE! I can’t spell it but I loved this post. Gave me food for thought, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Heather, go for Portuguese, I would say. Learning a language tends to take you to where they speak that language. Even if you don’t go, it will bring a ton of stuff: knowledge of people, of places, culture, stories, books, thoughts, feelings… I think it’s well worth doing it. My mother was a Portuguese teacher. She studied literature and specialized in Portuguese. She once was giving a lecture in a park, and the ambassador to Portugal happened to walk by. He was impressed and they struck a friendship. My mother died of cancer when I was about two, and I learnt the story from my dad, when I found a large medal the embassy gave her. Now I’m battling the same monster that took her life, same genetic error. I’m ok with it, I’m ten years older than she was when she passed, so any time beyond that is a great thing.
    Also, about languages, I always wanted to learn German, and today I saw an article about apps for learning German. I found one that is much of a game, and I had a good time playing and learning some words today. Let’s hope I continue. Lastly, I don’t know a lot of music in Portuguese, just a little, but one singer that I really like (and I don’t know a lot of his songs) is Martinho da Vila, and I really like his song “Canta canta minha gente” (sing, sing, my people). It comes with joy, hope and happiness: “sing, sing, my people, leave sadness for (later??), sing loud, sing loud, because life will get better” I hope you like it:


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