I wrestled with the title of this post, the way I wrestled with thoughts of aging and dying while on my 10-day holiday vacation.

Life’s odd that way. It’s just up to you to adjust your perspective and attitude in response to whatever life brings.

I really enjoyed the semblance of being part of a family – even if it’s for a short time – as my good friend, Milo, brought me to a series of their family reunions in both father and mother side. In the process, I also heard some interesting stories that triggered this rumination.

Milo’s niece on his mom’s side died of lupus at a young age of 22. Because she couldn’t speak due to the tubes inserted in her throat, she wrote letters both to communicate and to say her last words.

On his dad’s side, he has two old maid aunts ages 70 above who constantly seek attention and despite their wealth decided not to hire a house helper.

Coincidentally, while I’m reflecting on the above two stories, I stumbled upon Tim Ferris recent masterpiece, “The Tao of Seneca” featuring essays of modern stoic thinkers.

Consequently, his blog post lead me to Daily Stoic, and eventually to an ancient quote of the stoic emperor Marcus Aurelius. In one of his journals, he wrote:

“You could leave life right now. Let that determine what you do and say and think.”

It’s funny that even before I found myself in this reflection, I was already entertaining their “initial offerings” before I went on this first solo flight in my country. I wrote part of that here.

So here I am toying with the idea of aging and dying while enjoying my first time in Mindanao. Life’s a joker too, isn’t it?

The irony of ironies is that life is fleeting just as it is precious. In its shortness, we’re forced to give it value that it truly deserves.

In one moment, we’re happy. In another, we’re sad. You can’t choose what life gives you, but you could choose how you deal with it.

Given the fact, I will start this year with the end in mind.

Thinking of the two life stories above, I will find ways to make my few dear ones feel listened to, cared for, and loved.

I will enjoy the present life while bearing the weight of the afterlife.

And I commit to live life to the full against all odds.

Adrian is a professional Events Host, Writer, Teacher, and Change Catalyst. He's a world-class emcee creating fun, memorable, and meaningful events. As a change catalyst, his mission is to inspire personal development so people could have better lives with brighter future, against all odds. An IELTS- and TESOL-certified English Trainer, he's also a prolific Tagalog Tutor.