What Would You Do...
I thought that Buffalo Holdem presented some interesting questions in this post.
Here was his premise.
-You are single, with no spouse or significant other.
-You have no children, no dependents and no pets.
-You have no debts.
-You have no illiquid assets other than your personal belongings.
-You have enough savings on hand to maintain your current lifestyle for 4-5 years.
-You have three diseases which are all potentially fatal. One has a 90% mortality rate. Another has a 33% survival rate. The third is manageable but still kills many people.
-Given the most optimistic projection, you have 10 years to live.
It is kind of hard to answer them in general. First off you never really know how you are going to react until you are in that situation. Secondly it is nearly impossible to imagine your life without your children. The little symbiots just change your life so much. With those caveats I will try and answer his questions.
1) How long would you continue your job or career? Do you love your job so much you would continue as long as possible?
Here is where the kid/wife thing interferes. I totally would keep working to save up as much money for them as possible before I died. I also do love my job. I complain a lot about it but programming is a passion for me. I would miss not working.
I would however change some things. I would take more vacation time. I would work less hours probably. I would try and work it out so I could spend more time doing things with the kids but keep being productive at my job.
2) How hard would you pursue a relationship? How important is it for you to NOT die alone?
This is a very interesting question. Much more so than the job one. First thing I thought when I heard this was "Is it fair to start a relationship?". If you know your going to die in 10 years do you really want to heap that much pain on someone you supposedly love? It is an interesting question. If you were an optimist you might say that the 10 years of happiness would be worth it to the person.
What about kids too? It would be incredibly hard to leave your children without a dad. I know it happens by accident all the time but would you knowingly want to put them through this? Would knowing you were going to die make your more standoffish or would it make you cherish every day? Interesting. Interesting. Interesting.
As far as dying alone. I definitely have some old fashion biases. In our time the man was responsible for continuing the blood line. It was the most important thing we must accomplish. I does sort of leave one feeling kind of strange to know that once you were gone that was it... no clones to carry on your unique DNA sequence.
There is also the question of what "Dying alone" means. You can have a great group of friends without being married or having kids and those friends could be at your death bed supporting you.
3) Would you ever consider elective surgery (such as a cosmetic procedure) even though it's likely you will die just a few years later.
I was born ugly. I am gonna die ugly. No need to change that now.
4) On the other hand, would you spend a significant chunk of your net worth on medical care just to extend your life a year or two?
I think the medical community has a huge problem here. The focus of medicine is to "prolong breathing".. not to prolong life. I might spend some of my net worth for an extra couple of years IF those years were meaningful. Most likely those years would be in bed ridden pain kept alive by some machines. I do not consider that life and would rather die sooner than have some evil doctors keeping me breathing.
5) Would you travel more or less? Would you develop a specific "bucket list" for your remaining years?
I am not sure I plan well enough to make a bucket list. I would try and do "different" things though. It might include travel... or just visiting more amusement parks or doing some more interesting things.
6) Would you be more likely to use illegal substances or engage in illegal activities, knowing your potential punishment is diminished by your life expectancy?*
If the illegal substances helped diminish pain so I could enjoy life then I would be all for that. Nothing to do with punishment though. It is more a quality of life issue. I would not steal, rob, murder, what not just because I would not serve a full term. I am not a criminal. I could not see myself becoming one.
7) What is the ONE most important thing to accomplish in your remaining years?
I have no idea. I have never been strong on the foresight department. It is an interesting question though. In my case it would be to have my kids be as happy as possible for my remaining years. I do not want to die regretting not making them as happy as I could.
I thought these questions were interesting. I have one thing of my own to add though. Consider this. You all are going to die in 10 years. Statistically this is not true but it is totally possible. You could walk outside tomorrow and get hit by a car. Lightnings heart may burst from too many donuts. Anything could happen. We have no idea when our last day will be. We are all terminally ill. So why does it take a physical manifestation of our illness to cause us to change our lives or be better people or get a bucket list done? Live every day as if it is your last because it could be. Peace.