Jay Little
The Joy Of Being Alive

11/15/2023 20:47:39

Yesterday I almost died. At least I came as close to dying as I have ever come over the course of my life. I hadn't been feeling well since Monday morning. I was experiencing quite a bit of abdominal pain and bloating. It only got worse as time progressed on Monday and that evening I just wasn't able to sleep. No matter what position I got in, I just couldn't get to sleep due to the aches and pains. Finally right before 3 am on Tuesday the 14th I woke Annette and she convinced me to let her take me to the emergency room.

Annette saved my life, because I was going to wait. My plan at the time was to tough it out until the Urgent Care center opened in a few hours and drive myself down there after Annette left for work so as to avoid the possible expense and embarrassment of wasting an ERs time. In any event, as it turns out my gall bladder had an infection and the situation was rapidly deteriorating. This prompted the wonderful workers at the Prisma Greer Memorial Hospital to suggest an immediate removal of the gall bladder. They gassed me around 1 pm on the 14th and I woke up a few hours later sans gall bladder and was greeted by Annette and my parents.

It is very hard for me to write this because this has been one of the most emotional experiences of my life. However I believe that it is very important that I write down my thoughts and feelings in their purest least reductive form. This is due to my belief that it will be very helpful to future Jay Little sometime down the road. One day in the future he'll be feeling down about this, that or some other thing and in all likelihood the depth of his feeling and emotion won't be warranted. Having my thoughts and feelings written down here for future Jay to read will be invaluable to him.

Let me be clear: I reread my old posts all the time when I want to better understand how I felt about something in the past at the time. These blog posts are just as much for my benefit as they are for anybody elses.

I now know for an absolute fact that I didn't value my life prior to yesterday nearly as much as I value it today. It feels so immensely stupid to write something that damn pithy, but its the blunt and honest truth of it. This gift, and lets be clear it's a gift regardless of how you choose to roll on the spiritual front, is not something to be taken lightly. But nevertheless I just didn't take it very seriously.

A lot of this has to do with the fact that for the most part, my life has been a relatively easy one. Sure Annette and I have been through some shit, especially between her health problems and the deaths in both of our families over the last couple of years, but when it comes to the day to day things like paying the bills and having enough money to put food on the table or purchase a respectable bottle of scotch, we haven't had to worry about things like that.

Even in terms of my career, no matter how many "career limiting moves" (a perfect term coined by a previous boss of mine back at AMECO / Fluor) I made, I always managed to land right side up. Things were always mostly easy. I didn't have to put much thought towards the consequences because I was always just clever enough and lucky enough (strong emphasis on lucky here) to dumb ass my way through most of it.

But having to stare your own mortality in the face for a few hours, even while hopped up on a variety of opiates (cheers to the Greer Memorial staff for that guided tour by the way), tends to open up new lines of thinking and boy did I need that. I didn't think I needed it before but looking back I sure as hell know I needed it now.

So what changes can the people who know me expect to see? I don't actually know. This is all still very fresh and I'm still processing. All I know is that when I woke up this morning in my own bed at 6 am, I have never been more grateful to be alive than I was right at that moment. I know that in time that feeling and the associated appreciation will begin to fade, but that doesn't mean it has to be forgotten.

So future Jay: Come back and read this post at least once a year. Read it and relive the immense joy that you felt on the morning of November 15th, 2023 after realizing that you are still alive. Treat other people a little less shitty and stop taking stupid shit quite so seriously.

TLDR: Be kind and don't forget to rewind (when appropriate)

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