The company’s Human Resources issued an email titled “Yearly Goals.” ​Unfortunately, the email has been in my inbox, unread, for the last six days. I decided I was no longer interested in goals. Technically speaking, I do not want any further treatment, no radiation, no dexamethasone. I want nothing. I wish I were ready to go, but my body seems to say, “Nope. Not yet.”

Is this my last holiday? Unsure. I thought the previous two years of Christmas and New Year’s would be my last. Also, I thought my trip to Tucson to visit my mother in early 2022 would be my last. The fear of death is not in my heart. I’ve accepted it. I also know that my family will be ok without me. My brother’s children are grown, my mother seems stable and no longer depressed about my father’s passing, and I’ve monetarily set up everyone with stable funding for years (if I die with the current level of insurance).

If there’s one thing I have learned is that most of what we try so hard to accomplish in life is bulls**t. The promises we make to be better,’ ‘get better,’ or overcome whatever ailment is some dumb standard that self-help gurus and business leaders pitch to satisfy the unattainable goal of constant and never-ending improvement. But, unfortunately, when a terminal illness arrives at your door, continuous and never-ending improvement turns to bare-bones survival. So by the end of February 2020, no one cared what I looked like, what clothes I wore, did I have the proper attire to be seen at corporate.

Let me say that there’s no profound insight when you’re dying. At least, I don’t believe that’s the case. Additionally, I am still determining if I offer any profound tidbits about living. I am not the So here’s a lesson: The words’ living’ and ‘dying’ are verbs. Each word is an action. Do I live? And should I live well, will I die well?

Looking at the ground and pausing, I admitted honestly to my therapist. “After nearly three years of living with a terminal illness,” I want to die. However, my doesn’t know how to let go. So what am I to do?” She noted that ‘death’ was only one moment of one day. All the rest is living.

Theodore Parker, an American minister, once stated, “Death is one step in a continuous development.” I believe that. In that vein, Steve Jobs noted that one can’t connect the dots looking forward. The dots can only be connected by looking backward. So you have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever — because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart even when it leads you off the well-worn path and that will make all the difference.”

2023 may be different. In the face of a life-threatening illness, all of us can migrate away from unending positivity and determination. So instead, I will do exactly what I told others.

Did you do the best you could?
Of course.” they would state.
Then, that’s all you can do,” I would state.

Therefore, in 2023, do your best.