Monday, August 22, 2016

Aging Gracelessly

For those of you who know me, you may be wondering why a 42 year old guy is writing a post about aging. Just to save you time and concern, let’s all just pretend that I am wise beyond my years (unless I’m helping my second grade daughter with her homework) and that everything I say can be taken as a rock-solid piece of truth and wisdom.

I’ve never thought that life’s clock was ticking away until two things happened. The first was having kids. Once you have kids, time flies! The other thing happened today. I just found out that one of my co-workers is dead. It came as a shock considering he is about the same “vintage” as me….and the fact that he’s the one who told me he died.

He was checking out his high school reunion website and discovered his name listed on the “In Memoriam” section. He chose to take the high road and inform them of the mistake and get it corrected. Personally, I would have taken advantage of it and used it as an excuse to try out one of those new identities I have been working on.

Well, I’m here today to help you out and hopefully prevent something like this from happening to you. I’ll go over the leading causes for misunderstandings like this and how to avoid them. Just remember, everything I say is right…

Why do people think you’re dead?
The leading cause of fictional death in the United States is the inability or lack of desire to create and maintain a multitude of social media sites. If you don’t post every 15-20 minutes on one or more of your social sites, people will assume you dropped dead. It’s like documentation at work. If it’s not thoroughly documented – it didn’t happen. Lack of your life’s documentation leads people to believe you must be dead.

The second most common cause of fictional death is that you’re a jerk. Yeah, I know that’s probably not politically correct, but it’s true. If people don’t like you, they will stop thinking about you. Once that happens, they just begin to assume your gone….completely gone and buried.

The least common cause of fictional death, which I believe happened to my co-worker, is death by geographical relocation. It’s not as confusing or uncommon as it may sound. My co-worker, like me, grew up in the South. Somewhere in his life, he moved up North. Besides the whole, “you’re now a Yankee and we hate you” mentality, there’s the whole other thing about winter. When I moved from Texas to Minnesota, I’m sure half my friends truly believed the first winter in Minnesota had certainly killed me. That’s not true, but don’t tell them. I still have the chance at that alternate identity thing.

What can you do to prevent fictional death?
First, pretend you’re not afraid of the internet. You don’t have to be on every single form of social media. You don’t even have to become a world famous blogger like myself. (In my own little world that is.) Just put yourself out there. A simple profile here. A comment on a blog post there. Maybe an email or two along the way. It will keep you alive.

Second, don’t be a jerk. You obviously want to be remembered if for no other reason than to avoid fictional death. It is an added bonus to be remembered for being nice rather than a jerk too. I should point out that being a big enough jerk can also lead to non-fictional death – so be extra careful.

Last, but most important, move to an island in the Caribbean or something. Nobody dies from the frigid winter winds down there. Heck, most people think you become immortal when you move to an island paradise. That, and that you probably have an off shore bank account that you wanted to be closer to.

Heed this advice my friends. Fictional death is lurking around every corner. Follow my advice to stay non-fictionally alive and kicking. Until next time….

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