When I first heard about Anna Nicole, I didn't believe it. Then I read the story on google news. She had become a laughingstock in recent years, the butt of a thousand jokes. But when I read she had died, I was only sad.
I sent the link to a friend. She wrote back, "Have no idea why that makes me sad."
I replied, "Me too. What a sad, tragic, short, wasted life :("
Then almost before I hit send, I questioned my statement. Was it a wasted life? After all, she was a model, an actress, had her own reality show, and married a billionaire. I haven't come close to doing any of those things. Maybe she had the full life, and I'm the one with the wasted life.
If I never become a writer, will my life have been wasted? If I never have children, or never get married?
What constitutes a wasted life? Or for that matter, what constitutes a wasted day? Or a wasted hour? I can't answer that. I guess everyone's answer would be different. And perhaps that's the way it should be.
Is it about finding happiness and contentment? Experiencing as many new and fun things as possible? Or making a difference, making the world a better place? Even typing that, I already know what I think most important. So why am I not doing it?
If I sit home tonight and cook dinner and watch The Office on TV, is that a wasted night? I mean, it's something I enjoy. But should I be doing something more productive? Something to better myself or something beneficial to society?
Traveling Chica wrote a post a few weeks ago about 'someday.' About how we make plans and always seem to think and behave as if we have plenty of time, when in reality, we may not. We're not guaranteed a certain number of years, or even another month, or week. All we have is today.
Yet knowing that, why don't I value each second as the priceless commodity it is? Why do I often go weeks or months without talking to or seeing friends? Why do I find myself so many nights realizing it's 11:00 and wondering where the evening went and what I did with it?
The question isn't will I die? But rather, will I live?
I was talking to another friend about Anna Nicole later in the afternoon. She posed the question, "Do you think she was ever happy?"
Of course, there's no way I could ever know the answer to that. But even the thought that she, or anyone, might never have been happy deeply saddened me. To the point that I changed the subject, not wanting to think about it anymore.
When I die, I don't care so much if other people say or think, "what a wasted life." As long as I don't agree.
"They said she died easy of a broken heart disease. I listened thru the cemetery trees..."