I have certain go-to tricks I can use in my life to feel better. One example is sitting down to write quickly. I love the feeling of having an idea and willing my fingers to keep up with my brain while I export a bunch of feelings from my brain and onto the page. Another is drawing, especially comics. Nearly every time I try drawing a comic, I feel relief about how accurately I was able to express myself with little doodles and talk bubbles. Both of these feel great.
Or what about going on walks, or biking, or playing sports? In all three cases, I wonder to myself why I don’t get out more. In all three cases, I’m always left feeling better than when I started. It’s as close as I’ve found to a life cheat code. It’s like magic.
One day I won’t have all of this. Maybe I’ll get Parkinson’s Disease and I won’t be able to reliably work a keyboard anymore, or go on walks. Maybe I’ll get cancer and go through lots of treatment that leaves me feeling completely erased, so exhausted that it doesn’t even seem physically possible. Maybe I’ll lose my vision entirely, leaving me to figure out how to be happy staying more still, without the ability to drive, walk, or ride a bike. Without an ability to type or draw. Some day any one of these things are possible.
What will I do then? I have so many sure-fire tricks for navigating my life in a happy and satisfied way. But if I couldn’t use them anymore, what’s left? Who am I if I can’t draw, write, and go a million miles per hour? I’d still have the ability to listen, and maybe I’d have the ability to talk. Can that be enough? One day it will have to be, so I should start shoring up those new skills while I can.