I’m just a few days out from yet another birthday. If achieved, it will be a refutation of the Ouija board prophecy made when I was still in elementary school. (Tip: for a carefree life, never ask a Ouija board how old you will be when you kick the bucket.)

So I will not be indulging in the “Mortality App”

http://www.deathclock.com/ that has so many folks buzzing. I get it; I’m gonna die, and sooner rather than later, proportionally speaking.  I’ve been around for more years than I have left.

This knowledge has doubtless been one factor in my mission to find something worthwhile to do, my willingness to take a few more risks (small as they may be.)

“If not now, when?” I have been asking myself this question for the last few years, but finding the answer seems more urgent.

The flip side to this urgency has been an increasing awareness that most of it just doesn’t matter. I will die, and then who will care what my last job title was, what I had in the bank, and how deep that line between my eyes got?

I know that some doors have closed forever, and some are swinging shut. I know that I will probably not travel as extensively as I now wish I had, and that I am not likely to be anywhere near wealthy, and that’s ok.

What continues to bother me is the fact that I have not, in the words of every frustrated guidance counselor in my life, “lived up to my potential.”

I did not lack ambition; I smothered it.

I was certain that the fields that attracted me were too competitive, and that there was always someone who was better suited to a job than I. Having had a ringside seat to many dunce-filled arenas, I now realize my mistake. I could have accomplished more. I want to accomplish more. I worry about my “sell by” date in the job market.

I am now on my feet, hustling across a concrete floor nearly 30 hours a week, with loud music playing and a walkie talkie incessantly chattering in one ear. I am up and down ladders and crouching low to reach product. I out perform peers decades younger. I can’t possibly be too old for an adult job.

The trick now is to retain the sense of urgency and purpose without sliding into panic. Time is short, but I still have some.