What if, one day, you woke up and discovered that you only had 28 days to live?
Would you drop everything and blow all of your money traveling to a foreign country you’ve always dreamed of visiting?
Would you live out your days in peace on a quiet beach or in the mountains somewhere?
Would you confess all of your worldly secrets to those who you think should hear them most?
Would you go out in a blaze of glory, performing reckless stunts or altering your consciousness with illicit substances?
Would you spend that precious time with your family and friends?
Would you spend your days incessantly buzzing around somebody’s head?
If the latter appeals to you, you’d likely get along with the fly that’s currently bugging me.
I swiped for it a few times, grabbing at air in repeated fruitless attempts to murder an innocent creature simply so I wouldn’t have to listen to the godforsaken noise it was making while I attempted to enjoy my novel and tea.
Finally it either got the message, or got bored. Likely neither, considering that boredom is a human emotion that I was merely projecting onto this creature.
The fly spiraled erratically through the air, across my room and exited as quickly as it had come.
Houseflies, I’m told, live on average for only 28 days. The first few are spent in larval maggot form, the next few as a cocoon. Leaving roughly 2-3 weeks maximum of life for a creature that will likely be eaten by a bird or smashed by an irritated human.
So what is it about buzzing around my head that is so compelling? Why waste the breath?
(FUN FACT: insects don’t breathe through their face the mammalian way, but rather through tiny holes all over their body.)
The easy answer is that I probably smell interesting.
Considering the short and perilous lifespan of a housefly led me to pause and wonder what the heck I was doing with my day before the fly came along and buzzed me into this train of thought..
I was sitting on my bed, reading a book, an occupation which I enjoy very much.
But could I be doing more? Should I be?
I’ve often heard the phrase “Live every day like it’s your last!”
Carpe diem! Seize the day!
If I were to follow that mantra literally, I’d drop my book in a heartbeat and run through every one of those things I listed at the beginning of this post. I’d adopt a rescue dog, book a cheap flight for us to Vietnam, skydive from the plane and crash onto an exotic beach.
But I can’t very well do that every day. I can’t very well assume that every day will be my last, either.
So I’m spending my free time in a much more practical way, relaxing with a book and musing about the possibilities that my future might hold for me.
Assuming that I do, indeed, have a future, and today isn’t my last.
After all, if I’m not careful, or just unlucky, I could die tomorrow.
And I’d probably be pretty peeved that I didn’t spend my time doing something a little more exciting before I left.
Anyway, I didn’t end up killing the fly. Seems only fair to let it live out its remaining weeks doing whatever it darn well pleases.
Also, here’s a cool video of some super cute bumblebees displaying their ability to learn and teach others.