Sometimes, I need to remind myself.
About four years ago, on a muggy May afternoon, we had a booger of a storm headed our way down out of the New Mexico mountains. High humidity, unstable atmosphere, tornado heaven. The spousal unit was at work, the kids were in school, Charlie was cowering in the bathtub, and I grabbed my sweet tea and headed out to the deck. Turning my favorite chair to the west, I tipped back and rested my boots on the railing, ready for some serious storm watching.
Now, growing up in Texas, tornadoes are as common as tumbleweeds. You'll usually find more people out on porches and in yards watching the fireworks, than cowering in basements. That is, until it's blatantly obvious your ass is in trouble. Then we scoot. So I settle in, sweat running down my face, down my neck between my breasts, the wind cooling it on my skin. And I watch. The sky darkened, the thunder rumbled, the lightning flashed, and I realized this was going to be a good 'un.
If you've ever been in a true Texas thunderstorm, you know the rage and beauty. The sheer power of nature. And you realize how insignificant a human is. As I sat there and watched it get closer, the sky darkened so much that the street lamps came on. Then a huge bolt struck the ground just south of the grain elevator, and the lights went out. And the sirens came on. It was really getting good, and I decided to hold off until the hail ran me in. Rain I can take, I actually love getting soaked to the skin in a good rain. It's so freaking unusual in Texas you have to enjoy it when you can.
I was about to go in when the wind lessened, the rain became a gentle fall, and the storm lost it's ferocity. The all clear siren sounded. As fast as it came, it was gone. Total time: 20 minutes. I could have spent that time cowering in the tub with Charlie, but I would have missed life and a hell of a show. I'm glad I stayed.
The storm is on the horizon, I think we all agree. So what is your choice? Live life or just wait for death? If you're fortunate enough to have a significant other, spend this time loving the stuffing out of them. Ladies, ride that man like a trained monkey on a circus pony, and then fix him the best sammich ever. Dudes, love her until she's weak-kneed, breathless and glassy-eyed. Then recover, rehydrate and do it again. Don't waste a second.
If you have kids, hug on 'em. Love on 'em until they squeal. Spend time with them teaching them what they REALLY need to know, talk to them and most importantly, LISTEN to them. Time is too precious to waste worrying about the end.
If you have a hobby, something you love that brings you joy and peace, do it NOW. Don't wait for the perfect time. There is no such thing as the perfect time. Gather a bunch of friends, throw some meat on the fire, pound the horseshoe stakes in the ground, break out the cards and dominoes, enjoy your friends. Go fishing, hunting, hiking, gardening, antique shopping, whatever brings you joy.
Balance your preps for what's coming with the joy of living. If you aren't enjoying your life now, what the hell are you fighting to protect? Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Fucking Happiness. Go pursue some damn happiness because the storm is coming. Maybe it'll hit, maybe it won't; but you don't want your last thought to be "I wish I had". Make it "I'm glad I did."