What Would You Do If You Were Immortal? That’s What You Should Be Doing Now.

The dinner conversations around my home can vacillate wildly between fart jokes and “What superpower would you pick?” to that’s-what-she-said jokes and questions about who invented money, the violin, or any number of objects. Many times this calls for someone to look up the answer on a phone or smart home device.

Recently, my daughter asked us at dinner, “What three things would you do if you were immortal?”

Unlike some questions (like, “Mom, what was the Cuban missile crisis about?”), I found this one pretty easy to answer without the help of Google.

  1. Learn all the languages.
  2. Travel the planet experiencing people and places.
  3. Write about all those experiences.

Given all the time I could care to imagine, I believed I would choose endless communication, travel, people, and writing. And I felt pretty great about my answers. That is until I compared it to my current mortal life pursuits.

I wasn’t working on any languages, wasn’t initiating travel for myself, wasn’t trying to meet the people around me, wasn’t writing anywhere near my capacity. Where was my sense of adventure? Where were my leaps of faith? Where were my friends? Where was my passport?

Just because I didn’t have the luxury of an immortal life was no reason to squander the pretty amazing handful of decades that I could reasonably expect. By using my limited time for my immortal pursuits, I’m finding that I can achieve moments of timelessness and deep fulfillment. But without the horrendous accusations that I’m a supernatural being.

Now. Excuse me while I practice my French on Duolingo. I’ll need to know how to speak it the next time I’m in Europe.

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