Life is great.
Life is a gift that we should all take full advantage of, something we should grasp with both hands and squeeze as much fun and enjoyment out of before fate decides to whisk it away from us.
However, we all know that there are constraints that stop us from acquiring all of the pleasure and delight that life offers.
I hear a little voice from time to time warning me of the consequences of overindulgence, usually in tabloid newspapers, on the news or in the rhetoric of self-obsessed megalomaniacs who seem to think that life should be lived their way instead of mine.
And of course, there is nature itself that seems to delight in playing one almighty sick joke on the whole of humanity.
It is this latter constraint that I wish to bring to you attention, dear reader (even though you know all about it and will no doubt agree with me).
Mother Nature is a wonderful thing but rules us with a rod of iron, applying all manner of rules that are punishable by curtailing the gift of life.
Here are some examples:
Fatty food is divine. There is nothing more satisfying that waking up in the morning and devouring a full English breakfast of bacon, sausage, egg, black pudding, beans, toast covered in butter, all washed down with a massive cup of strong tea or a potent brain boosting cup of extra strong and delicious coffee.
Yet if I were to have that breakfast every single day of my life, I would grow fat and the dark figure with the scythe would almost certainly call for me a lot earlier than his original plan to. Fat is bad for you, caffeine is bad for you and endless bacon and sausage is bad for you.
The same can be said of burgers and fries washed down with fizzy soft drink. Eating such food on a regular basis will turn you into a huge monster and Mr Death will come calling sooner rather than later. Sugar and fat are simply killers in disguise.
And what about chocolate and cream and monstrous desserts? People love them yet if they overindulge the same thing will happen; they will look like a walking whale with the scythe-carrier marching behind and looking at his watch with a knowing grin on his face.
Smoking and alcohol are the same. There is nothing better than a pint of ale after a tough week but if you choose to take it to excess, you will pickle your vital organs.
You can’t even spend your life sitting in front of your tellybox. Watching too much television, so experts say, dulls the brain and at the same time stops you from exercising to keep your body in shape.
And while exercising helps, keeping Mr Death at bay, you can even fall foul of that if you overdo it.
Thrill seekers who like to hurl themselves off cliffs have the Grim Reaper as a constant companion, waiting for a burst of adrenaline so great that the scariest adventure might result in premature demise.
It’s a sick joke, dear reader.
We should be able to live our life as we want to without Mother Nature stepping in and applying certain rules to it.
“Yes, Mr Mancunian, you can stuff your face with steak every night for the next ten years and wash it down with the finest red wine from France – but it will cost you twenty years of this most precious gift.”
“Yes Mr Mancunian, you can bungee jump off a high bridge in New Zealand but one day that bungee rope might just snap.”
“Of course you can drive a fast car around a track, Dave, but I can’t promise that you will not crash into a wall at high speed.”
But it’s worse than that. Some of these constraints are built into my brain. For example, I want to see as much of the world as I can and this includes the desire to climb to the top of the Eiffel Tower, the Empire State Building and other huge man-made structures, as well as Nature’s own constructs, to see the view and marvel at our beautiful planet.
But in my case, Mother Nature has said:
“Sorry Dave, I’m going to stop you from seeing the whole of Dubai from the top of the Burj Khalifa; you need a fear of heights to limit what you can see of the world.”
It’s not fair.
I want it all.
So while life is great, it could be so much better, if Mother Nature cut us some slack and allowed me to indulge in the way I want to.
Sadly, she won’t allow it – and I, like you, dear reader, am powerless to resist.
I am certain that Mr Reaper is waiting in the wings (at least 200 years in the future with any luck) so now my challenge is to keep him at arm’s length while keeping old Mother Nature happy.
I can do this by indulging my desires – but limiting them.
I can enjoy an English Breakfast every so often, spend the occasional evening watching my tellybox all night, enjoy a pint or three down the pub occasionally and even get some half decent exercise with a daily two mile walk and the occasional six mile hike at the weekend.
Sadly, I think my fear of heights is here to stay so I no longer plan to climb any mountains or man-made structure higher than my own house.
Mother Nature’s henchman might be stalking us all but we should plan to make his life difficult.
Whisking us away may be his raison d’etre but like Mother Nature can play a sick joke on him by keeping him as far away as possible.
The truth is that if you don’t stuff your face with a huge slab of chocolate cake every day, it is certainly more enjoyable when you do allow yourself to have one occasionally.
And when you do, just address Mother Nature and her henchman:
“Screw you! This is MY divine cake and this is my divine day to stuff my face with it.”
That cake will taste so much better, I can assure you.