Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
But so was yesterday – and the day before that.
Why hasn’t it occurred to me before?

One day it’s going to be the last day of my life.
Before that happens I really ought to decide
where I’m supposed to be going.

I must articulate my goals carefully
because it affects how I go about achieving them.
But I wonder if they aren’t a trifle revealing.


Discover the reason for my coming on earth
• if there is no reason, invent one
• achieve it
• if it’s too late now, leave it for a future life.

Write a book
• to make me famous
• to make me worthy of being famous
• to stop me being completely ignored.

Write the sort of book
• a lot of people will buy – or read – or simply hear about
• to benefit the (few) people who read it
• to momentarily divert whoever happens to pick it up.

Write an autobiography
• to justify me to myself
• to justify me to the world at large
• to justify me to the people whose opinions I respect
• to spite everyone who’s crossed me.

Diet and exercise to make myself healthy enough
• to live as long as I can
• to live well until I die
• to achieve my lifetime’s ambitions
• to carry on enjoying myself.

Make pots of money
• to spend on having a good time
• to give to my favourite charities
• to have something to leave to my heirs
• to build something everyone will respect me for
• to give the finger to those who spurn me.

Study to understand the true nature of things
• a shade better than I do
• enough to talk about it with some conviction
• enough to know where dark matter fits in
• admit I’ve no idea of the true nature of things and never will.

Save the planet
• for the benefit of all mankind
• for the benefit of me and mine
• for long enough to see me out before things get too bad.

Find a young man to receive the wisdom of my years
• for the young man’s benefit
• for everyone’s benefit, via the said young man
• so all my hard-won experience won’t just vanish
• consider (objectively) a young woman
• admit I’ve nothing a young person would benefit from knowing.

Ian Clark
November, 2019