In college I completed an actuarial (actuarial, not actual) questionnaire to give me a statistically-predicted life span. The questionnaire asked, “Are you a/what is your gender?, Do you smoke/drink or other?, Are you married or other?, What disease history/histories does your family have?” Also, “Are you Democrat, Republican, or Independent?”—ok, I lied about that last one. The question was actually, “Regarding the future, are you pessimistic or sanguine about the future?—oops— that was a lie too—it never asked that. Look up “sanguine” and decide for yourself. Said questionnaire gave a number—the number: “This many years you shall live, and no further,“ which number I dutifully memorized to give counsel of what matters and what does not. It is a really useful statistic to help keep perspective.

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