50 Reasons to Live

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Today would have been Kurt Cobain’s 50th birthday. He died a violent death at age 27. Most likely, he was already well on his way to an early grave due to drug abuse. Who knows how long he actually had left on earth had that shotgun never entered the picture?

Two competing hypotheses have gained traction regarding the death of Nirvana’s front man. Overwhelmingly, it is believed that Cobain completed suicide. Contrastingly, there is a body of evidence supporting the idea that he was murdered. Regardless of how he died, he left behind a peerless body of work and a daughter who never got the chance to know her father.

Depression and substance abuse are often intertwined. Even as we become more aware of depression and drug abuse- in no small part due to the life and death of Kurt Cobain- the suicide rate climbs have climbed steadily over the past 17 years. Interestingly, the rate for young adults 15-24 years old dropped consistently for several years following Cobain’s death. I truly believe the attention put on depression following his death saved many lives.

Having been given to depression, I can vouch for anyone who has felt like things will never get better. Fortunately for me, with age has come resilience. My brain knows the dark times won’t last forever, even if my gut tells me otherwise.

In honor of Kurt’s 50 years of influence on this planet, I decided to list 50 reasons to live- or at least as many reasons as I can get through before I’m interrupted!

1 My son
2 My other son
3 My wife
4 More specifically, building things with my sons
5 Taking my boys to the library
6 The rare, relished, dinner, movie, and or TV date with my wife
7 Two loving parents and one loving sister
8 More specifically, two loving parents who go out of their way to cook vegan anti-inflammatory food for me and one loving sister who gets excited to show me new things I can eat
9 I really like checking my solar panel output to see how much energy I’m saving and CO2 I’m offsetting
10 I’m nowhere near close to establishing a well-run urban homestead
11 I’d still like to learn how to be organized
12 At some point, I want to be a really good teacher, and I have a long way to go before I’m satisfied
13 I haven’t written a decent song in 20+ years; it would be fun to do that again
14 I haven’t converted all of my city’s unused lawn space to wildlife habitat yet
15 There’s still not a nice bike bridge south of my city’s busiest road
16 Singing with my boys
17 Playing pretend with my boys
18 Doing art projects with my boys
19 Doing science experiments with my boys
20 Taking in a couple games at Lambeau Field every year
21 I want to get back into rock climbing
22 There are so many places I haven’t camped yet
23 I’m finally starting to figure out this vegan thing
24 I still love going to shows
25 I still love going in the pit
26 My friends
27 More specifically, my friends get me out of the house
28 Driving to Milwaukee or Chicago to catch shows with friends
29 Surfing Lake Michigan
30 In 2012, we moved to the neighborhood with my favorite city park
31 I love teaching at a school not only named for one of my heroes, but adamant about carrying forward his legacy
32 I love and trust my boss
33 I want to build a wind turbine
34 So many freakin books I haven’t read yet
35 So many albums I want to listen to again and again
36 So many albums I haven’t listened to yet
37 I’m really loving musical theater now that I’m in my 30’s
38 I have a great house (and a great big mortgage I need to pay off)
39 I really want to get back to Kenya and visit my brother from another continent
40 My gardening skills could use some improvement
41 I like interviewing people for this website
42 I’d really like to spend more than 12 hours of my life in Paris
43 I haven’t been to South America, Asia, Australia, or Antarctica yet
44 I haven’t checked all the National Parks off the list yet
45 I’m still a terrible (self-taught) drummer and would like to achieve mediocre status
46 I’d like to get back into P90X, running, and at least one organized sport
47 I like my Quaker circle
48  My wife is really starting to kick ass for the working class in regional political affairs
49 I have room for loads more tattoos
50 I ain’t goin’ out like that

I could go on. But, it’s time for a TV date with my wife and our friend John Oliver.



















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