So begins her obsession with dominating the mind by dominating the body, which would follow her throughout her life in various guises — running, karate, yoga, cycling, skiing — always ambivalent and self-conscious, until it finally resolves into a glimpse of the larger truth beneath the mechanics of illusory perfectibility: that we exert ourselves so violently on keeping the package of the body intact in order to keep it from spilling its immaterial contents — the soul, the self — into oblivion.~ Maria Popova from, https://www.themarginalian.org/2022/01/01/the-secret-to-superhuman-strength-alison-bechdel/
Ah yes, “oblivion.” Good stuff. Popova is referring to a graphic artist, and midway through the article is an exquisite cartoon example; the author drawing, figuratively and literally, a metaphor for life involving a hill and a bicycle. Reading that cartoon brought to mind my beloved practice of meditating on death. (Try this explanation.) Closely related I often call to mind the impermanence of things. Sometimes I mix the two, thinking…
This is my last sip from this [my favorite, morning coffee] mug. (Knowing it will one day be broken.)
This [regularly scheduled weekly] conversation with this person is our last one. (Imagining when priorities change and we’re no longer working together.)
This conversation I’m recording for a podcast is my last one. (Because I will die.)
This dinner with this person [my mom, my spouse, etc] is my last one. (Because one of us will die first.)
The goal is not to be morbid and depressed; The goal is to maintain a realistic perspective to enable wringing the absolute maximum enjoyment and appreciation from every single waking moment.