Mar 252014


Anyone who’s been in a situation, medical or otherwise, that’s nearly killed them, will slip automatically into “bonus round” mode in life. It’s an orientation impelled from the deepest recesses of the soul where near-death lies. It’s a gift really. And somewhat makes up for the suffering in the “nearly dying” part.

For those who are curious about this orientation and would rather not pass through the traditional gateways to arrive at it, I will do my best to describe it to you. You can see what might fit for you in your life.

  • “Bonus round” means waking up in the mornings and being firstly, surprised that you woke up, and secondly, incredible grateful. All sounds, sensations, emotions, smells have a surreal taste to them. It’s not dissimilar to the beginning phases of a hallucinogenic drug trip.
  • “Bonus round” in life means losing a drive towards investment in a future further than six months away. You no longer worry about career advancement or developing skills, trying to fix bad relationships, investing money in abstract ways, or making sacrifices for an unseen future.
  • “Bonus round” means rediscovering that you do actually care for your family members and friends, estranged or not, no matter what they’ve done. You don’t even care if they’ve made any imposed requirement of effort in your relationships with them. You just love them. You want people in your life. Instead of being obstacles and infringements on your inner peace, they become great vaults of happiness and potential experiences.
  • “Bonus round” means the world becomes a limitless place again, like it felt when you were 19. You know you can do anything you want and that everything is somehow available to you. And yet, you’re not afflicted with the ambition to insist you have or do all of it.
  • “Bonus round” in life means harboring the deepest levels of acceptance for nearly all circumstances. Even feeling bad feels kinda good. Situations become less judged for their content, and more on how you sit in them.
  • “Bonus round” means when you feel physically good, really really good, it’s like the best New Year’s Eve party you’ve ever been to, or a motorcycle for Christmas, or winning $75,000 on a scratch ticket you found on the street. You can’t even believe it and it makes you giddy!
  • “Bonus round”means living with freedom from fear of death. You’ve peeked and it’s not so bad.

“Bonus round” in life for me means I’ve finished “the game”. And new worlds are opened up for me by some punch happy game developers that still had some required hours to put in on their contract. It’s all new environments and challenges. It’s soundtracked differently. But the best part is that I’ve already beat the game, and now I’m just going after points for the hell of it.

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  9 Responses to “What Exactly Is a “Bonus Round” in Life?”

  1. My mom had a near-fatal heart attack at age 45. After recovering and dramatically changing her lifestyle she told me that the remaining years were all extras and she wasn’t afraid (of anything) any more. She died 6 years later from not being sufficiently afraid of cigarettes, but she really did live a much more free and happy life from ages 46-51.

    It’s too bad it takes a substantial reality check for most of us to figure this out.

  2. It is also a bonus round after an unwanted divorce, business failure, or loss of a prized job happen. The opportunity to love unconditionally again, stepping back and analyzing the obsessive commitment to a consuming occupation, or working 16 hour days and it toll on your life to keep a business alive, is dysfunction and unhealthy.

  3. Word.
    Had mine in 1995. Unknown reason for acquiring a rare bone marrow disease in which I’m currently in remission from. Had some seizures, a life flight, last rites read, etc. Scary time, but a blessing in disguise. I know what you mean – it can be hard to put into words, and you do a damn good job of explaining it! Love the “bonus round” analogy. Thank you for sharing.

  4. I have been in my ” Bonus Round ” for 6 years now and having the happiest time of my life. I completely changed my life around and take every day as a “bonus” Thank you for sharing.

  5. Sure glad you survived to live the bonus round. You’ve gotta lot of living left in you! You are one who enriched lives of others. Happy overtime 🙂

  6. Beautifully written (as usual) and inspiring — especially to those of us who are not feeling particularly “bonus-y” at the moment…

    Thank you!

  7. Play on, girl!!!!!!

  8. Beat the game. Watch the credits. Now it’s New-Game+ and you get to do it all over again except this time starting at a higher level! 😀

    Speaking of games, if you haven’t played Diablo III in awhile they completely changed the leveling and item-drop mechanics so that late-game play is much more fun. And if you haven’t played Hearthstone, you’re missing out. It’s free to play and it’s the most subtle game since StarCraft II.

  9. I have had three near death experiences since 2009, and I still don’t know how to adequately describe them. I each of them, the doctors have had to put me in a coma in order to treat me. One of the truly unfortunately things about being put into a coma in such a way is that the drugs that they use Propofol (also called the Milk of Amnesia) and I may have had some extremely interesting near death experiences and just don’t remember them. I after three times I have no idea what round of life I would be in, and have no clue when it is going to end as none of the doctors that I have seen in several different states have any clue why my immune system starts attacking me. As a fellow writer I very much liked the way that you have laid out your theory of the bonus round and was just wondering where in your bonus round scenario I would fall. Thank you and have a great week.

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