I've been reading another brilliant little book, packed with intelligence: Atheism - A Very Short Introduction by Julian Baggini. See his blog at - http://julianbaggini.blogspot.com/
One of the big issues for me as an atheist is the (sometimes bitter) thought that when you're dead you're dead (WYDYD). I've tried to be brave about it. I've tried to laugh it off. But it is still a hell of a thought that one day you will no longer exist. Everything that you were will be gone. Very depressing. Wouldn't it be lovely to live for ever? But you have to resist that one because that's the kind of wishful thinking that led humanity down the slippery path to religion. So I have been desperately trying to find meaning in a time-limited life. Cue Julian Baggini...
He has a wonderful analogy in his book which cheered me up tremendously... Think of a football match. It "gains its purpose only because it finishes after 90 minutes and there is a result. An endless football match would be as meaningless as a kick around the park." He goes on to say that "this line of thought can make us wonder whether life would actually be less meaningful if it were eternal. What would be the point of doing anything if we had an eternity to live?"
I found this a very useful idea and I am still examining it from all angles to see if I can find any holes in it - haven't found any yet.