It’s an emotional subject. A serious one. Often a painful one.
If you’ve had someone close to you die, you may be thinking the mantra ‘live each day like it’s your last’ is an honourable one to live by.
After all – the person you knew didn’t live forever. You certainly don’t have that option. So why not live like today is your last day? You don’t know. It could be.
Let’s play this out.
Let’s say I decided to live today like it was my last day on this here Earth. How would it go?
First and only item on the list: see all the people I love in my life.
Friends. Family. (But not the neighbour we had when I was 10. That woman was a nut job).
I’d want to see them all together. Given that I live in a different country to them, and they live in different locations, it would be impossible for me to travel to see them all within 24 hours.
There wouldn’t be enough time.
So we’d have to have a plan. With a place for everyone to travel to. In which case, I’d need to know in advance. To make the plan happen.
Seems like this living today like it’s my last thing isn’t gonna work out. Not spontaneously, anyhow.
But if I did decide in advance to do this, every. single. frickin. day, then I’d be pretty poor (flights are expensive, folks). And everyone repeating this Groundhog Day experience would lead to beating-head-with-club, because: there’s only so much quality time one can take.
So why the morbid?
Last week it was my Dad’s 13th anniversary. Of his death. He was diagnosed with cancer when he was 45.
I’ll be 45 13 years from now.
Can you feel the pain in that statement? The irony? Can you hear the thoughts swirling around in my head?
- What if the same happens to me?
- I’m scared of the suffering.
- I should start eating better. Must avoid the big C.
- There-is-so-much-more-that-I-want-to-do-13-years-isn’t-enough-and-cantcha-just-tell-me-who-I’m-meant-to-be-like, now?
And that’s the thing. There’s no spelling out of what the ultimate goal is. Deciding the WHAT is the place to start.
It’s the only power we have.
The power to make a decision on how we will live day to day. How little things build up to bigger things.
Whether the day is the first day of a new life. Or the last day of an old one.
This life, folks? There’s no pause. No rewind. And certainly no fast forward.
This is it.
And all that ‘life’s too short’ talk? I call bullshit.
Life always seems short in retrospect.
Whatever length of time you have, it’s up to you to decide how you’re going to spend it.
If you want to build a multi-million dollar empire, do that. If you want to spend your entire Sunday watching your Homeland box-set, more power to ya. If you want to take pictures of seagulls frolicking in the sand, then grab your camera and drive to the nearest beach.
Make that decision. And then go.
There was a time, just before he died, when we asked my Dad what he wanted. If he had any last requests. He looked at us. And simply remained silent.
Because he knew.
He knew that no matter what he said in that moment, it wouldn’t change the life he had lived. He didn’t have the power to give it any touch ups. Or have any do-over’s.
So what’s your decision today? What are you doing TODAY that will help you feel like this life isn’t short? That you’re doing all you can to live it the way you want to?
There’s no rewind, remember?
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