For some reason I get really annoyed when I hear people say, “live everyday as if it were your last.” First of all, if I were to do that I’d be morbidly obese. I’d most likely start my day by eating Eggs Benedict with hash browns slathered in hollandaise sauce. I’d drink a big cup of coffee and probably have a donut and then fly to Paris or London and eat some more. Or maybe I’d start by buying a dozen donuts of all variety and take a bite of each one, slowly savoring all those delicious tastes that I usually restrict myself from. I’d still be in my pajamas at this point, most likely eating the donuts in bed. After the donuts I’d go find the perfect brunch spot to have my last Eggs Benedict. I would make sure and ask for extra hollandaise in case they’ve skimped a little. As I write this, I realize I have no idea which brunch place I’d go to for this last meal. I should probably start researching (or rather auditioning) restaurants now to be prepared, or in case I do decide at some point to “live each day as if it were my last.” Currently, I eat oatmeal for breakfast in the hopes of having a more comfortable tomorrow.
In addition to the poor food choices, the urgency of time would most certainly drive me to make rash decisions. I’d feel desperate to experience everything one last time. I can’t be sure what I’d do but anything is possible. I definitely would not go to work. I suppose ideally if you had a job you loved you wouldn’t mind spending your last day working, doing what you usually do, I however am not in this position yet. Does that mean I should quit my job then? This is a scary thought, another reason why living each day as if it were my last doesn’t sound appealing. I’m well aware my job doesn’t pass the “last day of my life” test, but I’m still working that one out.
I wouldn’t be able to go to work anyway because in all reality I’d spend the day telling everyone in my life I love them. I’d go around to each person and tell them all they have meant to me. I’d say heart-felt things and mean them. I might even draw them a picture as a token of my love and something to remember me by. I’d spend the entire day crying and hugging everyone. For this reason living everyday as if it were my last wouldn’t be a good idea either; I’d have permanently puffy “I’ve been crying” eyes. If I were to go around everyday telling everyone I loved them and being as gushy as I know I’d be, I might throw up and so would they. Not everyone can digest that level of sentiment all the time. It reminds me of a story David Sedaris wrote about his mother while she was dying of cancer. He is clearly very close to his family but none of them are prone to expressing it. Given the circumstance, he felt he should try so he said, “I love you” to his mother one night while ending a phone call with her. Her response was, “I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.” It wasn’t something they normally said and he beautifully illustrated the fact that just because it isn’t said doesn’t mean that it isn’t felt.
It’s possible I’m taking the concept of living each day as if it were my last too literally. Perhaps it’s more of a reminder to walk slowly, notice the trees, the people passing by and take the time to smile. Perhaps it suggests a more subtle experience of life. Rather than focusing on the urgency of the senses, maybe it’s a call to rest more and enjoy where you are, who you are with and what you are doing. Seeing the moment with as little judgment as possible and perhaps more love. I know that when I feel loving towards myself, others and my situation, it could very well be my last day on earth and I would be fine with that. All somehow feels complete in the moments when I fail to see the cracks or problems, it feels complete when I am focused on the good. Maybe that’s what those words mean. I suppose I get annoyed by the phrase because deep down I know I spend much of my time thinking about tomorrow, waiting for a better time, a more convenient time or just a happier time. Maybe I get annoyed because it feels like a lot of pressure to live each day as if it were the last. What if I do it wrong?! Or maybe I’m just hesitant to have a good time. It seems to me it’s a state of being rather than any particular activity. Maybe I don’t have to tell everyone I love them everyday but I can do my best to spend more time feeling it.
For Everyone – As promised, something to remember me by.