Gonna live like I'm dying--a list of what I'd do/not do if I my time was almost up

  My ballerina dances like how I want to feel

Growing up at the end of the world (read my book about it HERE!), I kinda hate the whole "live like you're dying" thing.

I mean, I've been living like that since I was a kid and all it gave me was PTSD.

Still, I can see how important it is to seize the day (or, as I said in my book: carpe ALL the diems!) because we humans seem prone to getting off track, getting distracted, procrastinating, letting time slip through our fingers---and then we sorta "wake up" one day and say: "Where did the time go?"

I like summer because life slows down. I have a chance to pause, catch my breath. Do inventory. This summer I'm taking stock of my life, asking myself if I'm really LIVING the kind of life I WANT to live. 

So far in my 37 years I've survived a cult, overcome a lot of pain from my past, rebuilt a new life, had five kids, wrote a book...now what?

Oddly enough, thinking about what I would do/not do differently if I knew I was gonna die soon is actually putting things into perspective. Last night I started jotting down a list of things I would do/not do if I knew I only had a short time left.

I like lists. They help staple my ADD brain into one place.

What I Would Do/Not Do If I Knew I Only Had a Short Time Left to Live:

  1. Listen to live music more; go to concerts
  2. Take my dogs to the beach at least once a week
  3. Exercise at least 4x a week (I know, right? Who wants to exercise if they're gonna die anyway? Well, I do. Because exercise makes me FEEL better!)
  4. Spend more one-on-one time with my children and write down what we talked about or did.
  5. Try to be more accepting of my Dad and think of ways to engage him that will let him know I love him
  6. Write funny stories and perform them for the kids
  7. Teach catechism to 2nd year faith formation kiddos
  8. Preach on the love of God
  9. Go to Paris, Ireland, Scotland, Italy and Greece
  10. Meet Pope Francis
  11. Host dinner parties more often
  12. Run more 5ks
  13. Run outside more often, find new trails
  14. Journal every day
  15. Pray the Rosary every day + Adoration
  16. Have friends over at least once a week
  17. Play cards with friends
  18. Print pictures instead of keeping them hidden on my hard drives
  19. Send my nieces & nephew birthday presents more consistently
  20. Text my sister encouraging words
  21. Stop seeking affirmation from people who can't/won't give it to me; affirm MYSELF more often
  22. Let go of obsessing about all the ways I'm not perfect. Just let things be what they are.
  23. Quit worrying about my weight, my body, my stretch marks. Love and appreciate my body the way it is.
  24. Hand write an encouraging note to a friend at least twice a week
  25. Keep my gratitude journal up to date with at least 5 "gratitudes" per day
  26. Work on my Spanish
  27. Take piano lessons again
  28. Learn how to cook Greek food
  29. Be intentional about saying kind, encouraging words to my husband
  30. Get a pig, a goat and a miniature horse.
  31. Build a "writer's cottage" in my backyard
  32. Become an NYT bestselling author
  33. Use Charmin toilet paper exclusively
  34. Get my graduate degree in English so I can teach at the junior college level
  35. Write more inspiring books
  36. Memorize more Catholic prayers
  37. Floss every day
  38. Stop imagining worse-case scenarios
  39. Allow others to love me
  40. Lay off the self-deprecating talk
  41. Drink more good wine
  42. Be gentle with myself
  43. Weekly massages
  44. Stop apologizing for things that aren't my fault
  45. Surround myself with people who make it safe for me to say "no"
  46. Let go of pursuing friendships with people who just aren't interested
  47. Plant a vegetable garden
  48. Adopt more rescue dogs
  49. Go on picnics
  50. Spend time in the woods.

What about YOU? What would YOU do if you only had a short time left to live?