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:
- Listen to live music more; go to concerts
- Take my dogs to the beach at least once a week
- 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!)
- Spend more one-on-one time with my children and write down what we talked about or did.
- Try to be more accepting of my Dad and think of ways to engage him that will let him know I love him
- Write funny stories and perform them for the kids
- Teach catechism to 2nd year faith formation kiddos
- Preach on the love of God
- Go to Paris, Ireland, Scotland, Italy and Greece
- Meet Pope Francis
- Host dinner parties more often
- Run more 5ks
- Run outside more often, find new trails
- Journal every day
- Pray the Rosary every day + Adoration
- Have friends over at least once a week
- Play cards with friends
- Print pictures instead of keeping them hidden on my hard drives
- Send my nieces & nephew birthday presents more consistently
- Text my sister encouraging words
- Stop seeking affirmation from people who can't/won't give it to me; affirm MYSELF more often
- Let go of obsessing about all the ways I'm not perfect. Just let things be what they are.
- Quit worrying about my weight, my body, my stretch marks. Love and appreciate my body the way it is.
- Hand write an encouraging note to a friend at least twice a week
- Keep my gratitude journal up to date with at least 5 "gratitudes" per day
- Work on my Spanish
- Take piano lessons again
- Learn how to cook Greek food
- Be intentional about saying kind, encouraging words to my husband
- Get a pig, a goat and a miniature horse.
- Build a "writer's cottage" in my backyard
- Become an NYT bestselling author
- Use Charmin toilet paper exclusively
- Get my graduate degree in English so I can teach at the junior college level
- Write more inspiring books
- Memorize more Catholic prayers
- Floss every day
- Stop imagining worse-case scenarios
- Allow others to love me
- Lay off the self-deprecating talk
- Drink more good wine
- Be gentle with myself
- Weekly massages
- Stop apologizing for things that aren't my fault
- Surround myself with people who make it safe for me to say "no"
- Let go of pursuing friendships with people who just aren't interested
- Plant a vegetable garden
- Adopt more rescue dogs
- Go on picnics
- Spend time in the woods.
What about YOU? What would YOU do if you only had a short time left to live?