As far as I know, I am in excellent health for a fifty year old – and I’m 57. But, think
with me for a few minutes; what would change in my life if I was told I had one year to live? Gone would be the long-term goals. In their place, would remain stark priorities; things that could realistically be completed in 12 months if I stepped up the pace. I could not afford to waste any time. My bucket list would be overhauled from, “someday I would like to have a Phd. in Music,” to “what information and knowledge do I need, right now, to make better music?” “I want to be published, and achieve a certain amount of acclaim,” becomes, “I want to write my heart, get it all on paper, for the benefit of those who follow after and the great conversation.” Suddenly, it would be clear to me exactly what I wanted to do and what was important.
People who have only a year to live spend lots more time with family. They renew old friendships and polish up their relationships, making sure all those stories that need to be told are told; that all the words that need to be said are said; that all the missing pieces are put in place. I want to make sure to fulfill my mission, complete my calling, fulfill my heart’s desire, keep my soul in excellent heath by performing lots of music, walking, writing; and reading what philosophers and sages have written. If I had only a year, I would want to maintain good health and an attractive appearance, so that I might go out with a bang, sail into port grandly. To that end, I will cut my hair, iron my clothes, choose my wardrobe carefully. But, one year is not long enough for braces or facelifts. I want to invest in life-long friendships and loving and tending of family. There is no time to waste on pursuing or flirting with new relationships.
I will endeavor to live 2012 as though it is my last year. I will invest more time and soul in family, music, writing, spiritual and emotional health, and friendships. While I want to live as though I have been given only a year; I am not one who can live as though there is no tomorrow. Inevitably the doing of these things – travel to be with family for milestones and memories, daily needs of food and shelter- present financial challenges.
I want to be about the business of putting my house in order; settling my debts; reconciling my accounts; mending fences. A year of life is short. There will be challenges. Never-the-less, I have decided to live 2012 as though it is my one and only year to live.