Has your last day ever crossed your mind? What if you knew it was tomorrow? What’s the first thing you would do on your last day? Me? I’d probably reach out to as many people as possible who’ve meant something to me and tell them that I love them while eating a huge stack of pancakes. Does this say something about my life priorities? Probably. I’m selfish but I love in big ways and I enjoy pancakes. Go figure. I would probably make a video about what it feels like to know and the thoughts going through my head. I feel like video/audio flows better than writing for me sometime. I would probably want to document some funny stories and/or life lessons. Aha! What if I launched a one episode podcast titled “The End” or some other ominous nonsense? Or coming soon to Netflix, One Man, One Season, One Episode, “Spoiler: I die.” I read Tuesdays with Morrie last year and I loved every bit of how the book approached the subject of life and death (the movie was so-so, read the book instead). I don’t pose these questions to sound despondent or macabre, but I think they can help identify priorities for some of us weirdos who think about this kind of thing from time to time. My first thing wouldn’t be to go to work, since I don’t value my job enough to do it without knowing a paycheck is coming. Simply put, I wouldn’t do my job for free. It’s not a mission or a calling you know, I’m not helping starving people, saving lives, helping the unemployed homeless or veterans and I’m not fighting against tyranny and injustice. Maybe I should be doing these things. Instead, I supervise underpaid people and try to convince them to do shit work at high rates of speed to feed the consumerist machine. We also don’t seem very environmentally conscious as a company, which bothers me more now that I mention it than I thought it did. Totes Awesome! Learning new stuff about me! What next? I’d probably paint something. Regardless if I haven’t painted in forever and I think most people throw them away after a year or so. I enjoy the process of painting and not necessarily the outcome sometimes (if I’ve given you a painting and you hate it, please throw it out, don’t keep it out of some perceived obligation to me). It’s funny to note that I don’t think I would drink or get high because I wouldn’t feel that need for escape, I’d want to savor every moment and not “time travel” with drugs and alcohol. That’s kinda weird to say. Hmm. Curious. As much as I love actual traveling, 24 hours to live doesn’t feel like a lot and when you’ve really gone some places in your travels, you learn that shit can be far away. Close for a week, far for a day. I don’t know if I’d be interested in eating the rest of the time. Food would seem kind of pointless other than for some pleasure response and would take time of course. Not saying I don’t value food. I enjoy it but being a “foodie” doesn’t seem to be a priority for me. I’m okay with pancakes being my last meal.
These sequences of thought can be interesting, relentless and, without the right state of mind, they can be upsetting. I understand that it’s hard and you’re doing the best you can. Or did you spend 3 hours watching cat videos today? I’m not judging. I’ve watched hours of Irish people eating/drinking American creations and then reacting to them. I’m not saying it’s okay if that’s what you did today but you can’t change it now so, what about tomorrow? It’s important to remind ourselves that we each have a limited amount of time and as much as I hope that we get to see each other again, nothing is certain. Your tombstone isn’t going to read that you were “The Best District Sales Manager” around. People aren’t going to remember that you had the Balenciaga Triple S’s ($1200 sneakers) first when they came out. I think we underestimate what really matters at the end and spend a lot of time chasing stuff that won’t matter at all. Legacy is an interesting concept. Let them know you we here. That your life mattered. Even if it was only to you.
“Think of yourself as dead. You have lived your life. Now, take what’s left and live it properly.” – Marcus Aurelius
4 thoughts on “The Last Day…”
I lost someone this morning. Not someone I was ever really close too, but someone I would have liked to have known a little better as an adult. We spent time together and kids, and as we grew our families drifted apart. I wont bore you with the architecture of our family tree, but he was some kind of cousin. He had 4 kids who are thankfully alive, and a wife who died with him in a car accident. I cant help but wonder who he was now? I laughed thinking about how he gave me the 1st drink I ever had. I read through his Facebook posts, but that’s like using a pen light in complete darkness. The sad thing is, this isnt the 1st time it’s happened. I’ve lost others that I wanted to get to know again eventually. You know, when time allowed and life wasn’t so crazy. My tombstone should read “Crystal: she had the kindest thoughts but she never bothered to make the time to share them”.
Sorry to hear about your loss. Of course, that’s what it is, right? Loss. You can’t get that time back and change what happened. All you can do is decide whether or not the pain of this loss is enough to make you change behavior for the future. Some people say that social media has made us more recluse but I don’t think it’s this way if you use it correctly. Send an email, a text, a Facebook message when you have those kind thoughts. “Hey, I’m sure you’re busy but you’ve been on my mind today and I want you to have a great day.” It may come off as super random to some people but it doesn’t matter, they’re going to have a better day knowing someone cares about them and so are you. Your tombstone could read that you never had time to share your kindest thoughts, but it doesn’t have to. Even if you only have today left, you can change everything about how you live.
Love it! Your writing just gets better and better! ❤️
Thank you. I’m just going to keep writing when it comes and not try to force it.