I’ve been visiting an Episcopal church lately and I just love the priest! (sorry, I’m Catholic and I have no idea if that is the correct term; Protestantism tends to confuse me…) He’s funny and entertaining and genuine. This past Sunday, he started a four week series called ‘One Month to Live’. He asked all of us what we would do if we knew we only had one more month to live.
It has kept me thinking ever since. What would I do? Honestly, I don’t have too many classic bucket list items. I’ve done pretty much everything I’ve wanted to, except maybe some travel that I haven’t gotten around to yet. Things like bungee jumping or climbing mountains don’t really interest me.
I think the first thing I would do is buy some cigarettes and start smoking again. I quit four years ago, but I would definitely not have quit if there weren’t bad consequences to my health. If I only had a month left, it wouldn’t matter whether smoking is bad for me or not.
On my very last day, I would try heroin. You’re probably all shocked now, but I hear that it’s the best drug-induced feeling you can have and I would give it a try if I knew it was my last day on earth.
I would write a book. Something I have always wanted to do, something that I have many ideas for, but have so far not been able to get myself to start. It would be hand-written because I actually much prefer that.
I would sleep in just one more time. I wouldn’t want to waste much of my numbered hours sleeping, but since I haven’t really slept a full night in about three and a half years, I would just love the luxury of one night of fantastically restful sleep.
Every last day would be spent with my children. I would take them with me and travel around the world to visit every single person I love so I could say my good-byes. Of course, my priority would be to see all my family.
Most importantly, I would be completely honest about who I am. No more social anxieties, no more holding back my beliefs or emotions. I would spend my last energy on loving everyone with all my might and to make sure that they knew how much they were loved. Nobody would have any doubts about who I really was or how I felt about them.
The priest didn’t ask his congregation to do this little exercise just for fun. Life is short. We should all be living life as if we only had one month left. Because none of us know how much time we still have here- it could be a century, a decade, a year, a month, a day, or even just one more minute. We so easily get distracted by every day life that we lose sight of what is really important.
Naturally, I can’t go nuts and start smoking and doing heroin because I might *possibly* die soon. And I can’t afford to fly around the world with the kids just in case. Those kinds of things are reserved for true end of life scenarios. However, what is stopping me from being who I really am? Why can’t I be the most loving I can possibly be right now? The answer is simple: nothing is stopping me but myself.
“Time doesn’t fly, but it steadily ticks away.”
What would you do if you had only one more month to live?