One Year to Live

August 22, 2017 - 4 minutes read

Suppose you knew that you had one year to live.

I’m not going to ask what you would do with your remaining year.  I’m going to share with you what I wouldn’t do with mine.

I wouldn’t buy a new car.  I love my red Tesla. It accelerates so quickly that I don’t ever push the pedal to the floor because I’m afraid of what might happen.

I wouldn’t start any new relationships.  I’d spend my time deepening the friendships I already have.

I wouldn’t be silent about political issues.  Expressing my strongly held beliefs might not change a thing, but I’d rather go out as a rabble rouser.

I wouldn’t spend time with people who bore me (and I wouldn’t be indirect about it).

I wouldn’t spend so much time at the office.

I wouldn’t pay attention to the news.  I would read books instead.  I would watch shows on TV that entertained me, rather than news shows on CNN, Fox News, or MSNBC that scare me.

I wouldn’t set an alarm to wake up in the morning, ever.  I would wake up whenever I wanted to.

I wouldn’t be afraid of rejection.  What the heck, it would only last for less than a year.

I wouldn’t care so much about the size of my bank account (not that I would be irresponsible).  Well, maybe a little.

I wouldn’t seek approval.  I would let it all hang out.

I wouldn’t buy any new clothes.  The ones I have are just fine.

I wouldn’t be so “polite” in my relationships.  I would get to the essence of what matters to me.

I wouldn’t tell anyone except my wife when I was going to die until the very last month.  It would be interesting for me to see how people not in on “the secret” treated the new me.

I wouldn’t start any new projects unless I knew I was going to be able to finish them.  My computer already stores too many half-written ideas.

I wouldn’t beg or bargain for more time. I wouldn’t bemoan my single year.  My time here always was limited.  The only difference – now I would know the expiration date.

I wouldn’t spend much time on the superficial.  I would spend more time on introspection.

I wouldn’t be as much of a couch potato.

I wouldn’t hang out with adults so much.  Maybe I’d help out by teaching fourth grade.

I wouldn’t read any weather forecasts.  I would just enjoy whatever comes.

I wouldn’t stop writing my blog.  The weekly deadline imposes a structure in my life that I like.

I’m sure, if you thought about it, you also have a valuable “wouldn’t” list.  Of course, the final “wouldn’t” for each of us should be:

I wouldn’t wait for tomorrow to fully be the person I would like to be today.


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