I heard a joke once that went something like “I tried to live each day as if it was my last, but I eventually gave it up because I got tired of cancelling funeral arrangements.” Morbid, perhaps, but it gets to the root of the problem of really living each day as if it were your last. Now, nobody really says to literally do that, but it got me thinking. What would be the optimal time period?
I came up with five years. If I only had five years left, I couldn’t just quit working and screw off, but I would have a very enhanced sense of the preciousness of life. I would be working hard to complete certain short and mid term goals. I would be doing a better job at work because I’d want to make those last few years really count. I’d make some improvements to my health, both physical and mental, so that I could better enjoy those last five years. I would push my art farther and do better with it, because I would want to leave a lasting mark on this world. Then I wouldn’t feel anything was wasted.
As you get older, time seems to move faster and faster. You think you have forever in your twenties, then your thirties smack you in the face one day, and it only speeds up from there. So do more with what you have. Strive for fewer regrets. If you have a talent, develop it a little. Learn something new now and again. Let the people you love know it. Get out from behind the monitor now and again and look out at the world. Draw in a park. Take a walk.
I don’t want to wake up one day, finding myself eighty years old, and wonder where the time as gone, and realize that I did… absolutely nothing.