Six Months to Live


We all waste time. Some of us more, some of us less, I certainly know I do, but what do we do about it? One of the classic questions is “what would you do if you had a week to live?”

This is too short term a question to use as a real too, though. We want to pick a time frame that creates urgency but doesn’t give us so little time that the answer is irresponsibility and empty pursuits.

I propose six months. If I ask myself, “What would I do if I had six months to live?” then I feel urgency but at the same time I wouldn’t do anything rash like quitting my job. I would, however, want to work harder on my various projects, improve my art, have closer relationships with my loved ones, and try to spend the end of my life in a peaceful sort of way. I wouldn’t be interested in wasting time. I’d still take time to relax and have fun, but my intensity would go up.

I’d take the walks I’d meant to take, write the letters I’d meant to write, make sure I got that last novel done. I’d write more, paint more, waste less time online. I’d try to come to some sort of peace. I’d try to have at least one adventure. Also, I’d leave some provision for surviving, after all, because nothing is guaranteed until it happens. But I wouldn’t waste my time.

If you had six months to live, what would you do?