Live as if It was Your Last Day - Sort Of

Michelle Kuehner |

By Gary Silverman

I was thinking of that quote and others like it. It’s especially interesting to me since I’m dying. Don’t get your hopes up…in some sense we’ve all been dying since we were born. But we were also growing physically, emotionally, intellectually. So perhaps we grow in these areas to a point and then we start dying. Or maybe you consider dying only when things start going wrong quickly. (Yes, this is one of my philosophical, would Gary please get to the point, type of articles. Sorry about that.)

Still, in my case, which I’m acutely interested in, I was told that I have the arteries of an 84-year-old. When I read the report, I wasn’t exactly thrilled…and that was three years ago. In those three years I’ve also found out what my birth father and maternal grandfather died of: heart disease. (I was adopted, so never knew my genetics.)

To vaguely quote my cardiologist, I was born a clogger. My prognosis? I’ll be fine. Yes, I’m being monitored a bit more closely, but everything seems to be flowing well and while there are several little things going on inside my chest which are not optimal, nothing is yet to the point where I need worry about a shortened life. And there’s this little secret: We will all die of something.

But maybe this little wake-up should make me live life differently. If that’s the case, I’m thinking that living as if it was my last day isn’t the way to do it. After all, I’ve got a bucket-list trip planned to Iceland in 2026. If I pretend every day is my last, I’d never get around to doing anything about it.

My clients also wouldn’t like it too much. I love my job, but I think very few of us would spend our last day at work. I wouldn’t shop for groceries, get gas for the car, take a shower or water the plants.

Live as if it was your last day is one of those sayings that gets you to think profound thoughts and silly ones as well. So, let’s get back to what it actually means: Focus on the important rather than the trivial. It’s about being wise, about having the right perspective, about having balance. Work, play, and love; eat drink and be merry; do unto others; teach someone how to fish; love God and love your neighbor.

Hard to fit that all into a day which is why I prefer to live the dichotomy: Live as if it is your last day and live as if you will go on forever. Have that ice cream cone and that bowl of spinach. Watch the sunset with someone you love and get that workout in. Pray to God and watch a baseball game.

Enjoy life no matter how long it is.

And now a special PS: Did you know there are 20 quadrillion ants scurrying around the earth right now? It’s an interesting fact that I couldn’t figure out how to fit into any other article or daily conversation. Ah, I feel better now.