Live each day as if it matters

Ruth Griffiths

During the Remembrance Day season, I’m always touched by the movies depicting the lives of young men and women who were ripped from the routine of life to face imminent death during wartime. In the movies, some spent their last hours before deployment getting drunk. Some curled into a ball and cried. But most of those brave young people spent their last hours at home with the people they loved. They built on their relationships, living their lives to the utmost.

None of us has any idea how long we have to live. However, we act as if we are going to live forever. We postpone things that, deep down, we know we want to do. We spend most of our time and energy doing things that aren’t all that important. Sometimes we just idle away the hours.

What would happen if you lived each day as if it were your last? How would your life change? How many of the following things would you like to do, but feel you don’t have time for? What other things can you come up with? Try doing some of them every day for the rest of your life… for however long that is.

  • Start the book you’ve been meaning to read.
  • Sew on the button that keeps you from wearing a shirt.
  • Paint a room.
  • Make a child smile.
  • Spend an hour with an aging relative.
  • Clean out a drawer.
  • Get a makeover.
  • Try a new food.
  • Start learning the words to a song.
  • Adopt a pet from the animal shelter.
  • Spend an hour making notes about what you would like to do with the rest of your life.
  • Phone, write a letter or send an email to a faraway friend.
  • Start growing a plant.
  • Turn off your electronics and talk to the people who live with you.
  • Play a game.
  • Dance.
  • Take an hour and do nothing.
  • Really look into someone’s eyes.
  • Say to someone, “I love you.”

(The ideas for this column were gleaned from the book Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson.)