Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius is credited with the quote “Live each day as if it were your last”.
While many may believe this is a powerful, inspirational, motivating quote, for me at least it’s bullshit.
If I personally were to take this literally, my last day on earth would include the following:
As I would only have 24 hours to work with which doesn’t allow enough time to get on a flight to Minnesota, Wisconsin, or anywhere for that matter, I would call or video chat everyone I love to tell them goodbye. It would be terribly emotional and heart wrenching.
Once I collected myself from that activity, I would proceed to consume the following food and drink (in no particular order) : french fries, gourmet chocolate cake, lasagna, pizza, twizzlers, red wine, hot fudge sundae, chicken quesadillas, cheesecake, craft beer, warm chocolate chip cookies, Starbucks coffee, and cinnamon rolls.
Then after thoroughly puking my guts out, I’d listen to my favorite music. Picking artists and songs and listening to them would take up quite a large part of whatever is left of my last day on earth. However, the music would give me energy to press on to more important activities. Like spending time outdoors with my other half/best friend/best hubby ever. And then of course, a little hanky panky would be in order.
I would then proceed to spend time furiously writing checks to all of my favorite charities along with my two spectacularly wonderful adult children.
At that point, I would be ready to engage in having some fun and laughing so hard I’d be peeing my pants, such as watching favorite SNL clips from years gone by or random YouTube videos of toddlers, puppies, kittens, and goats doing hilariously adorable things on camera. That would then prompt me to seek out the nearest neighborhood dogs and small children so I could pet and interact with them (okay, maybe I wouldn’t actually pet the small children, that’d be wacko).
I would cap off my last day on earth with singing songs with or to Christopher (my beautiful grandson who turns 3 today) via video chat.
Then I would call it a day and presumably croke.
However, I would quite likely wake up the next morning (okay noon, but let’s be real here, yesterday was jam freaking packed!). So would begin another “last day on earth”. Oh the anxiety!! Good Lord!
So….this is my alternative to “live every day as if it is your last”:
“Love as if every day is your last”
As in…..as much as humanly possible:
Be kind to everyone you come into contact with.
Bake something yummy to share with friends/neighbors/co-workers.
Tell those you love what you love about them.
Give something you have (something you really love) to someone who needs it more than you.
Pass on favorite books, movies, or music to someone you know will treasure them as much as you do.
Smile and say “Hi” to strangers
Be radically hospitable to visitors to your home.
Pet stranger’s dogs
Lift up the good deeds others are doing.
I, for one, prefer to love as it if was my last day as an earthly being. Living “as if” it was my last day is far too exhausting. To me, loving every day as if it was your last is better than living as if it was.