If you found out that you had six weeks to live, what would you do?

Remember- I know what you did last summer…

A few weeks ago a fellow blogger asked the question:

Do you think you will ever go to a concert again?

I commented in her blog that the minute concerts were allowed, I would be there. She said that I was very brave. I laughed because I am the most risk averse person around. I remarked back to her that she herself rides a motorcycle. I told her that she was in fact the brave one…

The thing is, we all have fears. We are all scared of things. We all weigh out risks, and decide if something is worth it.

Every day is a risk. As we speak, my city is gearing up for riots: store windows are being boarded up. Some buildings have hired armed security guards to protect the inhabitants. (does anyone else see the irony in this?) If I go out to grab a carton of milk tonight, there is a chance that I will be injured.

But isn’t that the possibility anyway?

Isn’t everything we do filled with chances that something can go wrong?

I grew up with a very overprotective Mother. She made up a character, Jan, and whenever my sister and I thought about doing something that my Mother didn’t consider safe, my Mother would say, “Well, when Jan did that, do you know what happened?” FYI- Jan’s transgressions included jumping on the bed, eating Halloween candy, playing kickball in the cul de sac, walking to school and riding her bicycle.

I bet that explains a lot about me…

Life, living, is a big giant risk.

There are no guarantees.

Ever.

While I am an advocate for protecting yourself to the best degree possible: seatbelts, condoms, designated drivers, masks…

At some point you have to actually live

I’m not afraid of dying. I mean really, that is the ultimate destination. We will all die. That’s a fact. It is our one commonality. We are all going to die. You can’t cheat death. Therefore, I’m not afraid of it. It will happen one way or another, no matter what we do…

But…

I am afraid of not living.

I am afraid that I will become so scared of the unknown that I will just crawl up in a ball and not do anything. Not experience anything. Just let the four walls of my apartment imprison me…

That, to me, is a slow and torturous death…

I woke up this morning. Put a pen and hand sanitizer in my bag. Put on a coat because it was 42 and sunny at 6:45 am in NYC. Donned my mask. My family, my daughter who voted for the first time!, and I walked around the block to our polling station to cast our in person ballots on election day. No wait, no line…

We went to breakfast at the diner. Indoor seating. Egg and cheese on an English muffin…

Because I want to live. And I want to enjoy things like voting and diners and all the other things that I love. I grew up thinking that everything I did could result in death…but I just can’t live like that…

We should always take precautions.

We should do everything in our power to lead a healthy life.

We should evaluate risk.

And we should just do whatever makes us whole.

Do the things that make this a wonderful life for you…

There are no guarantees…ever…

61 thoughts on “Live Like You’re Dying

  1. Exactly as I feel. I don’t jog along the freeway in the dark, but I am not averse to a walk at night.

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No wait. No line. That’s amazing.

    Cowards die many times before their deaths;
    The valiant never taste of death but once.
    Of all the wonders that I yet have heard.
    It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
    Seeing that death, a necessary end,
    Will come when it will come.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good advice. My sister, my niece.and I are.shopping.for the day. We will bring hand wipes, masks and hand sanitizer. We will eat at olive garder. We will live. Being together is worth the risk.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I used to ask myself.. “what would you do if you only had one week or one month to live?” Now that I am almost 60, I ask: how would I live if I knew I only had ten years left? .. VERY different answers. And btw, I am also seriously risk averse..but I (like you) want the freedom to choose where to place the barriers around my own life.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I think that for a while this past Spring, certain areas were roped off within Walmart because the product within those areas was considered non-essential. Like you know..Covid -19 is more catching if you are shopping for bras at Walmart than if you are grabbing peanut butter..at Walmart. 🤔 If we want to know how crazy the decrees can get..that’s probably an example of where we start.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I was expecting to see some action around the polling center in San Francisco when I took my son to work this morning but it was not too busy and there didn’t seem to be any issues. We’ll see what it’s like when I have to pick him up this afternoon. I am sorry that your mom used that particular name. I went by Jan for many years and some people still call me that, even though I reclaimed Janet, my given name, when I decided I needed to get back to myself – if that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Exactly. I write about living like you are dying but I need to be better about it. I’ve always played it safe and done what’s expected, but now that just going out to eat could kill you I think it’s time for me to make the leap and live live for me. Also – I don’t go to a lot of concerts, but as soon as it is safe and a band I like is in town I’m there

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I will continue to do the things that I enjoy, although I do have a problem when others do things that put me in danger. The Covid restrictions in our state just got pushed back a level because people have become complacent and are not following the guidelines so our numbers spiked. They will be the first to complain though.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I agree. No guarantees. And that bus could run us down no matter how much planning and how much we might think we control things. Truth is we can’t control much. But we can decide to try to live fully. Everyone probably has their own definition of that – worthy goals to strive for, before that ultimate exit

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad to see I am not the only one who uses the “getting hit by a bus” to inspire myself and others to get past certain, often ridiculous, fears. Even y over-worrier of a mom is finally starting to come to this realization. While my dad was alive, I liked to share the thought that, as I recall it, came from a page-a-day Murphy’s Laws (Dad was a big Murphy’s fan) calendar. Here it is – Worrying about something that may never happen is like paying interest on a debt you may never owe.

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Totally agree with you here. Do the proper precautions and live your life. We’re taking the RV to Big Bend in a couple days: biking, hiking, river running, trail riding. Yes, yes, yes! Gonna live!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. So many things outside our control…including winning the lottery, so take the dare, take on the job, a new friend, a new place to walk…make the change or changes and move forward. Live like today is your last day.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. sigh…I don’t fear dying, but I do fear no longer existing, I fear how my wife will get on without me…But that’s my anxiety getting the best of me. That no longer existing fear has plagued me for 32 years.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This is why I quit my job and moved to Ireland.
    I couldn’t handle the thought of spending the rest of my life working Christmas, evenings, weekends, while my friends and family did fun things – and in a workplace that does all it can to create a horrible work environment and remove all possibilities to do a good job.
    I also couldn’t handle having the potential of snow and ice, and the outdoors as something you need to protect yourself from, for up to 7 months a year.
    In Ireland I truly live. More so without the pandemic, but I don’t want want to die only one year and a half after I started creating a better life, so I do all I can to protect myself, I stay mostly at home when infection rates are high, I wear a mask when I go out and don’t mingle with crowds of people.

    What truly living means is different to everyone. For now, for me life is good if I feel safe, have interesting things to do and can keep a positive mindset. Instead of playing music in pubs I’m learning new guitar skills at home, I eat good food, create things, learn a bunch of other skills, and taste new whiskeys. Everything else that I used to love doing will certainly come back eventually.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve never cared for concerts, as I don’t like being packed in a crowd of people, listening to blaring music. That being said, I do intend to return to my old ways once we have this virus under control: eating in restaurants, attending church, going to my friend’s houses without fear, etc. I know it will never be 100% safe, but face it, life wasn’t 100% safe before Covid either.

    Liked by 1 person

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