Can You Really Live Each Day Like It’s Your Last?
Live every day like it’s your last. Pretty simple advice on getting you to live your best life and to keep you conscious of your own mortality.
Gwynn and I had a long drive to visit his folks this past weekend and to pass the time we started reflecting on the past week. Most days were great and we had at least something worthy of noting in our journals. Like Wednesday, for example, we had our first trip of the year to a pretty small town that is famous for its hot dogs…yes hot dogs. The weather was beautiful, above 20 C, it was sunny and warm, a spontaneous trip with the family for a relaxed dinner and ice cream. Thursday however was a different story.
Thursday was rather uneventful. The only thing we could think of that we could write about was grocery shopping, the same thing we do every second Thursday. A lot of you will be familiar with the sayings “Live every day like it’s your last” and “Make every day count”. We couldn’t get past the fact that nothing “special” or “noteworthy” happened that day and then thought “Was Thursday really a day worth living?” Sounds a bit grim but our answer was in general yes but this begged the question “can we really live each day like it’s our last?” Our answer in general was no. But why no? This wasn’t so simple to figure out. So, why can we not live each day like it’s our last?
Firstly, I think it’s entirely unrealistic to expect every day to be exciting full of journal worthy experiences. What makes certain days or events so special is when the thing you do to make them so special aren’t done very often. If we were to make every day adventurous, spontaneous or exciting wouldn’t they eventually lose their luster?
Secondly, I thought it would be irresponsible to live each day as if it were your last. Think about it. If you knew today was your last day on earth what would you do? Would you still head into the office, eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, go for a run in the afternoon and go to bed at 9pm? OR would you be a tad less responsible and skip work all together, chill out with your family, jet off to Disney World or go to your favorite spot and just be? I would definitely lean towards the irresponsible side. We decided that it wasn’t really the responsibility that was holding us back but rather having to deal with the consequences of our irresponsibility.
Dealing with the consequences
If we knew for certain that we wouldn’t be here tomorrow most of us wouldn’t give a second thought to skipping work all together, blowing through a large amount of money or not following through on some of our commitments. It’s not that we suddenly don’t care about our responsibilities but we won’t be here to face the consequences of our actions. Being irresponsible with money, as an example, is okay when you know you’re not going to have mortgage payments, college tuition or insurance payments to make. But if you are irresponsible with your money for one day to make it extra special, memorable or exciting there are real consequences to your actions and you’ll be responsible for those consequences when you wake up the next morning.
So we decided that it was dealing with the consequences of our actions that keep us in check and keep us relatively responsible from day to day.
The conversation didn’t end there
The next part of our discussion was rather intriguing and for which we simply don’t have an answer. What about people who have survived and came back from really dire situations (e.g. people with near death experiences and holocaust survivors) do they also have “Thursdays”?
My thought on this was yes, which takes us back to the beginning of our conversation. I don’t know for sure as I haven’t been in such a dire situation and certainly don’t wish to be but I wonder if they do or if the gravity of such a situation has truly changed the way they live each and every day.
So what does living each day to it’s fullest really mean then? The answers will be very different for each person. For me, I think it’s as simple as having a good day. One where I am grateful for being and breathing, enjoying the little things life has to offer, doing things that make me happy and spending time with the people I love. Living each day with no regrets.
I know there are more questions than answers here and I would really like to get your thoughts on whether or not you think it’s realistic to expect every day to be lived like your last or if just being content with how things play out is enough.
One Of The Best Weekends Ever
My Family Rules! 5 Rituals To Establish a Close Knit Family
Don’t Wait Their Little Lives Away
Go Ahead Make Your Day: 50 Ways To Make Today Shine
Gratitude Journal: 30 Days To Happiness
Tips To Enjoy Life
Photo courtesy of: Old Shoe Woman