“Life is what happens while you are busy making plans.” -John Lennon
“Death is what happens while you are busy making plans.” -Back Cover of Spooky Little Girl by Laurie Notaro
I recently read a book about a girl who dies and is sent back to earth as a spirit to complete a task. The author certainly didn’t mean to write a spiritual masterpiece, but I walked away from her story a little more connected to my own life. Here is why…
The Buddhists speak often of contemplating death to enjoy your life more fully. The Yogis say to prepare yourself for death by knowing the body is a temporary vehicle and when we pass, it is like taking off an old coat. I have always struggled with this concept since I really love my life and don’t want to go anywhere.
What if you knew each day was your last? What would you do differently? How would you react if your kids were whining and it was your last time with them? Hmmm… I am not really sure. But I can imagine I would take a deep breath before yelling and offer a hug before a time out. Is this the best parenting tactic? I don’t know. But at least I would be at peace knowing I offered them love and kindness in that moment.
This is something I have been working with and was part of the reason I left my job. Each week I wondered what I would do if it was my last or if I had no fear. This moment of contemplation helped me find a way to live my life more fully, be with my family more often and appreciate all parts of my life.
What if you knew today was your last day? Would you talk on the phone while your spouse read a book? Would you spend your time reading or go for a walk with the family? Would you spend the day complaining or savor each moment? Maybe taking a little time each day to think about this will help us all become more connected with the present moment and more mindful of our short time on this planet. So, instead of planning for the future, take a deep breath and imagine there isn’t one. What will you do differently today?