Yesterday doesn’t matter because there is nothing you can do about it. I could end the post here. That’s really the bottom line. I’m a bit introspective today because the prospect of death and mortality does that to you. I was with someone yesterday who had recently received the news that the doctors could do no more for their cancer. One of the bravest people that I know has been fighting this awful disease for the last 11 years and has now been given the news that there is nothing else that can be done.
This got me into a conversation with my wife about my own potential demise. No, I wasn’t depressed or anything like that. I was simply in an environment where I was reminded that as much we fight it, life ends at some point. You are born, you live and then you die. As different as we think we are, this is the same process that EVERYONE goes through. Born, live, die! Wow, talk about consistency! Talk about predictability! I spoke with my wife about what I wanted, what she should do if life support options were presented, what should happen if my quality of life were to be compromised. I sat there thinking about my changing mindset, my view of life and its end and how much it had changed. I remember renting a Ford Probe GT (remember those?) and driving down a back road in Massachusetts at 100 mph with 6 or 7 people in the car. If you remember those cars, you know they were barely designed to seat 2 people. I thought that I was invincible. The prospect that life would end at some point never crossed my mind.
I remembered being awfully sarcastic, somewhat cynical, and saying words just because they would draw a laugh. I wasn’t always concerned about how it affected the person that heard them. It never occurred to me that words couldn’t be UNSAID!! You can only say “I’m sorry” and then keep it moving. I remember being told to be careful about what I watched. I couldn’t fathom that I could not UNSEE the things that I saw!
Born, live, die! That didn’t apply to me. It was just a story that I read. It happened to other people. Sometimes it even happened to people in my family, but it didn’t apply to me personally. Only, it does! At least, I’ve come to that realization. So, now that I realize this, what am I supposed to do with it?
Well, I could recognize that and become extra careful so that bad “stuff” doesn’t happen to me. I could also go crazy and not care about what happens since we are all going to die anyway. I could choose to believe in a divine Being and determine to live my best life and hope for eternity. I could choose to do the best I can and just depend on the mercy of God for eternity. I could also just live, enjoy this life for what it is and then when I die, I just…..well, die. I’ve got choices! Yes, I do! No matter what I choose, the only thing that matters is today….the things I do today. I can’t change what I did yesterday. I can affect tomorrow but I can’t do anything about yesterday.
So, tomorrow! I told my wife that if I were given a terminal diagnosis, as long as I could move around, I would want to enjoy family, see as much as I could and have as much fun as I could, affect as many peoples lives as I could. As soon as I said it, my heart said, ” Dude, why wait?? Be exceptional TODAY!”
So, I woke up this morning looking to create something new. I woke up looking for an opportunity to be exceptional. I woke up committed to making today count! It’s not possible for me to do any of this yesterday. Today is possible!