Having just experienced a milestone 40th birthday, thereby turning a decade older, I realize that I am just a year younger than my mother was when she died at 41. I also realized that I am only half the age of my 80yr old home care client. Were I to live to be as old as my mother, it would mean I have but 1 more year to live. It has made me sit and think, if I knew for a fact that I only had one more year to live, how would I live that year? On the reverse side of that, if I live to be 80 years old, that means I have literally only lived half of my life. Since I don’t know how much time I have left on this earth, it leaves me to both explore and be prepared for both possibilities.
If I only had a year left to live
If I only had one year left to live, I’d want to make sure I leave SOMETHING behind for my children. I’m not exactly raking in the dough, but I’m stable enough that the last thing my children and their caretaker will have to worry about is immediate financial needs. I’d also want to have the best, happiest year with my children. I want to leave them with memories of laughter far outweighing memories of frowns. No more being a chore nazi. If the apartment is a little messy, oh well. I need more time out and about, exploring with my babies, having a good time instead of inspecting every little thing. I need them to feel just how much I love them.
I need to work smarter, not harder in order to optimize my time. I want to learn to play acoustic guitar because I don’t want to die without having played Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car and Toni Braxton’s Let It Flow with my own hands at least once. I want more naps on the beach, and to have at least one person feel that I have made this the best year of their life. These are just a few of the things I wish to accomplish before my next birthday. I’m glad to say I’m progressively working toward completing every goal on my list and loving it.
If I have 40 more years to live
Should I live to be 80, that would mean up to this point, I’ve only lived half of my life. That means life is far from over; for the lifetime I’ve already lived, I have an entirely new one to go. An entire new lifetime to still achieve every and anything I haven’t up until this point. Considering many facets of my life up until this point, the thought of possibly having another 40yrs to go is exhilarating, to say the least. It’s like seeing an entirely new lifetime laid out before me. One in which I am already older and wiser; now knowing what pitfalls to avoid and what chances I take that will be worth the payout. Experience has taught me how to better navigate life in general. What more can I ask for?
The possibility of seeing the last of my babies graduate, and go on to be better than me. Time to leave an even bigger legacy for my children and grandchildren. I’ll have a chance to make awesome memories with my grandbabies. Maybe be that grandmom who always gives money and gifts and bakes cookies. By then, I could play any song I wanted on the guitar for my husband, kids, and grandkids. Time to finally actually finish a crochet project. More stamps in the passport, winters in Africa, and summers in the Caribbean.
Either way, life’s not over
By age 40, often times, people feel they have made so many mistakes in life, missed so many opportunities, burned so many bridges etc. that they allow themselves to feel either defeated or already completely fulfilled. As if life is already over or the rest of their life is already set in stone. It could very well be that you only have a year left….but it could also be that you have 40 more left.
What Do You Need To Do Before You Die?
If you KNEW you had one year left, how would you spend it? What would you add to your life? What would you subtract from it? If you KNEW you had another 40yrs left, an entire new lifetime to still achieve every and anything you haven’t up until this point, how would you plan for that? Older and wiser now, how do you want to spend the second half of your life?
For me, since I don’t know how much time I have left on this earth, both are definitely on my mind. I fully intend to explore and be prepared for both possibilities. Whether I have a year or 40, either way, my ship is coming in.