How significant is a new year? Each day is a new day, right? The fog of sleep lifts and the conscious mind focuses. Everyday, we must engage the day, choosing to be and do the day. Sometimes, when we are wounded or reticent, we avoid the day. We shelter at home, protecting ourselves from the slings and arrows, right? We read or sleep or busy ourselves with the minutia and the mediocrity. Anything to escape facing the day.
But what if this were our last day? What if, like a planned trip with a reservation and a boarding pass, we knew EXACTLY when we would leave the planet? How might we live today? How might we have lived the last 35 or 40 years.
Somewhere between the age of 10 and 15, life got real for me and I have been “in charge” ever since. I had to make my decisions and be responsible. But the future was always wide open and my possibilities were endless. That is the gift of youth and naivete. But what if, at the age of 14 we were handed a stiff, formal envelope and inside was the EXACT day of our completion on the planet? Does that give us motivation?
I think for the young, this information would be a BUZZKILL. Part of the momentum of youth is the aspiration to experience and the call to adventure. The UNKNOWN calls us forth to be bold and courageous.
But I think as we get older (and this year I approach 50) the idea that this TIMESTAMP might exist is an absolute motivator. It makes me want to live my life, my DAY, to its fullest. I want to savor and cherish and feel as much as possible. Have an occasional extra drink and twirl in the inebriation. Sing aloud. Walk in the rain. Feel the sun on my skin. Listen to my sons laugh (or fight). Make love. Fall in love. Be open. Smile at strangers or even when I am totally alone. I can feel the endorphins flood my brain when I smile. It’s its own mini-high. Be kind. Keep believing in the outrageous, the stupendous, the screwy and quirky. Be bold and brave and couch the fear for today is truly a wonderment.
And if you have the opportunity listen to one or all three of these songs:
And then, get up and do the day like a 17 year old kid but with the wisdom and skill-set of a full-fledged adult. You just never know what the future holds. Today might be your last day. Or, today might be the day you fall in love again (or all over again). It might be the day you learn you will be a grandparent. Maybe you will get a new dog or buy a new car or see your favorite Matisse (the one you had a poster of in college but have never see in real life). Today maybe filled with surprises. So LIVE! And sin bravely.