I recently heard a cancer survivor on the radio encouraging listeners to live every day like it was the last. I’ve heard this sage advice many times. It always strikes me as heroic, particularly when it comes from someone who has dealt with something as scary as cancer.
So I got to thinking about what I would do if I really thought today was going to be my last day. I would certainly make a lot of changes. Just thinking about it excites me.
If I knew I would die tomorrow, here’s a list of the things I would do today.
Stop exercising. It’s too late now so forget about it. I’ve never enjoyed sweating–even during sex. I grew up with central air and know how to use it. Nope. I’ll gaze upon my fatness and appreciate every single day I watched television when I could have been exercising.
Stop Conserving Energy. I’d leave lights on all over the house, run the dishwasher before it was full, and set the central air to frigid. From now on, I’m keeping it cool enough to see my breath. No more programmable thermostat, either. Nope. What do I care about the planet? I won’t be here, and I’ll be dead when the bill arrives.
No more saying no to all my favorite foods. Nope. If I’m going out tomorrow, there is a long list of things I’m going to need to eat today. I’d head out to Ryan’s All-You-Can-Eat Buffet to load up on foods that are fried and/or have sugar as a main ingredient. No need to worry about trans-fats, either. Hello Oreos, fried chicken, and pizza–I’ve missed you.
No more eating crap I don’t like because it’s supposed to be good for me. Artificial sweeteners, lite and fat-free varieties, soy-based foods, and anything that comes from a goat are hereby forever banned from my plate. I’d throw all the whole wheat bread and pasta in the trash and load up on white bread and old-fashioned, nutritionally empty pasta. No more imitation butter spray either.
No more saving for retirement. In fact, I’m going to cash it all in and see how much of it I can burn through before I die. One of those motorized wheel-chair thingies–with baskets for my purchases–is at the top of my shopping list. There’s no time to order a custom job from the 800 number so I guess I’ll just steal one from Walmart.
No more chores. Like I’m really going to spend my last day cleaning toilets, mowing the yard or mucking gunk out of gutters. Nope. Not gonna happen. I might run the vacuum cleaner, but that’s just me and this thing I have about clean floors.
No more lies. That’s right. If I thought today was my last day, I’d stop editing myself and biting my tongue. Quite a few people would find out what I REALLY think about them.
But alas, today is probably not my last. God-willing, I’ll be around for at least a few more days. That means no banana split with chocolate cake and doughnuts tonight at Ryan’s either. Dammit. Guess I need toexercise and do some chores, here in…
My Glass House
(Adapted from Live Every Day Like Your Last, published originally on The Crotchety Old Man, 6/12/2009)