Imagine going to the doctor for a routine checkup. You think everything goes well and a week later you get a call to come back in. When you get there, your doctor tells you that you have a terminal disease and you only have one year to live. This is what happened to Ben Wolf, the main character in the book I just read Deadline, by Chris Crutcher. Ben has to decide how he wants to live the last year of his life and what changes he thinks will allow him to pack the most into that year. This was a great book and although the ending could have been a little stronger it really got me thinking.
If you only had one year to live what would you change about the way you are live your life? Would you work as hard as you could to become the star of the football team? Would you go after the guy/gal of your dreams? Would you spend time with the person everyone over looks and make a difference in their life? Would you drop everything and go travel the world? The last and most important question to consider is why don’t you make these changes now?
People often pay the “what if” game with this question. If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do? I think a year is a better amount of time to consider than a day. It is long enough so that you don’t do anything drastic, such as spend your life savings on a night in Vegas, and it is short enough that it feels like you are running out of time, fast. No matter what the time is people should look at this question in different light or the answer at least. We should seriously consider the reasons why we don’t live the way we would if we knew we were dying.
Of course, there are the obvious reasons why you wouldn’t spend all your money if you were not actually dying. However, what is stopping us from making the other changes such as being more outgoing or taking more chances or going after those dreams that seem childish but are something we really want. Why is it that when people are faced with the end they will go after what they really want. I guess I know the answer to that: they have nothing to lose. However, they don’t realize they are losing everything when they aren’t living the life they really want to. It is time to change that. It is time to realize the changes we would make and start making them.
Yes, we don’t know we are going to die in a year but we also don’t know if we will live past tomorrow. We should strive to live every day in the way that we really want to. Make a list of the things you would change or do if you were dying in a year and start doing them. Make the changes you want to make now before it is too late, before your year is up