Only 30 Days to Live.
Did I get your attention?
What if you were just told you only had 30 days to live? Talk about instant decluttering! A serious crash course to be sure!
I want you to stop and ponder the reality of such a situation.
Anything you didn’t care about would be instantly decluttered from your life. People who weren’t worth your time, places you hated going, and things you despised doing… They would all be gone. Immediately.
Chances are if you felt the pressing need not to waste a second, you wouldn’t.
You’d have an excuse, after all. An airtight one at that. No one in their right mind would question anything you decided was in your best interest. Who would have the nerve? Not me! And not most people.
Release from guilt and obligation. Glorious.
To some degree, I’m sure I would still care what people thought, and I certainly wouldn’t want to intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings, but my bet is the sound of minutes ticking by would keep me on the straight and narrow. My time would be incredibly well spent.
If I had 30 Days to Live, what would I do?
I would want my husband to stay by my side and not leave for a moment. I would want his smile, touch, laugh, love, humor, and comforting presence of his handsome self to be with me every step of the way. The thought of losing out on one moment of life with him is not an option.
I would find delight in being surrounded by all of my kids. Reminiscing about good times. Laughing and crying. Soaking in every aspect of the tender, intimate bonds I share with my favorite people would be such a joy and comfort. In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to say I’d probably be dishing out a whole lot of advice, too. Some things just can’t be decluttered!
And my grandkids? I would surely be on the floor playing with them, reading books, and being as silly and fun as I could possibly be. I would study every inch of their precious faces and hold them close to my heart. I would tell them how much I loved them and how they have blessed my life. They have, without question, made me a better person and have brought overwhelming joy to my heart.
I might go for a hike, or two, and take one last spin on our boat, listening to the waves lap up on the sides and relaxing as the ‘No Agenda’ gently rocked back and forth.
I would definitely listen to music with my husband and slow dance until our legs gave out in exhaustion. And then we’d snuggle and listen some more.
Sisters, nieces, nephews, aunts, cousins…. My heart wouldn’t rest until I hugged each and every one who has been meaningful to my life.
And my friends. My sweet friends. There would several breakfasts planned, and I would probably stay at each of them through lunch, not wanting the time to end. A mere hour or two is never long enough to chat with my best girlfriends. Some of my most special memories with the amazing ladies in my life have happened over a cup of coffee.
Knowing me, I’d probably do a lot of comforting. I wouldn’t want those around me sad, so I would reassure them all that I’m okay with dying. Especially my Mom. No parent should ever have to bury their child. But they do. (And just for the record, Mah, I want to be cremated! Ground…dirt…bugs….YUCK! No thank you! My hubby already knows this!)
The beach. If possible, a trip to the beach would be on tap.
Ooooh, and if I could muster up the appetite, I would indulge in some of my favorite, unhealthy foods.
There’s a really good chance I’d do a little writing, leaving love notes and heartfelt messages behind for those I care about most. Especially for my young grandchildren who likely won’t remember my words or my voice.
Most importantly, I would do my level best to work through the fear and sadness so I could concentrate on thanking God for all He has blessed me with and for promising me a place with Him in Heaven. It might be challenging to express my undying devotion and gratitude during such a difficult time, but I would try. Hard.
Doesn’t it sound so simple? And pure? And lovely?
Then why do I often ignore investing my resources in such goodness? Goodness that brings an incredible rate of return on my investment.
The older and wiser I get, I ignore less and invest more.
So in that spirit, if I had 30 Days to Live, what WOULDN’T I do?
I wouldn’t worry about the tile that is bowing on the shower wall or the weeds that need to be pulled. The paint chipping in the laundry room would be the furthest thing from my mind.
My bank account would likely not be at the top of my worry list either; nor would my monthly bills.
There would be no time or desire to accept invites out of obligation or spend time with anyone I didn’t deeply care about.
Anything resembling drama would be carefully avoided. To be honest, there’s a part of me that wonders if I would settle some scores. You know, let a few people know exactly what I think about them. Even if I’ve forgiven them, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t hear the truth – finally. Right?! And what a perfect time to do it – when I could totally get away with it! But, when I follow through with this line of thinking, I quickly realize I’d have no interest whatsoever in wasting time with negative thoughts and actions. That would take away from my husband, and kids, and grandkids, and family, and friends, and God, and I wouldn’t do that.
I’d NEVER waste such precious time.
I’d never waste such precious time??
You mean like I sometimes do now?
Why does it take thinking of life being cut seriously short to encourage positive and healthy decisions on how I spend my time and energy?
Of course in real life the tile needs to be fixed and weeds must be pulled. Finances require attention, and sometimes, just sometimes, I have to say ‘yes’ when I want to say ‘no’.
But by far and large, there is room to declutter and make improvements. Having only 30 days to live calls for radical choices and action that may not always be appropriate in reality, but I am confident there is much to learn from this exercise and significant room for improvement.
So what would you do if you had just 30 days to live?
But even more importantly, what would you do if you had much more than that? If you had years to live? How could you declutter your life and make it more meaningful now?
Whatever comes to mind, I encourage you to do it. Don’t just think about it. While time is still on your side, make the most of it. For yourself, your family, your friends, and especially for God.