What if today was the last day of my life?
A question that I find myself pondering over every now and then more recently.
I’m not the first one to ask it and I surely won’t be the last one. But more and more recently that question comes to mind. When I drive in the car I suddenly realise that it could be over 5 seconds later, and who knows what the day will bring. I’m not scared when I think that, I’m not anywhere close to suicidal (trust me, I was, I know the difference, but that maybe another article someday). It mainly seems to be followed by a certain and sudden realisation of the profoundness of this question.
Let’s play it through, shall we my dear 5 readers a month. If today was the last day of my life what did I do with it?
I overslept this morning, couldn’t take a shower after a sweaty night in my much too warm attic flat (summer, you know).
I worked and what a day it was. I bet I would have taken it much lighter even considering I would have known it was my last day. Maybe even just considering the possibility. Perhaps the stress and even the exhaustion would have felt a little lighter. I guess I would have enjoyed the interactions with my coworkers more, inhaled the social contacts that I was given, appreciated it more.
I had a great talk with my neighbour. We talked about a lot of things. Her Saturday off, mine at work, a little gossip here, a little ranting there but overall it was a lighthearted conversation that didn’t drift too deep into hardships. It was nice. I hope for her as well.
And I spend some time on the internet. Youtube, Twitter and finally watching a new series.
The question that always comes to mind is:
What would I have done knowing it was the last day of my life?
And honestly, I don’t know. As creative as I think I am, I can’t seem to think of any profound or even profane answers to that questions. In my ideal self-picture I’d hope I would make the most of it. Play my guitar, talk to my best friend, trying to somehow (or at least hoping to) make every persons day perhaps a little brighter.
I guess I hope, that I would do something that I love, talk to people that I love.
- So, I think rather than going to work (even though I really do love my job) I’d grab my guitar, head out in the streets and make some music.
- I’d call my best friend of 23 years now, having on those ultra deep philosophical conversations with him.
- Well, I think in the evening I would spend the money I earned busking in a social place, perhaps having a beer or two.
- I’d cook one last meal, definitively a steak, within my asian style home made noodle dish, that I’m doing almost daily at the moment (but mostly with chicken, not with steak every day)
- And at last I think I’d meditate for a while, perhaps at some place in nature. I have a small river around 150m away from my flat. Taking in nature while calming myself, trying to experience this specifically one last time in an intense manner
Some time later…
I started this article a while ago, and it seems this break was quite helpful to get an idea of what I would do on my last day, if I’d know about it. But thinking about it and comparing my experiences over the last couple of weeks this is not as much of morbidity but rather an intuitive questioning about the intensity of experiencing life and circumstances.
Most of us, I’d assume, but definitely me, I’m rushing through life (even though I’m grateful that it doesn’t seem to slip through my fingers. Life is long and it feels like that). I eat, I work, I interact, I sleep. But little of it I do with an conscious attempt or a natural prevalence of really experiencing it.
When I eat, even though my food gets tastier in my attempts to create more of my foods for myself, I still rush the eating, if that makes any sense. Wouldn’t I want to taste every last bit of it in the most intense way possible? Wouldn’t I try to observe the journey of every bite, the changing textures, changing differences of intensity of used ingredients?
Well, at work I assume I’m quite intense actually. Work is my “social playground”, it’s where 99% of my social life happens and I’m almost hypnotised by my area of work. It’s challenging, it’s interesting only some days I think that I could have dealt with stress differently.
I think what I want to ask is: How much life are we actually experiencing? How much focus do we even place on it in a world filled with distractions. How much emphasis should we place on what we do, what we think and what we feel?
This isn’t an article about death! This is more of a thought-experiment how the knowledge it could end any second immediately seems to enhance the nature of basically any given experience in a manner of seconds. I think it’s because we don’t tend to think about the things we get used to take for granted any more. Maybe we could (or even should) try to remember sometimes how profound the smallest things in life can be, if we just try to experience them more consciously. And not just because it could be the last time we do!