If You Just Had One More Week

Some good friends and I had an interesting conversation today.  The question we tried to answer was "What would you do if you knew you had only one more week to live?"  We mulled that around for awhile, talked about spending time with family, traveling, making amends, saying goodbye.  We each had a little bit different idea of how we would spend the time, mostly centered on those we love.   Regrets?  We didn't really have any or at least we didn't talk about them.  Maybe with only one week left, regrets would not be worth mentioning.

So later today I saw magazines in the grocery store about actress Valerie Harper being diagnosed with a brain tumor.  Doctors have given the former "Rhoda" star, three to six months to live.  For Ms. Harper the question we were discussing today is very real and not just an abstract "what if".  Harper's response to the whole situation is inspiring.  She says, "I don't think of dying. I think of being here now.

It might be a conversation everyone should have with themselves.  We each need to find a way to live our lives to the fullest every single day, whatever that means personally.  I don't think that always means we need to accomplish great things every day.  I like to think it means we notice the little things that make this world a beautiful place and do our best to be part of the beauty.  It means we find the things that make us happy, our passions, and pursue them wholeheartedly.  It means we try to make the world around us better in any little way we can.  Smile at the supermarket clerk, say excuse me when you bump into someone with your cart, let the driver in a big hurry go first.  It means letting the petty things go, letting our loved ones know they are loved, forgetting about our hurts.

In the process of doing the little things well, we might just accomplish something much greater than we imagined.  Let me know how you would spend your last week.

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  • I had to forget about my hurts long ago, or, at least ignore them. If I had a week to live I would hurry up and finish my book which is currently only 32,000 words, so I would have to hurry. Probably leave the proofreading until after I am dead. And then I would have to write a bunch of letters about things like how to clean the toilet, how to open the lid on the recycling bin, where the recycling bin actually is, what the recycling bin is for, etc., and where to sprinkle my ashes. No urn. Cardboard box. Which can then be put in the recycling bin.

  • Ah yes, the ordinary stuff, like recycling bins. I've learned to let some of those things go too. No one would care except me.

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