What would you do differently?

July 7, 2014 Sandra Dawes

I watched The Angriest Man in Brooklyn on the weekend.  I won’t give too much of the plot away, but the Robin Williams’ character live-life-76113798916is told that he has a brain aneurysm and that he has 90 minutes to live.  The rest of the movie is about what this man does with the limited time that he has left.  It made me wonder, what would I do differently if I knew just how limited my time on earth really was?

Whether it was 90 minutes or 90 days, I know that I would definitely be more mindful of how I was using my time.  I would want to spend quality time with the people I love, letting them know without a doubt how much I loved them.  I would release any bitterness or resentments I may still be holding onto.  Most importantly, I would spend the time I had left enjoying life. No complaining, no worrying, and just enough sleep to ensure I was functional enough to enjoy the following day.

The question I always ask myself when I watch movies like this, is why does it take an expiry date for us to focus our energy on the things that are really important to us?  We’re all going to die at some point, yet it’s only if we know exactly when, that many of us get the wake up call to focus on what’s important to us.  At one point in the movie, Robin Williams breaks the news to one of his friends that he’s dying and his friend’s response it “aren’t we all?”  I know that it’s not something I like to spend a lot of time thinking about, but our physical bodies aren’t designed to last forever are they?

Why wait for a diagnosis or accident to tell people how you feel about them, or to do the things that bring you joy?  There are very few of us who know how long we really have on this planet.  Do you have things that you want to do before your time here is up?  If you’re not doing those things, what are you waiting for?  I think we have to stop treating life like my mother’s fine china, only putting it to use on special occasions.  Don’t wait for holidays, birthdays and anniversaries to tell people how much you love them, do it every chance you get.  I know from my own personal experience, you never know when it may be the last time.

Life is a precious gift, but that doesn’t mean we have to keep it safe and not use it to the fullest.  Would your approach to life change if you shifted your way of thinking about it?  What would you do differently if you stopped thinking you had all the time in the world to do things and started living your life as if any day could be your last?  I don’t know about you, but I would spend less time sweating the small stuff and focus all of my time and energy doing the things that were important to me and the people I love.  Isn’t that what life’s about anyway? ♥

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