So, very recently, I’ve had a friend diagnosed with cancer. Terminal cancer at that. He’s been given a very short time (6 weeks – 3 months) left here to fight the good fight and get the things done that he wants to to — at least in this life. He must not hesitate to do the things that he hoped to accomplish NOW as we know that his tomorrows are very limited and will far more likely be an uphill climb than a downhill coast. Through a tremendous outpouring of love and support of friends, family, and strangers alike – he married his long time love in a dream wedding last weekend. Hopefully (if he can feel well enough) they will head off on a dream honeymoon in the very near future.
And then there’s me. The one, like so many others, who wakes up on Monday and begins counting down till the next day off, the next weekend, the next vacation. Who hoists my body out of bed with a promise that I’ll be back home in just under 9 hours if I go now. Who happily looks at my phone each morning to see the weekdays advance creeping me closer to the weekend that I crave.
As I sat at work today begging the clock to head to 4:30 and then walked home from work something hit me. I felt rather cruel and trite for pushing the clock forward when there are others – those that I know and those that I don’t – that are just begging it to slow down. That would gladly take all the days I don’t seem to want – you know the offenders – the days that seem to drag on, the days where I am frustrated, sad, challenged, scared, or sick. The days where the dog throws up in the car, you burn the toast, you drop your cup of coffee or spill your food right down the front of your dress. THOSE DAYS. They will take them if it means that they get to add time to theirs. Even if they had to take on my sick self days, they’d do it if it meant that three weeks became three weeks and a few hours. More time to love those they have and I can almost guarantee they wouldn’t waste it sitting around whining about much.
The irony of the entire thing is, even if we ourselves are never faced with a terminal illness, we all will face a time that we wish for more time. A place that we wish we had more time to say and do the things that we have always intended to. Where we suddenly feel inspired to share with one another the wisdoms we don’t want to die with us. We will wish for our younger minds, our more agile bodies. We will wish that we didn’t say some things, while we wonder why we never said others. As we stand at the platform where we say our last goodbyes, we will wish for the days that we pushed off as we chased a weekend’s respite. That, will come soon enough.
And so, this shift in perspective has helped me to make a conscious effort to stop my bad habit. Starting today, I will *try* to remember that as I wish this day away, someone is wishing for it. Be respectful of that and appreciate it for being a collection of moments that you have in the here and now to make the most of. Though it may be Wednesday and rainy, downright dreary really it is still a day that we are here, enjoying relative health and happiness. Appreciate today like it might be your last, and you will never regret it.