We’re here in Nashville because we’ve realized life is short, too short to not live the life you want to, to follow the dreams you have always had. But last night’s sleeplessness brought up a different scenario than the one that led us to choose to live our life not work our life. Last night I wondered what I would do if my time on earth was limited. If the deadline was clear and there was no wiggle room.
Being a pessimistic optimist, I tried to calm my brain spiral with a solid plan to combat the “What if…” scenarios. It’s two different situations to my mind, one urgent, one – well, okay, both urgent but time is a factor in the first. If the world is going to end in seven days, I’m not as likely to fly to a beach and watch the sunsets. Airport travel is a nightmare at any time and I imagine an approaching meteor isn’t going to make it any easier. And who wants to spend the last of their days fighting with folks for a seat on a plane? I’ve seen enough movies - Planes, Trains and Automobiles, Due Date – to know that, while I might end up with a buddy for the rest of my short life, it’s going to be a very miserable trip and some body part is likely to get broken bruised or bloody. With that in mind, flying, driving or training home is out. Sorry Mom.
I would, however, take the time to call or face time or email everyone I love, to make sure they know how I feel about them. I’d like to think they already do, that I take time to tell people they matter but who knows what people hear. Maybe, with the world coming to an end, a Facebook private message isn’t enough. (Kidding.) My family isn’t the hugging kissing kind – only those who have married in are - so I’d tell them I love them and then we’d all likely shrug and make a face and tell an inappropriate joke or an embarrassing story to make the moment less sappy. We’re awkward like that.
With family and friends loved up and cackling, I’d finish writing my plays. And I’d finish writing my books of poetry. And I’d finally finish writing my mystery novel. Not that anyone would be around to read them but there is nothing like a solid deadline to get me to finish something. And you can’t get more solid than the world imploding.
Then, I think I’d just sit somewhere beautiful, like my back yard, and drink something yummy and fruity or warm and chocolaty. Hopefully Husband would be sitting right next to me, playing some of his songs on his guitar and arguing with me that I’m singing off key. We'd sit there and just be at peace waiting for the fireworks.
An end stage cancer diagnosis would be different. I’d still do the same things but hopefully the deadline would be further off and I would have time to travel. I’d like to see Kenya again and my pet lion. I’d like to sit myself on a white sand beach and let the sun and a fruity drink melt the panic away. I’d like to awkwardly hug my mother and my brother and my friends at a big 'goodbye to me' party. I’d like to tell the asshats in my life that they are indeed asshats, perhaps even with a fist to a face as punctuation to the statement. And I’d like to leave on my own terms, knowing I mattered.
Who would have thought a five second blip while scanning channels last night would lead me down this murky path? And that, surprise surprise, having a plan for my last days on earth has not, in anyway, inspired me to finish any writing or tell any one how much they mean to me. Heck, I haven’t even gotten off my butt to take out the recycling.
Ah well, not a real deadline. No need to rush…