Thursday, November 17, 2011
Six Months To Live
So yesterday, this question came into my life:
"If you found out you only had six months to live, what would you do with the time you had left?"
And, without missing a beat, my answer was, "I'd spend every available minute with my kids."
I found it interesting that the 5th grader who asked me the question smiled at my answer and nodded sagely--of course this is what I would do.
And so, I don't think that my answer was particularly enlightening. I mean, I think most parents with young children would answer similarly. But, for the first time in a long time, this question did have an enlightening effect on me. It stirred in me that all too rare phenomenon of getting outside your own life and viewing yourself from a distance. Evaluating the choices you make everyday with the objective eye of stranger.
Later, driving home, the question was still in my mind. Six months? And the truth was that, as much as I love my day job, I would quit it. I would, tomorrow morning, self publish my book and spend every second I wasn't with my kids finishing the series. Don't get me wrong, I want traditional publishing. But remember hypothetical death is knocking on my door, even if I sign a contract tomorrow I'm not going to see a galley of my book inside of six months! Needless to say, I found the sudden and swift change in my priorities interesting.
Are you living the life you want?
Are you living the life you want everyday?
Because, the fact of the matter is, I might live for another sixty years, sixty months, sixty days, or sixty seconds.
What am I doing, or not doing, about living my life like I'm dying.
What would you do, or stop doing, if you found out you only had six months to live?
*also, for anyone who may be concerned, had I pulled this question to ask a 5th grader I would have asked a different question. But they get to ask me anything.*
*also, no, I'm not dying. Well, not any more than any of us are everyday.*