Is It Really Possible To Live Like We're Dying?
I once heard someone say that from the time we're born until the day we die, we're in a state of aging. (A somber thought for sure!) While it may be true that we get a little older every day, if you turn to the world of medical science, research has shown that our brains actually start to age when we're around twenty-four years old. And, what about the human heart, you ask? Well, apparently by the time we hit forty, most of us will lose our ability to pump blood as efficiently through our bodies. (That's a bummer!) Sidebar: A high-fat diet will clog arteries and accelerate this process, so it's a good idea to limit fried food. (Another bummer!) On the positive side, it's good to know that while we can't stop time from marching on, we can help slow the effects of aging by treating our bodies right.
In 2004, country superstar Tim McGraw topped at number one on Billboard's country music charts with the mega-hit with, Live Like You Were Dying (written by Time Nichols and Craig Wiseman). The song is associated with Tim's father Tug McGraw who was hospitalized with a brain tumor and given three weeks to live by his doctors. (Incidentally, Tug survived nine months after this)
Check out some of the lyrics:
He said "I was in my early forties With a lot of life before me And a moment came that stopped me on a dime I spent most of the next days Looking at the x-rays Talkin' 'bout the options And talkin' 'bout sweet time" I asked him "When it sank in That this might really be the real end How's it hit you When you get that kind of news? Man, what'd you do?"
He said "I went skydiving I went Rocky Mountain climbing I went 2.7 seconds on a bull named Fumanchu And I loved deeper And I spoke sweeter And I gave forgiveness I'd been denying" And he said "Someday I hope you get the chance To live like you were dying"
I think it's a very moving song, offering us all the opportunity to reflect on whether or not we're living our lives to the fullest. The thing is, as much as I'd like to believe I'm maximizing the potential of each and every day, it'd be different for me if I my doctor gave me three weeks to live. How about you?
Most of us aren't able to climb a mountain, go skydiving or bull riding on a daily basis. While these might be great bucket list activities, the majority of people invest their waking hours pursuing more productive things—you know, like working a job, taking care of their home, and most importantly, spending time with their loved ones. Realistically, it is with the people in our lives that we can truly adopt the "live like you were dying" philosophy, and put it into practical use by lifting them up and letting them know how much they mean to us.
I was touched this past week when I saw that the late rock guitar-legend, Eddie Van Halen made a point to post a message on social media to his son Wolfgang. Eddie regularly shared with the world that the day "Wolfie" was born was the best day of his life. What a wonderful expression of a father's love. Can you imagine how thrilling it would be if someone told you that the day you were born was the best day of their life? (RIP, Eddie!)
It made me remember something my friend Amy told me years ago. "Every morning when my parents wake up, they tell each other 'happy birthday'," she said.
This daily expression of love is just one of the ways they've kept their now thirty-seven marriage strong. After all—birthdays are normally joyous occasions, so this couple celebrates their happiness in being together every day. Pretty cool, right?
As I'm typing this, I'm recalling one of the first things I said to James this morning. (No, it wasn't 'happy birthday!) And, it definitely wasn't something someone who's living like they were dying would say to their mate. You see, my husband read somewhere that drinking milk before he goes to bed will help prevent muscle cramps Since James plays tennis in the evenings quite often, this used to be a problem for him—and me, too because he'd cramp up so badly in the night, he'd wake up from a sound sleep, leaping out of bed with a shriek of pain. Needless to say, this is not a great way to be awakened. (Our cat Cabbit, who always sleeps between us wasn't a fan, either!)
I don't have a problem with the milk drinking. For me, the annoying thing is finding the glass he'd used to drink it from, coated with a gross, milky residue, sitting on the coffee table the following morning. So, like a lot of mornings, we started this day with me asking James (Admittedly, I may have been a little snappish), if he would please rinse his milk cup out before coming to bed. This has been a pet-peeve of mine for some time, however; the "living like she was dying Monica" would have simply smiled and taken the glass to the kitchen, scrubbed it out, and put it in the dishwasher. (Sigh! I'm going to try harder to be that person!) Now might be a good time for me to start breaking out all those Don't Sweat The Small Stuff books I have floating around the house and read them again.
I wonder if I'm getting Heavenly points taken off for my on-going snarky reaction to this rather harmless offense. Like, when I reach the Pearly Gates (be it today, tomorrow, or whenever my days on this earth are finished), and I'm standing in front of The Judgement Throne, is God going to say, "You're in, Monica, but for the record, you could have been a little more understanding with James about all those milky glasses. I mean, didn't I provide you with the best husband ever?"
The reality of it is, we should all strive to do as Tim's song suggests, 'love deeper and speak sweeter" to one another. Also, forgiving others for past transgressions against us and asking those we've hurt for their forgiveness would be a huge act in the "living like we're dying mode".
And, if you feel so inclined, make a plan to jump out of an airplane or travel to some exotic locale! (or whatever thrilling thing you've always yearned to do?) After all, as it says in Proverbs 27:1
""Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring."
The fact is, none of us are promised tomorrow—or even the rest of today for that matter! Now more than ever would be an excellent time to really live our lives to the fullest—and that includes being a blessing to others. As I've said before: Today is a gift from God—that's why it's called "the present"!
2020 Closet ClotheSure Challenge Week 37 - The Week of Burgundy
Monday - I bought this lacy Lauren Conrad dress a couple of years ago to wear for a bridal shower.
I love the length and that I've got the perfect shoes to go with it! A keeper for sure even though my husband would rather I remove it from my closet!
Possibly the most hated outfit since the inception of my Closet ClotheSure Challenge nearly nine months ago!
This Lucky Brand, sheer, long top paired with black trousers from The Limited was not a favorite on social media.
Both pieces will find a new home, everyone! Thanks for your input and I couldn't agree more.
This fun, faux-leather-pleated, swing dress from White House Black Market is one of my fall favorites!
I've worn it with boots and pumps and have always received compliments on it. I love the way it fits. It's actually a pretty heavy garment, but worth the effort—hey, I might actually burn more calories wearing it!
Another great fitted dress from White House Black Market that I picked up for a song a couple of years ago. In the winter months, I can throw a blazer over it and it will go from daytime meeting to evening event. A classic style for sure! Keeper!
From The Garden -
We were playing fetch and I realized that this week's blog included a photo of the iron washbasin (located directly behind my grand-dog, Dallas), that James' great grandmother bathed her daughter in! I'm so happy to have this piece of family history in our backyard, as well as this copper-colored Vizsla who brings such joy to our lives! (I have to add that after this photo was taken, Dallas knocked all our little pumpkins off the stairs and rolled them down the hill! He also dismembered one unfortunate tiny scarecrow!)
Signing out for now - remember, friends: God is in control and hope is on the move!
Posted with love,