Should I sock away money for retirement? Should I stay on my diet? Should I exercise? Should I take the vacation? Should I buy the dream house?
These are the questions I ask myself as I go through my daily life. I’m always wondering if I should err on the side of caution and save money for a rainy day, retirement, or even a sunny day. I wonder if passing up that piece of chocolate cake was really a good idea. Was I being prudent by keeping my calorie count down, or should I enjoy myself when the opportunity presents itself? I’m one of the lucky ones. I don’t actually hate exercise. I enjoy a good swim or a nice long walk. But I can’t say that I crave lifting weights to keep my bones and muscles from deteriorating, or that I enjoy a good huff, puff, and sweat just for fun. Should I blow off the workout and meet a friend for deep dish pizza, or am I better off in the long run by going ahead with the sweat and pain, and opting for the salad with the dressing on the side while passing up oozing cheese and melty crust?
Well I’m here to tell ya that I’ve come up with total and complete solution to my problem: my death date. Now hear me out. I don’t think it’s the least bit morbid. Actually, I think it would be quite liberating. Just think how sad it would be if you heard that I died, and my last meal was cottage cheese and a celery stick. Had I only known that I had one more day to live, believe me, it would not be a day filled with sweatin’ to the oldies and eating little more than a lettuce leaf. I’d be spending every penny on whatever made me happy and eating every last delicious favorite food I could get my hands on. Now before you call me shallow. I didn’t say what I’d spend the money on. Perhaps I’d spend it on fine dining in the company of all my loved one’s. Perhaps I’d enjoy donating some of it and getting the comforting feeling of seeing it put to good use. But the bottom line is that if I knew my death date, it would solve all of my burning questions.
For instance, if I knew that I was going to live into my nineties or beyond, I’d know I needed to squirrel away a lot of savings so that I could live comfortably in my old age. If I knew that I was going to live to a ripe old age, I’d eat healthfully and exercise with the plan to live those years well. If I knew that cutting out sugar and flour would cause me to live that older healthier life, I’d cut them out in a heart beat…to keep my heart, well… beating. If I knew I had many years ahead to take one trip a year to see all the sites I hope to see, I’d pace myself. If I knew I had plenty of time to buy my dream home and years ahead to enjoy it, I’d penny pinch ’til the cows come home…or at least the dogs come home, from their sunbathing in the back yard.
Yet, if I knew I had only a short time left on this Earth, I can tell you, without a shadow of a doubt, that saving money, diet, and exercise would not be on my priority list. Flour and sugar would be at the top of the food chain, and that dream home that I’ve been saving for would never be built and the savings never accrued as I would spend that money on the here and now with those who I cherish.
Now you might say, that I should be living for the here and now anyway. I should be spending my time with those whom I love and spending my money on the things I believe are important. You would not be wrong in saying this. But honestly, if you knew you had only a short time to live, wouldn’t you do things differently? And if you knew without a shadow of a doubt that you had a long life expectancy, wouldn’t that too change your perspective?
Yep, I want my death date. I want to know that if tomorrow is my last day on Earth, I didn’t spend it paying the bills, after a spin class that made every muscle in my body ache, and eating grass. Because let’s face it, since we don’t know our death date, we have to play the odds. The bills have to get paid, the savings have to be put away, and if I did eat all my favorite foods without ever passing one up, I’d be as fat as a cow, then I’d be causing my death date to arrive too soon.
Let’s hear it for having death dates divulged. You can opt in or opt out. If you want to go through life as you always have, without the knowledge of your final day, you can have that option. But if you do want to know, you can be like me, and be happy in the knowledge that your last day on earth will be spent surrounded by the people you wish to be surrounded by and with anything in your belly that isn’t green and healthy.
There would be one other awesome benefit to knowing your death date: guilt free living. Of course, I think this is only a benefit if you know your death date is coming soon, but nonetheless, it would be the first time ever you could spend, and eat, and play hooky without a guilty bone in your body. How awesome would that be.
But alas, I have no means of obtaining my actual death date, so for the time being, I say play the odds. Do a little of both. Do the saving, do the dieting, do the excursing, but don’t forget to spend a little for enjoyment now with those you love, eat the things you love but in moderation, move enough to be healthy by trying to find excurses you can actually enjoy, and try, try, to make each day count, after all, tomorrow may be your death date.