I was having a low morning the other day in Seattle. It was 6:15, gray and raining, and I was sitting in a coffee shop not so much looking forward to my workday.
For some reason I was thinking about how much faster time seems to go the older I get. I was contemplating that I was 50 years old, and the I had only 20 years until I will be 70. And then it hit me. Wait. I'm 52. WTF! I just had my 50th birthday bash, like, last weekend, right? But no - it was two years ago. Correction: I only have 18 more years until I'm 70. I just lost two years. And then THIS hit me. I'm going to be dead soon. All this is going to be over in a few years.
So I decided to play a little game, and I've been playing it at least a little bit every day since then.
I pretend that I just found out that I have one week left to live. But here are the rules of the game:
1. I can't tell anyone.
2. I can't quit my normal life and go to cool bucket-list stuff.
3. I have to basically carry on my regular life, just as it is, adding nothing unusual.
Things changed really quickly that morning. I looked out my window and saw how beautiful the rain was and thought "Whoa, this might be the last time I get to walk in the rain." I tasted my latte and thought "Dude, I might get, what, maybe 7 or 8 more of these in my life time. I love this one!" I thought about the client I was seeing that day and thought "This is my last chance to really care about this person and help them grow." Then I thought about my wife and my kids and my friends and my house and my life and realized (again) how short life is and how lucky I am and how important it is that we really bask in the moments.
Because, you know what? I MIGHT have one week left to live, right? Who knows? If you take into account a life span of 80 years, there are only 1,456 weeks left ahead for me, any one of which could be my last. Why couldn't it be this one?
We're sitting on a planet spinning around in the middle of absolutely nowhere, and our time here is SO brief. The least we can do for ourselves, for others and for the world is find the beauty and the richness and the pleasure in the dailyness of life.