Exasperating advice or inspiring words?
Live everyday as if it were your last… This quote has provoked a well of frustration for me since the first moment I read it. Why? Because if one were to try and follow this instruction they might realize… it’s easier said than done!!! To live each day the way you’d want to if it were your last; to experience all the wonders you’ve always imagined for yourself before leaving this world; to taste life itself the way you’ve dreamed it… it’s a lot to cram into a single day. I mean, since you’re supposed to live today as if it were your last then you have to find a way to fold all these ideas you want to experience into 24 hours. And then tomorrow, you get to stuff yet another set of plans and wishes into 24 hours. My point? It’s a lot harder than this quote implies.
I understand that these words are meant to be encouraging to those who read it. They are meant to inspire people into realizing that life is too short to waste on unimportant things. And it’s true. However, these words in particular are maddening to me. The first time I ever read this motivating message, I thought “Yeah, that’s exactly what I’ll do!” But then as each day dawned in and dusked out, I found out how hard it was to actually live each day as if it were my last. I couldn’t do all the things I wanted to because I was restrained by my daily responsibilities, among other reasons. Whether it was studies, work, family, or financial issues, I could not jump on a cruise to Alaska, I could not go rock-climbing, I could not learn how to horseback ride, I could not travel to exciting destinations… I could not live everyday as if it were my last. And it was frustrating for me at that time.
So then, I’d find myself asking HOW? How do I live each day as if it were my last if I can’t afford it, if I can’t just pack up and leave, if I can’t ignore my current obligations, if I can’t can’t can’t? There was no inspiring quote to answer my question. But slowly, as each day continued to sunrise-in and sunset-out, I gained new perspectives that led me to recognize the importance of patience and encouraged me to widen my understanding. (This does not mean that I am immune to falling into the pit of despair every now and again).
Ultimately, I adjusted the saying (not officially though) to living each day without regrets. It provides a bit more peace to my mind and there is an absence of weighty pressure. It may not be very catchy, but I thought: “Yes, I can try and do that.” I can put my efforts into doing my best and making sure I don’t regret either my actions or my lack of action. If ever I do regret something, I believe I have two choices: learn to live with it or change it myself.
At the end of the day, whichever quote you choose to live by, whatever helps you get you through your day and grants you peace of mind… I suppose the important is that you live your life to the fullest, appreciating each step that takes you through it.