What would you do each day if you knew you had an absolute finite time to live? A few years ago I read an article suggesting that the average person lives 30,000 days or 82 years. My mom recently turned 90 or roughly 32,850 days she has been on this earth.
She has beaten the odds that many will never see. Because of Covid-19 we could not be together for her 90th birthday so I sent her a letter with some of my favorite memories I recalled growing up.
As I was reflecting on those moments that stood out, I wondered to myself, if I knew the number of days I had to live how would I live my life differently?
Life growing up was simple and carefree and family was always the center of our home with much love and security. As children we lived an amazing childhood with acres to roam, ponies to ride and the best fresh food you could imagine.
Most days I remember just being happy.
My parents grew up in a different time. They were both born in 1930 and lived through the depression. They experienced major technology and industry revolutions. They lost 2 children and both my mother’s parents passed away less than a year apart when she was in her early 20’s.
They mourned many neighbors, friends and relatives and through it all, maintained their faith. My mother worked side by side with my dad building a business that my brother still runs today, working physically as hard or harder than any strong man I knew.
She would still be going strong if she had not had a stroke a few years ago which has limited some of her functioning. My mother always moved swiftly and efficiently and one of the things I remember her saying when I was a child was, never stop moving, when you stop being active your body will quit on you.
She was fully aware of maintaining fitness and living a healthy life before it was a thing. Her life looks a little different now, she has slowed and is very content simply be in her home.
Her greatest joy is still her children and grandchildren which I can’t help but think has allowed her to live this most generous life.
She is safe and lives in her own home with some assistance on the same farm she raised her 7 children and nurtured and loved her 16 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.
My father died last spring at 89 and his ever so famous line was, “Do the right thing.” As children we were raised to not only live by those words but we were, through my parents actions, taught this important life skill. I hope I reach the 32,850 days with the grace and strength my parents gifted us with.
We all have a number and we never know when it is up, so that’s why it is so important to give each day your best.
Life is short and not always easy this we know, but by bringing your best to the table every day keeps life exciting and interesting and gives meaning. Here are a few of my personal lessons I try to practice routinely as part of my life.
Be Kind to Others.
Be Kind to Yourself and learn to release those past hurts you carry.
Be Grateful for all you have.
Allow Yourself to Grieve, if you have lost someone from death or divorce.
Take good Care of your Body because it is the only one you get.
Work Hard and always do your Best.
Do what you Love.
Be with who makes you Happy in business & your personal life.
Learn to Forgive others.
Each day I live, I am getting better at living this thing called life. I am still a work in progress and will be until the day I am no longer here.
How would you live your life differently if you knew you had a finite number of days you had to live? How would you show up each day?
Listen to Episode #15 of my podcast to hear more details.