I love music. It is such a powerful force that can elicit emotions at the sound of the first chord. Recently I was listening to Tim McGraw's "Live Like You Were Dying." It is such a great song about a man facing his mortality and how he decides to live. The tune stuck with me throughout the day, and I kept humming it. The message was rolling around in my head all day as I kept repeating the chorus. "Someday I hope you get the chance to live like you were dying."
As I prepared for bed that night, I thought about how I would want to live today if it was my last day. I thought about my daughters and how I would spend the day with them. I envisioned where we would go, what we would do, and what we would eat. I imagined us laughing and enjoying our time together. I saw us trying to complete my bucket list. I realized we wouldn't get to go to Paris, which is one of the things I want to do with my girls. This thought hit me, but it didn't stop there. All of a sudden, all of the things I want to do in my life, but wouldn't have a chance to do in one day came flooding into my mind. I quickly realized we wouldn't get to do all of the things that I would want to do, and there would be a part of me unfulfilled because I would feel like I missed out. It would be a bittersweet day, and in the end, being focused on doing everything I ever wanted to do with my girls would leave me unfulfilled. Then it struck me; the day wouldn't be about what I would "do," but in fact, it would be about how I would "be."
The importance of this epiphany sank in. Living the life I want to live can't be focused on the "doing," it must be focused on the "being" if I am to live the fulfilled life I want to live. The idea of living each day as if it is your last isn't about doing all of the things you ever wanted to do; it is about how you would be. I let my mind wander again. I thought about living my last day with my girls all over again, but instead, it was about living from "being" instead of "doing." As I replayed all of the things we might do, I saw myself being loving. I envisioned me telling them I love them as well as showing them my love with hugs, kisses and holding their hands. I saw myself being vulnerable as I experienced a wide array of emotions with my girls, from laughter to silliness, to sadness. I imagined myself being forgiving and patient when things didn't go as I wanted or when my children needed something different than I planned. I saw myself being grateful for this day and our time together. Thankful for the sun, the air, the connection, and the deep love. Imagining my last day on this earth with my girls brought me to tears and was emotionally overwhelming. Still, I so appreciated the chance to think about it from "being."
As I sit and reflect on this, it makes me reflect deeply on this life. I don't want to spend my time focused on "doing," but instead on "being." How do I want to be each day for the rest of my life? How do I want to show up and be experienced by my children, my family, friends, colleagues, and strangers? How will I choose to be, and what impact will that have on what I do? I am excited to get clear about how I want to be and see the effect it will have on my life.
Messages to my daughters: We all have a chance to "be" who we truly desire and to live from our essence. Living from "being" supports your soul and the connections you have to others. When you are true to who you are and operate from a place of connection, gratitude, love, patience, and vulnerability, you can accomplish anything you want. How do you choose to be and show up every day?