I am about to turn 44. As in mid-40s. As in probably middle age. Or later. That is a sombering thought, although for some of my clients, it’s even worse. I have clients who are 65, 70, or even older. To hear them say, “I’ll be dead in 20 years,” makes me really sad. I mean, to think that your life is close to being over it just bothersome, to say the least.
But, then, none of us really know how long we have. We could all live to 116 like the lady from my home state who passed away this week. We could all die at 30 like two of my friends. Most likely is that we will fall somewhere in between. Personally, I won’t take one of those “how long will I live” tests on Facebook, because I’ll inherently obsess about it when I get to that age. So, I just avoid thinking about it, really.
I read somewhere about a year ago that you have to live your life like there is no tomorrow. I know this, also, from friends who had cancer, from a family member who had a heart transplant, and from older people who have just learned life lessons along the way. I also remember Michael Landon saying it in an interview in about 1992. I still have that article somewhere, although someone else (wrongly) told me that the Pope said it. Nope. It was Michael Landon. I remember it vividly, as we cut it out and put it on the fridge. I even remember my mother-in-law at the time saying how prolific it was that we, as young as we were, had something so profound on our refrigerator.
So, every day, I sing. I don’t care that I may be off-key. I don’t care that someone may laugh at me. I sing. I blare it out. I wear my headphones so I can’t even hear myself sometimes, and I imagine that I, too, could be an opera singer if just given the chance. That, or a rock and roll singer in a cool band who travels the world. I also dance when I have the chance. I don’t need alcohol to do either one. Just start up the music and there I go. I guess I get this from my parents, who instilled a love of music in me at a very young age.
I also use the good dishes, the pretty napkins, and the good pens at workk. I display (and dust) my favorite objects, so that I can enjoy them every day. I have very little in my safe deposit box at the bank, mostly papers that I can’t easily replace. I wear the good jewelry every day of the week, wear my favorite travel shoes even though there is a large hole in the side at this point, and don’t read a book all the way through if I don’t love it. I gave myself permission to do the last one when I graduated from law school. I’d read enough books by that point that I really didn’t like, so I never wanted to force myself to do that again!
So, my challenge today? Push off convention. Wear those silk shoes on a rainy day if you’re going to lunch with your best friend. Wear the good jewelry with a tie-dyed t-shirt, if it suits your fancy. Sing at the top of your lungs even when people can hear you. Dance like you are in the Nutcracker at the Royal Ballet. Enjoy life. For, as Michael Landon said, “There are only so many tomorrows.”