Carpe diem, seize today or tomorrow?Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Lately I've been reading and watching a lot about death and dying. Yea. They just happened to be on my book/movie list.
Sudden death sentences faced with medical conditions, such as in Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Cahalan and The Girl with Nine Wigs by Sophie van der Stap; world dooming death threats, in Inferno by Dan Brown and Jupiter Ascending dir. Wachowski siblings.
In the face of death, people say your life flashes by before you. What would you see? The highlights of your academic/professional/personal achievements, perhaps. The moments that made you happy and sad, or the little things like when you used to play doll with your little sister and she was the doll. You may even feel regretful that you hadn't done/seen/said/eaten one thing or another more/less/better.
Honestly, I wouldn't know, until that day actually comes. I think I'd see a sort of Pantone colour swatch though. When Dad rang past midnight that night to say that Mum had had a mini cardiac arrest, and to say any last minute goodbyes to her over the phone, just in case, I just saw static blackness. Nothing came out. When A surprised me with a Bungy jumping dessert after a birthday brunch, I saw a light green sea blueness all around me (a bit like PMS 353). And Daddy singing a favourite childhood song of our's. I think I may have been almost ready for death then.
After surviving near death experiences, wise people tell us to seize the day, to live today as if it were our last.
If I were to be diagnosed with cancer today, what would I do? This summer alone, one thousand women in NZ get breast cancer, so it is possible that one day I may also be victim to a similar illness. If I were to be diagnosed today, I would leave right away. Back home, to my family, to my loves. I would stop working and, instead, spend enjoying my last living moments with the ones I care about the most. We will go on a long holiday. Go to nice restaurants and do a bit of shopping, maybe. Catch as many sunrises and sunsets, and - oh, yes, please! - as many falling stars as possible. More hikes and swims, barbecues and massages. Then I'd ask to be cremated and set free over the sea, and everyone can have a nice big picnic on the hills overlooking the beautiful blue waters in their summer clothes, and laugh and drink and say nice things about me, then have a group photo to celebrate what a beautiful person I had been.
But living today as if it were the last kind of means living on the spur of the moment. Let yourself go, enjoy life, yes, yes, but ..
the short term happiness that life gives you. If I had cancer, I probably would quit working or saving money. In fact, I'd probably start spending. No more house or student loan or future family to save up for. Those are long term goals and happiness, and won't help me right now, especially since I don't have any children depending on me. While it would seem wonderful for a month, it'd lose its lustre pretty quickly for me, though.
But I am not dying right away. I have to enjoy life today as well as tomorrow. Even if that means a little less joy today for tomorrow. Like not drinking tonight because it's not the weekend yet, and I should watch my belly. Like torturing myself to do planks because of the said belly that is hiding my non-existent abs somewhere behind those flabs. Like going to bed early because I have a 7am meeting in the morning... Oh, I am going to be so tired tomorrow.
Carpe diem. Enjoy your life you're living at present. It's so important. But also plan for the life you want in the future. Your choices today may affect the ones you make tomorrow. Today I am separated a world away from my family, but still got to yak for hours with mum on the phone, which made me happy. We talked about life, work, life after work. Death.
I hope I die when my hair turns long, sleek and silver. When my time comes, everyone can still have a nice big picnic on the hills overlooking the beautiful blue waters in their summer clothes, and laugh and drink and say nice things about me, then have a group photo to celebrate what a beautiful person I had been.
Carpe diem, for today and for tomorrow.