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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

last day

So here we are.

Throughout my entire course of being, I’ve repeatedly heard and read the phrase Live each day like it’s the last day of your life. It’s the stuff of chat shows and greeting cards and bumper stickers, this supposedly inspirational statement, giving us all the power to do what we really want to do with our limited time here on Earth, unencumbered by our fears. 

It’s a really lousy idea.

Think about it. If you found out that today was the last day of your life, you probably wouldn’t do all of the inspirational things that the bumper stickers imply you would. Sure, you’d cuddle your loved ones and call your dear ones, but mostly you’d relax and indulge, and generally just soak in everything around you. In other words, you’d do as little and eat as much as possible. Do the dishes? On your last day on Earth? No, thank you, mister. Why bother?

But see, if you lived like that that every day, you’d never do the dishes. Ever.

So if you literally lived each day like it was the last day of your life, you’d never, ever clean the bathroom. You wouldn’t bother repainting your living room or changing the light bulb in the kitchen. You’d eat candy all the time, because why the hell not? You’d be surrounded by filth and empty ice cream tubs. That’s not living each day like it’s the last day of your life. That’s unemployment.

And if everyone lived their lives as if it was their last, nothing would get done. No one would start that Great American Novel or screenplay because you’re sure as hell not going to accomplish that in one day. No one would train for that marathon that’s in six months because, hello, last day! No one would bother doing anything for anyone because everybody would be in their own little worlds, stuffing as much of that last-day life into their maws as they can, day after day after day. (Not that this doesn’t already happen to some degree... but that’s too cynical even for me for explore.)

So maybe it’s not the best idea to take life advice from a bumper sticker or a T-shirt or an inspirational poster. Except for that poster of the cat holding onto a tree branch that’s captioned Hang in There. You should always hang in there, because if you were in the cat’s position, what real options would you have? If you fell from the tree, you’d just break your leg, and what kind of option is that? Hanging in there is necessary, and in the cat’s case, sort of adorable.

Unless, of course, you can actually rescue yourself, which, if you were a human up in a tree, you probably could do, seeing as you have opposable thumbs and upper body strength and all. By all means, either hang in there or get out of the damned tree. The people at the poster company should change the caption on that poster, shouldn’t they?

Eh, why bother? They’re living like it’s their last day. 

Yes indeed. Welcome to me.

1 comment:

  1. At the end of 2011, my kids got all worked up about the Mayan apocalypse. I told them they had my permission to live the year to the fullest, but did NOT have permission to live the year like it was their last. Of course, they really didn't do either. :)