What Would You Do With 6 Months to Live?

Friday, January 09, 2015

Yesterday was an overall difficult day. My father in law received his prognosis from the specialist working on his case. Their best guess is that he has 6 months to live.
Very scary news for all of us, but it didn't come as a total shock. He has melanoma that does not present anywhere on his skin. The specialized scan revealed that it is throughout his entire body and it seems to have started under his chest wall.
Last night I took a long time to think about what I would do with that kind of news. There is a large age gap between him and I. But as I approach my 51st birthday in just over a week, I realize I am not a young woman either. The first thing my mind wanted to do was just shut down and not think about what I would "need" to do. Next, I became overwhelmed with the list of things I still want to accomplish in this lifetime. How do you sort through and organize those desires so that you can check them off of your list?
This morning I began to construct a road map in order to get my important things done. Yes, I have a will and all of my kids are grown and on their own. Those sorts of things are easy to take care of. The tough stuff is building time into the here and now so that you pursue your passions and do the things you have always wanted to do, but have always saved them for another day.
Physical health and weight loss are two things that many of us put off until tomorrow, or Monday, or next month. Gratefully I have been working on my health for the past 6 months and have the inspiration and commitment to stick with it. How far I have come fuels my determination to keep on going.
But what about all the other things? My brainstorming session revealed a long list of things I want to try or to get better at doing. I wrote down pleasurable things that often get put off because of other commitments, or because I put the needs of others ahead of my own.
Granted, I would have a great deal of difficulty accomplishing everything on my list in a 6 month time frame. With that being said, none of us know when our time here is over. I suppose yesterday was a wake up call for me. It's time to be more kind to myself and start putting my list on my priority list.
It doesn't mean that other commitments are forgotten, it just means that I'll be building more time into my day to live my life just a little bit larger.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Bitter sweet. It causes one to put life into perspective. You will be strong. I hope your family spends some happy and memorable times together in this next year. All the best!
    2149 days ago
    So sorry to hear about your father in law. My thoughts go out to you and him and to your husband.

    And yes, when news like this comes, it is a wake up call for all of us. But all each of us has is today, is this very moment. It's easy to think we have forever, but we don't.

    Putting yourself on your priority list sounds like a very good idea.
    2201 days ago
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