This last month I’ve been driving past a church sign that read, “How would you live your life if you only had 30 days?”
I’ve been meaning to write about that; it seems especially appropriate on the eve on NaNoWriMo, where I will devote 30 days to writing.
It seems to me that the 30 day constraint does two things for you, as a mental and emotional exercise. You stop focusing on the long term, and you start focusing on the big things, the stuff that matters most. As I know all too well from this year, none of us are promised tomorrow, only the present moment, and it’s up to us to live it to the fullest.
What’s my day normally like? I’m really, really boring. I get up, work out, work, hang out with the family, write, rinse & repeat. On weekends, I try to schedule one day for adventure – a hike, an outing with friends, or something fun – and the other day is for chores.
If I were eliminating those things which are no longer important, if I only had 30 days left, I wouldn’t need my job anymore. That opens up a whole universe of time! And, I wouldn’t necessarily need to exercise any more, it’s a long term activity, but I think I’d hang onto it for the mental health and energy benefits. I’d waste less time online and spend more time face to face with people.
What would I do instead? I’d try to spend time with those I love – my family and closest friends. As much as practical, I’d try and do the things I love, visit places I’m deeply connected to. I’d definitely write, I’d like to leave something behind that would survive me.
Would I try to make sure my paperwork and personal effects were in order? On one hand, I’d like to leave things organized – but on the other, who wants to spend precious minutes filing?
And back to the original sign: if I only had 30 days left, I probably wouldn’t spend them attending church. I would certainly try to make my peace with my Creator and my doubts and questions, but organized religion itself wouldn’t be a compelling attraction in that sort of urgent, limited time scenario.