What would you do today if this was your last day on Earth?
I ask myself this question often – not quite every day but almost.
It gives me a sober perspective on my values, the agenda of the day and where I find meaning.
I think of a few things I would do, most of which I do each day. If I could, I would wake up early and take my morning swim. I would say, “Good morning!” to the people I see every day at the pool, and I would chat as usual with my friends.
I would kiss my wife and tell her, “I love you.”
I would get home in time to see my daughter off to school, and if I could, I would drive her there. Along the way, we would talk about our hopes for the day.
I would still go to work and care for my patients, though if it was my last day, I’d make it a shorter one. I would hope to see my favourite patients with whom I’ve built a relationship of mutual trust and respect.
I wouldn’t fill out any form unless it was absolutely necessary. I wouldn’t go to any meetings.
I’d write a little, draw a little and play some favourite pieces on the piano.
I would call up some friends – not all of them, just the very best. Even though they know I love them, appreciate them and see the best in them, I’d tell them again – for old time’s sake.
I’d call Dad, my sister and my brother, and thank them for what they’ve done for me, remind them that they’ve made a positive difference in my life and say, “I love you” again.
If I could, I would take a last bike ride through the park. I would enjoy every turn, every tree, every breath and every face I see.
I would hope that the whole family would be home for dinner so that we could pray together, talk about the days we have had: what we learned, who we helped, how we were helped, and how we made the most this day.
I would hope to fall into a deep sleep with a clear conscience, an open heart and the satisfaction of a day well spent.