What if today was your last day?

By
Real Estate Agent with Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Monroe NY Real Estate, 914-419-0270

What if this was your last day on Earth?   How would you feel about the status of your life?  Would you wish you were going in a different direction?    If today was your last day, but then you got a reprieve and got another year, how would you change your life?  What if you got another decade?

brainThis week I had undergo a medical procedure that is quite routine but would require that I undergo anesthesia and have scopes and stuff put into my body (those of you who are 50 or older, know what procedure I’m talking about). 

In 2012, risks with anesthesia are relatively uncommon, and the procedure is basically a safe one, but I couldn’t help but think about the “what ifs.”  I mean after all, there are cases where people undergo a totally “safe” procedure and then there are all sorts of complications.  And here I was going in for a procedure where they’re messing with my brain and my insides.  So I did think to myself, “what if Friday morning was IT?”  What if it was the BIG “IT”?  What if I wasn’t around anymore?

This blog isn’t focused on the usual things that people think of when they consider their mortality.  Such as, “did I tell everyone I love that I love them?”, and “have I asked for forgiveness from people I may have wronged?”, and “is my Last Will & Testament prepared?” or things of that sort.   All those go without saying.

happy faceWhat this blog is focused on is, “are you living the life you are meant to live? “  “Are you happy doing what you are doing?”  “Are you fulfilled?”

We all get one chance at life; one chance to write our story the way we want it to go.  And we are the only ones that can decide which way our life will go.  Often times, though, we follow the path of what we “should” be doing and we aren’t doing what we might actually be “meant” to do.  For example, our parents might direct our post-school plans, usually in a well-meaning way, but maybe we feel our life should be going in a different direction.  Often, we just kind of go with the flow and get into a career or head in a direction that just doesn’t feel right, but is the expected direction.  Or perhaps we go in the direction we think we want to go, but it’s just not making us happy and we feel stuck.

Then, all of a sudden, we are in our 30s or 40s or 50s and we’re in a job or a career that pays the bills and covers the insurance, but we aren’t happy.  Or maybe we’re spending a lot of time with people whose company we really don’t enjoy.  Or perhaps we aren’t happy with how we feel physically or emotionally.  And we think, “Well, it is what it is” and we wake up the next day and do the same thing all over again.

experimentWhat if, for just one day, we all conducted an experiment.  Pay attention to how you feel about everything you do. 

  • What things do you do that make you happy? 
  • What makes the time fly? 
  • What do you wish you could do more of? 
  • What are those things you do during the day that suck the energy out of you? 
  • What makes you watch the clock? 
  • When you read the paper, which things move you, and which don’t?
  • When you listen to the radio, what makes you perk up and listen, and what bores you?

 Maybe you’ll realize:

  • You hate your job in general, but there are certain aspects of it that you love.
  • Your friends just aren’t doing it for you, but you don’t want to rock the boat.
  • You’re in a relationship that isn’t fulfilling but you are afraid you won’t find a “better” one.
  • You are bored to tears; you feel like you get up, go to work, come home, watch TV, go to bed, and do it all over again and you couldn’t be more boring if you tried.
  • You are hiding some aspect of yourself from your family/friends, because you are afraid of their reaction.
  • You wish you could do something for the hungry, but you just don’t have the time.

 If you don’t have any “a-ha’s” from your one day of feeling everything you do, then continue the experiment for a week.

 And then what?

Think about what moves you, and what depresses you.  If there are areas of your life that are unfulfilling for any reason, it is up to you to fix them.  It’s not your parents’ fault you’re where you are because you didn’t want to disappoint them.  It’s not your husband’s/wife’s fault you’re at the job you’re at because he/she wanted you to take it.  It’s not your partner’s fault they don’t meet your needs if you’ve never communicated those needs.  It’s not your friend’s fault you have a lousy time when you’re out with them. 

The only one responsible for your life is you.  It’s up to YOU to make a change.  And you know why?  So when it IS your last day on earth, you will know you did the best you could with the time you had.  You will know that you pursued those things that made you happy.  There’s a reason they make you happy – it’s because that’s who you are.   You will know you did something that was worthwhile for you.

So pretend, just for a day or two that you are at the end of your life.  Are you happy?  Are you where you want to be?  Did you do everything you wanted to do?

If not, do something about it.  Start looking for a job that better fits your interests.  Start moving away from those friends that pull you down.  Make a call to a charity near to your heart and donate some time.  Make new friends.  Get a dog.  Do whatever it is that would make you feel more fulfilled.

Because every morning you wake up, you’ve been given one more chance to make your life the one you’re meant to live.  Grasp those opportunities, and run with them.

Enjoy your life.  It’s the only one you get.

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Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, CBR®

Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty

Monroe, NY Real Estate

914-419-0270 (cell)

www.thehousekat.com

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  1. Scott Fogleman 10/07/2012 03:54 AM
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Rainmaker
192,181
Brian Kuhns
Fort Wayne Real Estate by Brian Kuhns
Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber

A great reminder Kat that each day is a gift. We are only guaranteed today and it's up to us to decide how we live it. Thanks for sharing

October 07, 2012 07:57 AM
Ambassador
1,499,878
Ed Silva
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally
RE/MAX Professionals, CT 203-206-0754

Kat, I had this experience 30 years ago. When it was explained to me what I had, what they were doing and what the outcome could be, I shocked me into not being able to sleep the night before the procedure, and they had to medicate me a second time. I came out of that Hospitalwith a new focus to enjoy the next day of my life, and all of them after that as well.

October 07, 2012 08:18 AM
Rainmaker
1,085,151
Bryant Tutas
Broker/REALTOR, Tutas Towne Realty, Inc
Bryant Tutas-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc

Well I'm 55 now with 6 grand children. I have grand children that start college in less than 2 years!!

I've learned how to relax. I donlt waste time chasing money. I've cut our expenses down to a bare minumum so we can live on business that comes to me. This has alleviated most of the stress in our lives.

I do my best to enjoy every minute of my life.

October 07, 2012 08:30 AM
Rainmaker
319,775
Kat Palmiotti
The House Kat
Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Monroe NY Real Estate, 914-419-0270

Harry - Yes, are you content, and if not, how can you be?  Thanks for commenting.

Richie - Gratitude for having the opportunity to enjoy is freeing.

Brian - Exactly, and often times, we just kind of take it all for granted.  Every once in a while, we have to just really pay attention to our path. 

Ed - That's great that you're focusing and enjoying.  Nothing could be better!

Bryant - It sounds as though you're doing all you can do to enjoy your time here.  That's awesome.

October 07, 2012 08:40 AM
Rainmaker
1,194,476
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents
Put 40 years of experience to work for you
Lyon Real Estate

I ask myself this question almost every single day and am constantly assessing -- it's enough to wear me out and make me wish it was my last day, LOL.

October 07, 2012 08:43 AM
Rainer
46,965
Jeanne Gregory
RE/MAX Southwest

Awesome post.  After losing my father in law this year and seeing the end stages of Alzheimer's upclose and personal, it has made me a LOT less willing to put up with stuff.  Life is too short!  Glad all went well for you.

October 07, 2012 09:25 AM
Rainmaker
420,174
Melissa Marro
St Augustine, St Johns, Ponte Vedra
Watson Realty Corp

I've been fortunate enough that recently I was given a "do-over". I did shift my focus and am excited about the changes that I'm making in my career (although I admit that I loved what I was doing before). 

October 07, 2012 10:52 AM
Ambassador
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Kathy Streib
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
Room Service Home Staging

Kat-first of all, I'm glad you had "the procedure"!  It's so unfortunate that sometimes life just rises up to slap you in the head.  As I got older I would tell myself that one of the best things about getting older is that you can say and do what you want (as long as you're not hurting anyone).  Life isn't a dress rehearsal and you are so right, we alone are responsible for our happiness.  

October 07, 2012 12:09 PM
Rainer
40,675
Doug Lyons
Realtor - Selling Homes in Sonoma County, CA
Vanguard Properties, BRE License #01888718

A great post Kat.  An analysis I am personally in the midst of lately.  The results can be both sobering and liberating when you get to the core.  Thanks for sharing!

October 07, 2012 12:40 PM
Rainmaker
319,775
Kat Palmiotti
The House Kat
Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Monroe NY Real Estate, 914-419-0270

Elizabeth - Well, you don't have to assess that much!  Be careful!

Jeanne - Thanks for sharing, and my condolences on the loss of your father-in-law.  Life IS short, but sometimes when we get caught up in the minutia of our daily lives, we might lose sight of that.

Melissa - A do-over!  Well, that's good news that you were able to do that.  Best of luck with the changes you are implementing.

Kathy -  You mentioned getting older and how that impacts being able to say & do what we want.  Not only CAN we say and do what we want, but it gets less and less important what others think of what we do and say.

Doug - I like the liberating part.  Thanks for stopping by.

October 07, 2012 02:02 PM
Ambassador
1,227,260
Erica Ramus
MRE, Schuylkill County PA Real Estate
Erica Ramus - Ramus Realty Group - Pottsville, PA

Nice post Kat. Every once in a while you have to step back and ask these questions.

October 07, 2012 07:05 PM
Rainmaker
537,948
Ginger Harper
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent!
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage

Life is a precious gift.  We should never take it for granted.  We just lost our Daughter, Meg, who has fought Breast Cancer for the past 5 years.  She wanted to live....

October 07, 2012 07:18 PM
Ambassador
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Christine Donovan
Broker/Attorney 800-610-7253 DRE01267479 - Costa M
Donovan Blatt Realty
Kat - I'm going to have to give that some thought though I think some is great though not all of it.
October 07, 2012 08:09 PM
Rainmaker
655,876
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate
REALTY EXECUTIVES OTF

Kat, having faced my own mortality in a similar fashion and lived to tell about it, I know what you're talking about when you say "what if." I also lost a dear friend to pulmonary fibrosis when she was only 41. What's become clear to me from these two experiences is we don't know what lies ahead for us. My friend gave me a great gift before she passed. She told me in not so many words to do what you're born to do and don't listen to the critics. In my opinion, when we find our passion work doesn't seem like work. 

October 07, 2012 11:58 PM
Rainmaker
319,775
Kat Palmiotti
The House Kat
Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Monroe NY Real Estate, 914-419-0270

Erica - Yes, usually in relation to something that goes on that's different than the norm.  Thanks for stopping by.

Ginger - I'm so sorry to hear about your daughter; life IS precious. Hugs to you.

Christine - Thanks for your comment.

Pamela - Deciding our own path and not listening to critics is sometimes a scary thing, but incredibly freeing!  And you're right, if we can figure out our passion and make money doing it, we've got it made!

October 08, 2012 05:04 AM
Rainmaker
494,819
Chris and Dick Dovorany
Broker/Associate at Premiere Plus Realty
Homes for Sale in Naples, Bonita Springs and Estero, Florida

Very nice post.  I'm going to definately go to Zumba tonight.  Enough with the proscastinating.  Good luck to you and best wishes.

October 08, 2012 09:13 AM
Rainmaker
217,359
Debi Braulik
Selling Maple Valley to Fife WA Homes For Sale
www.roundrealestate.com

Very thought provoking post. There are several things I want to do with/for my 4 year old daughter and I haven't done it yet. I need to stop procrastinating. One of them is a series of letters for her to open and read if i am not here to be with her. Like on her birthdays, and when she graduates, and on her wedding day. Just the thought of me not being there makes me so emotional. And that is what has stopped me from writing them. But I need to get over myself and do it. 

October 08, 2012 10:25 PM
Rainmaker
319,775
Kat Palmiotti
The House Kat
Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Monroe NY Real Estate, 914-419-0270

Chris/Dick - Zumba is great!  I hope you had a wonderful time.

Debi - I think that is a wonderful idea.  My mom was ill last year, and she wrote me a letter for me to open after she passed away.  It was an incredibly moving and emotional moment when I opened it, and I reread her letter often and feel she is still with me.  Your daughter will appreciate it, "just in case."  Good luck!

October 09, 2012 03:04 AM
Rainer
22,511
Spectrum Inspection Group
Spectrum Inspection Group

Great post Kat - you really got me thinking!  Thanks!  :)

October 10, 2012 01:36 PM
Rainmaker
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Kat Palmiotti
The House Kat
Better Homes & Gardens Rand Realty, Monroe NY Real Estate, 914-419-0270

Spectrum - Thanks for your comment! 

October 10, 2012 02:50 PM
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