The other day I was at a staff meeting. The principal had all of us break into groups and answer some questions for the purpose of community building. Most of the questions were silly - what saying or picture would you put on a T-shirt? What three things would you bring to a deserted island? Where would we find you when you were in high school?
But one question really made me think - what would you do if you only had one year to live?
The older I get, the faster time goes. A year is nothing. A year passes in what feels like a blink of an eye. It seems like yesterday I was rocking my son to sleep and making up silly nursery rhymes with his name in them. He's now a sixteen-year-old 6' 4" beast who's been texting me about which colleges he wants to go visit over Spring Break.
A year would never be enough time to do all the things I would want to do! But if I had to try, where would I start? I guess with quitting my job. I've been blessed to be a school social worker for the last 19 years. I believe I could leave, knowing I had the opportunity to do good for children in need.
So after quitting, I would plan several trips to all the places in the world I dream about taking - Portland (to see Carol!), Fiji, Bali, Sydney, Paris, the northern lights from an igloo in Finland, Maui. Oh, I could go on and on. My frequent flier miles would add up quickly.
Instead of traveling the world as a family (because let's be real, we might not last the whole year thanks to all that togetherness), I would take each one of my family members on a separate trip. Spending time, making unforgettable memories with my kids, my husband, my parents, my brothers, and so on would mean everything to me.
I would write that book (you know, the national best-seller that I know is inside me).
I would indulge in every sweet treat I've read about on Facebook. Yes, I'm coming for you cookie dough cafe in NYC.
Sometimes I'd sleep in and other days I'd wake up early. I don't care how much time I have, everyone needs a pajama day!
I would spend time every night writing down all the things I want my children to know and remember.
I would take some guitar lessons even if I stink at it.
One year. I'm sure there's so many other things I would want to do that just haven't popped in my head yet. It would go so fast, but it would be so full of all the things I love. I would definitely make the most of it.
Thankfully, I am not living with a ticking clock chasing me down, which got me thinking even more. Maybe I have forty years. Maybe I only have one. There are so many things I want to do. Maybe I should start working on this list now instead of waiting for someone to tell me time's almost up!
I might not be able to quit my job right now (remember that kid who wants to go to college in a couple years? Yeah, still gotta pay for that), but maybe I need to plan that trip to the west coast to see Carol or maybe I should sit down and get started on that national best-seller. There's no time like the present!
What would you do if you only had one year to live? (Yes, I reserve the right to steal your ideas!)
Her latest book, Catch a Fallen Star, is the second book in the Grace Note Records series. Pick up your copy today!
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