Last night I had the strangest dream. I was 20 years old, and my doctor informed my mother and me that I had a rare blood disease that would likely kill me within a year. I didn’t kick, I didn’t scream, I didn’t even cry. I was too focused on one specific goal: getting my college degree before I died. I spent the rest of the dream garnering as many sympathy votes as possible while dreading those last few months, writhing in pain, text book in hand.
Twenty years ago, graduating was my one true aim in life, which would end up taking me two, not one, more years to accomplish. But I did so without a death sentence dangling over my head. Have I seen too many TV movies with protagonists who were unbelievably stoic and heroic in the face of certain doom and gloom, or would my 20 year old self (above) actually have reacted so nobly (minus the sympathy mongering)? Surely back then, collecting as many new experiences before my expiration date, not my degree, would have been foremost on my mind.
What about now? If such devastating news were to come my way, I suspect that my priority would be resolving damaged relationships and finally taking my dream trips to places like Egypt, Africa and Australia.
They say you should live each day as if it’s your last. So what do I want to accomplish today?