How would you live your life if you only had 100 days to live? This question may be rhetorical but it does reveal a lot about the things that are really important to you. When you have limited number of days, you would do what you would really care about.
We live life as if we will live forever and death is far away. However, truth is any day death is just around the corner. One of my aunts died of cancer a few years back and she had been informed by the doctors eventually that she couldn’t be cured and only a few days are left. The doctors literally told her that she was about to die and there was nothing she could do.
We struggle with the priorities of our lives and in trying to understand the things that are most important and our lives go by in the urgent and now. We don’t invest in the things that really matter. However, when we know that we are close to death, that’s when our deepest desires would be revealed. The truth is we are close to death. We don’t know how close we are. None of us know how many days we have been given.
Here is how I may approach my days if I only have 100 days to live. Please form your list.
1. Write a book summarizing the lessons from my life
I am a writer, after all. So, if I know I am going to die, I will write the definitive guide to life which would contain all the lessons from my life. The things that I tried to do, what worked and what failed, and the things I would recommend henceforth for other people.
This would be a kind of an autobiography. It would be autobiographical, of course. Most people do not write autobiographies because perhaps their life haven’t had enough lessons for other people to learn. Thankfully, I have made so many experiments in my short life that my story could make an interesting autobiography to read.
Obviously, I will talk about happiness and how to find it. But, it will have way more details than my other books about my own life. Hell, I would be dying!
2. I would eat my favorite foods
I love eating. It has been one of my favorite things to do in life. I would make a list of all the things I love eating and I would go and eat them within the 100 days. There are fruits, veggies, chicken, fish and other things I would want to eat. To hell with vegetarians. When I am going to die, I am going to eat what I want.
3. I would absolutely stop caring what anyone thinks of me
You see when there is limited time, I would have to do what I want without a care for the world. So, to hell with what the world thinks. I would just not care what anybody thinks of me. Not that I have cared most of my life, but the urgency of death would make it even more important to ignore the judgments of the world.
4. Spend time with people I love
My relationships have been chaotic. I don’t know about you. The fact is that I have bulldozed my way through life and that left me quite lonely. I cared for my happiness because I think no person can make other people happy without being happy themselves and I still hold that true. However, if at all I am told that I have 100 days to live, I would apologize to everyone I have ever hurt and beg them to forgive me because I would be dying and hence they have a moral obligation to forgive and forget. Then, once the emotional wounds have been healed, I could enjoy their company while they cry by themselves somewhere because I would be dying, right?
5. I would perform stand-up as many evenings I can
I love stand-up comedy and in my comedy career so far, I got an opportunity to make a lot of people happy. You can find me online here. If I were dying and had only 100 days to live, I would do stand-up as much as possible and make people happy. My jokes would revolve around imminent death and that would be fun. That’s the great thing about stand-up. It allows you to turn pain into humor. It is one of the best things anyone could do with their life.
6. I would go for runs and walks
I have been an outdoor person most of my life-a marathon runner who completed one full marathon, failed to complete one, and completed over 10 half marathons. I would go to run in the nature and take walks everyday if I were dying. However, I am not sure if I would go alone.
7. I would call/meet school friends and lost friends
I have lost a lot of people over the course of my life. There were a few friends in school, people I went to tuition with. There were people who helped me in different periods of my life and I am grateful to them. I would either meet them if physically possible or speak to them on the internet. When time is limited, one wouldn’t want to leave without saying thank you.
8. I would buy myself flowers
What the fuck! I just realized that I have never bought flowers for my own self. I have gifted flowers to other people, mostly women. But, I have never gifted flowers to myself. So, I would gift myself some flowers-orchids. I love Orchids.
9. I would be grateful for life
I would feel grateful for the life I had been given. None of us really earn life. It is granted to us and we don’t really take the effort to realise the gift that it truly is. Even at the age of 39, I have seen a lot of people die, who were younger to me. So, I would be thankful for life I had been given. There would be joys, and there would be sorrows, but overall it’s a gift.
10. I would dance
I am not a dancer but I enjoy dancing. That makes me a freestyle dancer so I would go dance with a few friends or family whoever cares to dance with me. Dancing makes you feel happy and it makes sense to do things that make you happy when you have limited time, no?
11. I would drink beer or wine depending on the season
Well, I enjoy drinking beer in summers and wine when it’s cold. So, I would buy favourite brand of beer or wine and sip in some every day for the duration of those 100 days.
12. I would write down a list of things I could not do
I mean at this point in my life, there are a lot of things I want to do and it would be a tragedy if die without having done them. However, if I am dying, I would write down a list of things I could not do, which could serve as a guide for people who are not dying so they would use their time well. At this point in time, this would be the list:
- Start a company that changes the world in a better way and lasts beyond my life
- Buy a house if I could afford one before dying
- Travel once to all the countries in the world
- Have a bigger family
- Have a circle of friends from the start-up, writing and comedy worlds
Yeah, these are the things that I would not be able to do if I were to die in 100 days. I do have a few friends in the comedy world, but not deep enough friendships. I have craved for depth in my relationships and it has eluded me.
13. I would forgive people and carry no grudges
Did I mention about saying sorry to people I may have pained? I would also internally forgive people who caused me pain and there have been a few. It has been difficult to forgive them and if I am dying, I would make the effort to make this emotional alignment. I do not know if we can really forgive people who cause us pain, but I think when you forgive, you heal as well.
14. I would sort out all money matters
There are insurance policies I have which have nominees. I would put all of them in place and inform the nominees that they should expect to receive a certain amount of money from my life insurance policies. This would enable them to plan their life accordingly. They would cry and that’s fine.
15. I would send out a few thank you and sorry notes as appropriate
I would send out a few thoughtfully written thank you notes to people who mattered in my life. It’s funny that a lot of people die unannounced as most of us don’t know when we are going to die, and so we cannot do proper closure. If I were informed that death is imminent, I would send out thank you notes and apologies as needed. Why die with a heavy heart?
16. I would enjoy the sunshine
If it’s winters, I have enjoyed the sunshine all my life. I would spend time in the sun everyday if I am dying in winters, which has been my favourite season. There are so many things beautiful about winters-the fog, the sunshine, the chill, the warmth of people close to you. I would enjoy that, especially the sunshine. When sunshine falls on your face during winters, it makes you feel literally that you are alive. Have you felt that? If you haven’t, you should.
17. I would think about the happy things that I did
You see, our life is like a movie. There are happy moments and then there are sad moments. If I am dying, I would spend some time thinking about the most beautiful moments of my life. I would think about the things that I am proud of-about the moments that made me happy. I think that’s a useful way to spend time and feel good about life.
18. I would plan my funeral
How many people really get the chance to plan their funeral? Not many I guess. So, I would plan my funeral. While we are at it, what’s an ideal funeral? It would be nice to have someone say some nice words about your life before they burn you or bury you, whatever be the case, burn in my case. A few nice words from a few people you cared about should make a nice funeral. Plus, orchids on my grave every month or so. I would feel good about that. I can’t really think about an ideal funeral much right now. May be, they should use sandalwood, so that the fire smells nice, no?
Overall, I guess they are doing fine in the funeral business. Sandalwood would be expensive anyway. However, a few people saying something nice about me and my life would be a good idea.
19. I would spend some money
I would spend some money on things I haven’t taken the time to spend money on. Now, when one is dying, what’s the point of being on a budget? So, I will spend some money on things I could afford before I die, like I may buy a new car which I haven’t in a while, splurge on a few spas or hotel stays. I don’t know I am sure about that though. Money hasn’t been the real motivation for me in this life. Love has been. I have craved for a loving and meaningful life and left money for meaning.
Money buys pleasure. It doesn’t buy happiness.
20. I would spend time loving people
I would love people more than I have loved them before. We hold our kisses and hugs when there is nothing like too many kisses and hugs. We should make love, and not war. So many lives are wasted in fighting over things that don’t even matter. I would spend my days loving if I were dying in 100 days.
21. I would enjoy all the festivals at once
India has a lot of festivals. They are moments of celebration. If I were dying in 100 days, I would not be able to enjoy all of those. So, I would celebrate those festivals while I last- Holi, Diwali, Christmas- all of them.
22. I would value every single day
Imagine having a limited number of days and not valuing your days? We do that all the time-waste the precious time that we have here. If I have only 100 days to live, I would spend those days living all these things and not wasting anytime on feeling sorry for myself. That’s how we find happiness in life- by being grateful for what we have, and not feeling sorry about what we don’t.
23. I would not miss early mornings
Mornings are the most beautiful part of the day. Right before the sun rises, the day is beautiful. It is just an amazing feeling to see the darkness fade away and give rise to light. I would not miss my mornings if only I had a few left.
24. I would live mindfully
Mindfulness is the art of being in the here and now, physically, mentally and emotionally. You are present 100%. I would do that-not get distracted anymore because there would be nothing left to lose. I would eat mindfully, walk mindfully and live mindfully.
25. I would just allow myself to be happy
Yeah, that’s what I think I would do if I had a 100 days left. God knows how many do I have left reality. I could have more. I could even have less because we don’t know how long we are given on the planet. In fact, there is no reason we should not try to live life as if we have 100 left so that when it is true, we have nothing to regret.
Thank you for reading.
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If you liked reading this post, you may also enjoy the one below: http://amarvani.blog/2020/10/20/what-makes-finland-the-happiest-country-in-the-world/
5 thoughts on “What would you do if you had only 100 days to live?”
This was so lovely to read. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this and to share it. It has really helped me – I really appreciate it. Thank you.
I am glad it did, Jack. Thank you for reading.