Do you think about your “use-by” date?


I was sitting on a bus, listening to the conversations going on around me when one stood out.  The topic was “use-by” dates. I was obliged to listen because one of the conversationalists was speaking rather loudly.  They were debating the usefulness and validity of use-by dates, noting that some people observe them conscientiously and others take little or no notice and seem to be okay.  It got me thinking about my use by date …

What about you?  Do you know your use-by date? And … if you do/did, would you believe it or do anything differently?  Or would you ignore it hoping for another few months/years?  In the 21st century we have developed so much technology in preserving things – food, goods, medication and even our appearance. What have we done to preserve the quality of our lives?

Would you live your life differently if you knew when it was going to end?  Well of course you would.  However, such certainty is not part of life.

 “Life is not a dress-rehearsal”
~Rose Tremain

The person who has a short life does not know it, usually.  We all live our lives in a way that we think we want to.  We have goals to achieve.  We have to work at them, striving to improve ourselves.  I read a Huffington Post article called Would You Live Life Differently If You Knew You Were Going to Die? by Russell Ward.  He says:

… when was the last time you turned in an essay four weeks early or finished that company report months ahead of schedule? Rather than leave it so late, it has to be better to get on with things before our time is up.

We’re not all going to climb Everest or swim the English Channel but what’s wrong with making a few small changes along the way? A tweak here, an adjustment there, because small changes can still have a big impact on the quality of our lives.

What about that?  What small change would you make?  Could you leave work a little earlier?  Walk to school with your children before work? Take a lunch break every day?

I have made a change to a different lifestyle that many others don’t understand.  I don’t understand myself at times – usually the days when I have spent hours cleaning the lodge on change-over day. I wonder “what I was thinking?”.  It evaporates when I go skiing though – when I commune with nature.  I get on a chair lift and look at the beauty around me and think it IS all worth it.

We can’t all do this I know – but what could we do that would make a difference?  What do we need to do to remind ourselves about the value of the life we are living right now?!

A palliative care nurse chronicled the regrets of the dying.  Here are the top 5.  Do they resonate for you?

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

2. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Read more here.

So put these questions to yourself.  Think about a small change you could make to live a life with no regrets.  Would you care to share this with me?

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