Yesterday, Amy Krouse Rosenthal passed away and the world lost a lover. She wrote beautiful children books and gave the world a generous heaping of food for thought in her films, social experiments and TED talks. And she wrote the most beautiful memoir ever of her love story with her husband of 26 years even as she laid on her deathbed. It was a fairy tale love story that the world sorely needs in this day of casual sex, friends with benefits and instant marriages-instant divorce.
One of the things she did when she turned 40 was to begin calculating the number of days she had left till she turned 80. And she asked: “How many more times, then, do I get to look at a tree? Let’s just say it’s 12,395. Absolutely, that’s a lot, but it’s not infinite, and I’m thinking anything less than infinite is too small a number and not satisfactory. At the very least, I want to look at trees a million more times. Is that too much to ask?”
Inspired by her zeal for life, I decided to make the same calculation and live each day with the number counting down in my head. But I am going to assume that I only have 60 years and anything after is a blessing of another day more. That gives me as of today 6608 days to live. And that’s not a lot.
There was once not so long ago when I was in a workshop where we were asked to identify our deepest fear and write it down on a piece of paper, and share it with others if we were comfortable. I dug deep and peeled back the layers of fear and came face to face with what was my deepest darkest fear. And here is what I wrote: “That I never existed.”
People in the room were puzzled and wondered what it meant. My explanation: That I have lived on this earth and walked on the dirt and when I pass on, my footprints are gone, any evidence of my existence blown away by the winds of time.
So here it is, 6608 days left to make more footprints, to make deeper footprints, before they start to get blown away into oblivion. And here is the beginning of my plans of little everyday things to do to make more footprints:
- Write a blog every day = 6,608 more stories to share with the world
- Give 10 hugs a day = 66,080 hugs to give to the world
- Kiss my girls goodnight (at least two kisses each) = 52,684 kisses to give to my princesses
- Tell my girls and my mom “I love you” everyday = 33,040 “I Love You”s to those that really matter to me
- Fold a crane a day = 6,608 wishes of hope
- To have at least one good laugh a day = 6,608 releases of endorphins and feel good sunshine moments
- Look at the blue sky and find shapes in the clouds everyday = that’s at least 6608 more shapes to discover
- Say thank you to a random stranger every day for their act of kindness to me or someone else = that’s affirming someone and making their day 6,608 times
- Do a random act of kindness myself for a random stranger = 6,608 chances to pay it forward
The day is fast winding down, it’s time to start making footprints…
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