Live Every Day
(as if it were your last)
by Jeff Goode
copyright © 2007

They say to live every day as if it was your last.
But I don’t think I could handle that kind of pressure. Can you imagine?
Say you’re gonna die today. Or later tonight. Okay, so that means what?
People don’t just die.
You don’t just get hit by a car.
I mean, you do, but you don’t see it coming.
At least not earlier that day.
Not over breakfast that morning.
So if you know.
If you know for a fact that this is the day.
That you’re going to die.
It can only be one of two things:

Either you’ve been sentenced to that fate by a jury of your peers.
In which case: Oh my God, can you imagine living that way every single day?
Like you’ve committed a crime so heinous that not even a crack legal team could save you.
And now you’re going to be put to death for it!
And the guilt of what you’ve done.
And the knowledge of what they’re going to do to you.
And what do I want my last meal to be?
And to wake up every morning knowing every day is that day?

Because the only other possibility is:
Either it’s that, or you’re afflicted with some incurable terminal disease
That’s so painful and gruesome
That they’ve given you exactly 24 hours to live. Or less!
And in that case: Do I still take my meds?
Is there any reason to get up in the morning at all?
Or do I just lie here on my deathbed, watching TiVo.
If I can lie here. If I’m not in too much pain.
What if it’s my back? Or boils on my behind?
What if I can’t lie down comfortably, and have to keep shifting around from one painful position to another all day long, even at night when I’m trying to get some sleep?!
My God, this is torment!!
And you want me to live like this every day???

But I guess there’s one other possibility:
That I’m an astronaut, floating 3000 miles up in space.
Just far enough away that the Earth’s gravitation will take one full day to drag me down.
One full day in which I’ll get to see the Earth rotating slowly below me
From America to Asia to Europe and back to America again
Before my life is over.
And sure, that final 20 minutes
When I start to pick up speed, as I hit the Earth’s atmosphere,
And I scorch my way through the ozone layer to the brutal ground below
Is going to suck.
But before that?
Everything will be blissfully quiet, and floaty.
No phone calls. No neighbors.
Just hanging out, watching the Earth spin.
Surrounded by stars.

And that wouldn’t be such a bad day.
If they could all be like that.