I had a ton of things I wanted to blog about today, weight loss and exercise stuff, but that can all wait.
I came across an email today. It was from a co-worker on another team. He's someone I've worked with, and someone I respect. He has a unique sense of humor that makes even difficult IT situations funny. He's often referred to as a really nice guy.
His email was dated March 2009, and the subject was: "That which blindsides you at 4 PM on some random Tuesday". It was a thank you email to the IT division for all their caring emails and cards. He wrote that he'd said goodbye to his Alicia. I vaguely remember this incident from last year. His 12-year daughter, Alicia, was accidentally shot and killed while visiting her grandparents.
I realized I'd never read anything about this little girl. I did a search online and found her obituary. She loved reading and loved to write. They posted the following essay written by Alicia. I'm taking the liberty of posting it here. I found it to be a very moving essay. I hope you enjoy it.
In memory of Alicia Mead.
READ ME (only if you want) Composed by Alicia Mead.
Copyrights are reserved.
"Live everyday like your last" were the words lining the page of a generic book I flipped through. Wow, that seems pretty depressing, I thought, squeezing it back into an empty space on its bookshelf. Who would want to live like they're gonna die the next morning? The author or people who took that advice seriously would probably end up living with extreme anxiety every day of their lives, worrying about death than actually enjoy living.
Whatever. I progressed down into the Manga (Japanese comics) section of the store and scanned their titles, After thumbing through another book, somehow the quote seemed to snag my thoughts. Live every day like your last, there has to be some reason the author spent his time writing it…
Glancing, a clock informed me it was time to leave. Live everyday like your last, and at that moment I realized I would never view things the same way again.
Staring out a window on my drive home, I questioned why this one, petite, microscopic quote would have such a huge impact on my perspective. I mean, it should have already been forgotten three seconds after I declined the book, but somehow the line stood out through my noggin like an eight footed elephant trapped inside a field of angry, raging monkeys. But anyway, I had nothing else to ponder, so I gave thought to this unique sentence and reasons to follow its "advice".
An obvious point to living your days like your last is because you'll always do your best. Expanding, I thought, is to get the most out of the things you do. After all, if it really was my last day, then I'd like to fall asleep knowing I got the most out of my daily activities. Further, I'll take pride in the last things I ever do, knowing I wish to be remembered by the quality that people see. Also, knowing that I've done my best will leave me assured of nothing to regret.
Another reason is because you'll waste less time. If you decide this to be your last day on Earth, then it's only logical to put the smallest time possible to waste. For one thing you'll be more focused on your current actions, in fear of not completing them in what may your last opportunity. Further and for the same reason you'll be less likely to procrastinate. In the end, not procrastinating and better focus will result in accomplishing faster. Thus, wasting less time.
Frowning at the passing scenery and brainstorming harder, you won't take things for granted. Being on the verge of losing everything, you'll take advantage of opportunities more. From that, you'll appreciate the important things in life, family for instance, and possibly stress less about lesser consequential issues. Also, you'll be less likely to spend time with negative emotions, concentrating on the positive things that are of higher importance.
My final reason to this thesis is because you'll savor life more than you did before. Converse to negative feelings, you'll shove in space for positive emotions, enabling you to contain more joy. Also, you'll be more likely to "smell the roses", again helping to appreciate what's important in life. Living everyday like your last will show you to be lucky and thankful for the gift of life, while there are so many people who have difficulty appreciating it.
All in all, just from that one quote, I learned a whole new way of living. I realized the choices I make and the things I do will affect everything in the future, for every action comes a consequence of time. I vowed to see the worth of my actions, and only pursue those that I would value most. I realized my life would never be the same, as I randomly began doodling on my homework paper out of boredom and procrastination.