When I first read about this assignment, the first thing I thought was, “There are so many things I didn’t get the chance to experience!” I never got to go to Greece and Italy, I never got married and had children of my own, I never went sky diving . . . oh, the list could go on. I honestly do not think I would sleep because there would be so much I would want to do and say. I would tell everyone I care about that I care about them and I am glad they are a part of my life. I would ask for forgiveness to those who I have hurt or harmed intentionally or unintentionally.
Among the most important things I would want to do would be to spend time with those that I love. I would not want to feel morose, morbid, or regretful. I would want to celebrate a life full of great memories and experiences. After all, everyone’s life experience is unique, similar to the idea that no two snowflakes are ever alike. Life is yours and it is mine and while we are connected, our life experiences are remarkably extraordinary and distinct.
I would repeat to myself that I am exactly where I am supposed to be, right here, right now. Despite the fact that I wouldn’t want to feel regret, I would feel some sort of regret. This regret would stem from not knowing whether or not I made a difference in someone’s life, anyone’s life. Though as I type these words, I am constantly pondering what the end of my life would look like.
We all have things on our Bucket List, things we want to accomplish before we die. We all want to feel connected and know that we mattered and made a difference in some capacity. We all want to be remembered for our best points and not our worst. Here’s the thing though, we never know when the next miracle is going to come from the next smile, maybe even your smile. We don’t necessarily know if we made a difference in someone’s life by simply having a conversation with them or by volunteering endless hours for a non-profit organization. But if we open our hearts and minds to the possibility that we all have made a difference in some way, and believe in the certainty of it, then we have nothing to regret. The lives we have lived had a purpose and we all fulfilled our own individual purposes. So go ahead and tell me I have twenty-four hours to live. I won’t get to go to Greece, Italy, get married, have a child, or go sky diving, but I will have made a difference in the world. And knowing that is so much more rewarding than my completing my Bucket List. So here's what I say: Live fully, love richly, and laugh loudly.