When faced with the doomsday prospect of the world ending on 12-12-12, what did I do to prepare? Absolutely nothing, with a heavy dose of nada.
Anticipating the change to the calendar year of 2013, however… I spent at least 10 hours making a spreadsheet.
You see, 2013 is going to be a year of CHANGE. Not only am I moving back to the US from 2.5 years abroad, I’m moving across country with my guy AND simultaneously trying to find a great job, get out of debt, and take good care of my body & spirit.
So why am I still writing about a doompocalpyse?
Because I saw today’s daily challenge on the WordPress blog:
The tin-foil hat, Mayan apocalypse conspiracy people were wrong about the world ending in 2012. Hooray. Time for them to go back to watching grassy knoll footage in slow motion. BUT!
They were only half wrong. There’s a gigantic meteor hurtling toward earth at an alarming rate, and a 97.3% probability that we’re all going the way of the dodos and dinosaurs within three months. So, this year you aren’t going to make resolutions about losing a notch on your belt. You aren’t going to concern yourself about polishing off Remembrance of Things Past once and for all. You don’t even care a jot about emptying your email inbox. In three months, doompocalpyse is going to be upon us. So what are you going to do?
Pick 3 things that you’d most like to change about your life before March when the world ends, it says.
Which is actually kind of a perfect prompt after doing so much thinking about what my priorities are… and it turns out that I completely discard the goals above (except for maybe that last one).
When I mentally face the reality of that situation – that I don’t have a lot of money and I don’t have a lot of time – here’s what I think about:
1. If we’re really all gonna die soon, if the world is going to end (and perhaps I’m the only one who knows it?), I want to spend as much time with my family and friends as possible. That means I would visit all the people I care about in Thailand in the next two weeks, fly back home on the 17th, camp out at my parents’ house, and get the rest of the family there, too. I would definitely try to contact all my old friends, but I can’t decide if I’d drive around to see everyone, because wouldn’t that mean less time with my own family? Maybe I’d not-so-subtly try to warn people to seize the day(s). I also originally thought that I’d do a crazy road trip across America or something, but now I’m not so sure.
2. I’d find more ways to do random acts of kindness for strangers and give to as many good causes as I could. Plain and simple, spread the wealth that I’ve got.
3. I’m pretty sure I’d have to find a way to mentally cope with the impending doom, so I’d probably focus on being mindful of the present moment, spending time walking in nature, and doing some loving kindness meditation & prayers (depending on what I think about the next-life or heaven at that point).
In the past few weeks, I’ve been mulling over what Steve Jobs said in his 2005 Stanford Commencement address:
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
And there was a day last week where I thought long and hard about what I would do if that day were my very last, and I re-prioritized those same 3 resolutions above on my list of to-dos. It felt
good incredible to make those the first things I did in my day instead of putting them onto the “I’ll get around to it” back-burner.
There’s no reason I can’t still make those three resolutions a priority in the new year – I’ve got everything around me and inside me to do them here and now and every day. They won’t bring about the biggest tangible or brag-worthy accomplishments, but that’s why they’re so important, no?
Am I allowed to quote Steve one more time? Because this quote seems really important too:
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.