Leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by.
That first step you take is the longest stride.
~ Nickelback

if today was your last daySometimes, I struggle to express what I feel, deep down. This is one of those moments.

When I ask myself the question: “if today were my last day, how would I spend it?”, my brain freezes, and nothing exceptional springs to mind.

There are lots of things I would love to do in my lifetime – and yet, when it boils down to it, none of them are that important. If they were, then I would have done them.

That’s the honest truth.

Nearly thirty years ago, I had the intention of living in France. I moved to London, because it was a step closer than my home town of Birmingham, and because London offered greater career opportunities. Then I met Paul, and we’ve lived in London ever since.

Sometimes I wonder about my “dream” of living in France. But if it were such a powerful dream, I would be living there now. My dream of having someone to love, and be loved by, was greater. I’m content with the choice I made – and besides, we can go to France any time. Or do anything else we choose to do.

So this afternoon, when Paul played me the Nickelback song “If Today Was Your Last Day”, and I asked myself that question, the answer I got was this: “Exactly what I’m doing now. Spending time with Paul, listening to music and putting the world to rights.”

Sometimes, leaving your fears behind, and taking the path less travelled isn’t about doing something extraordinary, daring, or dangerous. Sometimes it can simply be releasing the fear that your life will be ordinary. That nobody will remember you, when you die, because you didn’t do anything noteworthy.

Anyone who has touched the lives of those around them will be remembered. And that means you. As Maya Angelou said: “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.”

If today were your last day, how would you spend it?


Today’s post was inspired by the Nickelback song “If Today Was Your Last Day”


VIDEO COOKIES DISCLAIMER

“If Today Was Your Last Day” – Nickelback

“If Today Was Your Last Day”

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day’s a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
If today was your last day

Against the grain should be a way of life
What’s worth the prize is always worth the fight
Every second counts ’cause there’s no second try
So live like you’ll never live it twice
Don’t take the free ride in your own life

If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?

Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you’re dreamin’ of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day

If today was your last day
Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it’s never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are
So do whatever it takes
‘Cause you can’t rewind a moment in this life
Let nothin’ stand in your way
‘Cause the hands of time are never on your side

If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?

Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you’re dreamin’ of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day

16 thoughts on “If Today Was Your Last Day

  1. What a lovely post, Julia. It is beautifully written and today I think you really did express what you feel deep down. I agree with you wholeheartedly – there is nothing wrong with an ordinary life so long as we make others feel loved and appreciated.

  2. Dear Julia,
    When I read the question ““if today were my last day, how would I spend it?” I, too, totally went blank!
    And then when I read your answer and your reaction, I was relieved! I often asked myself that question when I was in dreadful pain at night and I must say what came in mind was to make sure I see and speak to everybody, family and friends who have always supported me and believed in me, even it it means throwing a last minute mega party!!!
    A few years later I have learnt to live now in the present and like you rightly have written, letting go of fears……my best wishes to all who have asked themselves this same question

  3. Julia Barnickle

    Thank you, Mairead. Your comment has made me feel loved and appreciated!

  4. Julia Barnickle

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, Rebecca. And if you ever do decide to throw a last minute mega party, I’d love to be invited!! 🙂

  5. So insightful – and you are very right, if we can let go of fearing the ordinary (and the extraordinary too), then maybe it becomes far more clear what is a priority. I think the same thing happens after being diagnosed with an illness – priorities become clear. Personally, love is at the top of my list.

    I really like that one line in your Nickelback reference “the first step you take is the longest stride.” Geez, isn’t that the truth?

    Catherine
    FacingCancer.ca

  6. Ofcourse!! I´ll let you know in good time….but for now I´m “living for the moment”!! All the best, Rebecca

  7. What a brilliant blog, Julia. Only one question: why do you define loving and being loved as an ordinary life? To me, that’s the highest purpose. I too am striving to live as if today were my last, let go of my fears and my limiting beliefs and move forwards. Thank you for the reminder!
    Sue Plumtree recently posted..What do you value the most in your life?My Profile

  8. Julia Barnickle

    Thank you, Catherine. You make a good point: that it’s about letting go of fearing both the ordinary AND the extraordinary. Those are just comparisons anyway. What is ordinary to one person could be extraordinary to someone else. What matters is what’s important to each of us as individuals. I like that love is at the top of your list – you really couldn’t set your sights higher than that. 🙂

  9. Julia Barnickle

    Thank you, Sue. I suppose I admire pioneers and adventurers, and there’s a part of me that has always longed to be like them – but I’m not. Or perhaps I am, but in my own way – which doesn’t include getting cold, wet or caked in mud! Both you and Catherine have pointed out that love is the highest purpose – perhaps I simply take that for granted… Thanks for the reminder.

  10. Wonderful quote from Maya Angelou, one of my very favorites. It’s so important to just be, to live in the present as much as possible and to enjoy the ordinary moments of life. I have no idea what I’d choose to do if today were my last day, but I’m pretty certain it would be full of those “moments of ordinary.”

  11. Julia Barnickle

    I love that phrase “moments of ordinary”, Nancy. Thank you. You’re so right about the importance of living in the present. I think I do that a lot, and sometimes I feel as though I “should” strive for more than that – so I’m still coming to terms with being happy enjoying the moments of ordinary!

  12. […] a thoughtful post, Julia Barnickle is also asking a question…”if today were my last day, how would I spend […]

  13. I am reading this on New Year’s Eve and it seems the perfect time to be reading such thought provoking and inspiring words Julia. Wishing you continuing happiness and health in 2013
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  14. Julia Barnickle

    Thanks Marie. I also wish you continued health and happiness, peace and prosperity in 2013.

  15. My husband is having a minor surgery Friday. But he’s almost 91 and it’s minor until it isn’t. I’m wondering, What if these are the last four days after sixty-four years, three months, and nineteen days? What will we do differently? Nothing, my loves, nothing.
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  16. Julia Barnickle

    Thank you for your inspiring comment, Lois. I wish you and your husband well on Friday – and every day.

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