If You Had 24 Hours Left…

Two years ago, I spent the month of July in a town in Spain on a Workaway language exchange with a local family. One day I had a medical situation, and after spending 105 euros at the local clinic to check it out, I was told they didn’t know what was wrong, and I should go to the hospital to get more tests done.

(This was also the day I really appreciated the healthcare system in Singapore lol…)

Anyway, my mind immediately went to the worst-case scenario of what could possibly be wrong, and what if I don’t have much time left? A few years? A few months? I was freaking out in the entire 45-minute drive to the hospital in Barcelona, thinking of all the things I haven’t yet done, and how was I going to do them now?

Thankfully the medical issue was nothing serious, but it really hit me that day that I truly have no idea how much time I have left.

Intellectually we know we’re going to die someday, but when we’re young and healthy, somehow we take it for granted that we’ve still got time to fulfill all the things that we’ve written on our bucket list.

If you knew you had 24 hours left to live, how will you use that time? (Besides spending time with your friends and family, which is a given for most people, I would assume.) What is it that you really want to fulfill so when it’s time to go, you can say your life has been well-lived?

Like most people, my bucket list is filled with the usual stuff like traveling, seeing certain sights (like the Northern Lights) skydiving, bungee jumping, food I want to try… etc.

But if it really comes down to the final 24 hours, all I can think about is the art projects I haven’t completed, the books I haven’t written, and the songs I haven’t performed. Some of these exist as half-finished projects, some are still in the idea phase, and for some reason I’ve constantly put these off for what I thought were more important things that I “should” be doing (e.g. survival-related stuff like figuring out how to sell my art, and making art that is more likely to sell).

We don’t know when it’s our time to go, and we don’t know how much time we have left. The idea that we’ve got time is an illusion, and one that stops us from really going after what truly matters to us, and making meaning in our lives now.

If you knew you had 24 hours left, what’s that one thing you must fulfill?

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