Friday, January 19, 2007


January 19, 2007

A friend sent me an e-mail that her cousin had written on the topic of savoring every day of our lives. Actually, a good deal of the e-mails that circulate are on this topic. This particular e-mail pointed out that we have only one day—today—to make the most of our lives. I’ve started sending my kids out the door each morning with that message. So far they are not too annoyed by this and in fact, seem to embrace the notion. Our routine goes like this:

Me: Remember what today is
Child: It’s January 19, 2007
Me: How many of those do we get in our life?
Child: Just one.
Together: So let’s make it a good one.

This got me thinking about all the days of our life. There are so many kinds of days we have. Most of us will have a few awful, dreadful, horrific days. We will have more than a few awesome, wonderful, perfect days. In between we have tons of great days, lots of special days, thousands of average days, and plenty of bad days.

What if, in the end, you could line all the days up in order from the very best, best day of our life to the very worst, hideous day of our life and then rank them all in order like that.
Now, imagine that you had the chance to live your whole life over but you were allowed to pick a point on this continuum and say, “I choose not to live the days from this point on” and point to a day that divides the good from the bad.

Like all good scenarios that mess with time, I stipulate that not living these days would not change anything—in other words, by choosing not to live the day your mother died would not mean she hadn’t died—it would simply mean you didn’t have to suffer through that day.

Now given all this, how many days would you choose to NOT live over?

It’s an interesting prospect isn’t it?

Where would you put your finger on that line? Would you pick a day that you had stomach flu and choose not to live that day or any day worse than that? Would you choose a dull, uneventful day when all you did was go to work and eat a meal and fall in bed dead tired?

I’ve been thinking about it and I guess I would not pick even one day to not live over. If I did, I would have to hear over again that my child has cancer but if I missed that day I would not hold her so tight every day.

And on those other, thousands of crummy or not so great days—well if I chose not to live even one bad day I would miss the “I love you” my husband whispers to me every morning as he goes off to work; the “Mama, where are you?” that echoes in my hallways; the first sip of my morning coffee; and the quiet satisfaction of finishing a crossword puzzle.

What about you? Would you give up even one day of this precious, glorious, annoying, messy thing we call life?

Today is the only January 19, 2007 you will have. Make it a good one.


  1. Well, actually the Jewish people are about 3000 years ahead of us with their years, but I suppose they didn't call January actually January 3000 years ago, otheriwse there WOULD have been another January the 19th 2007...

  2. I love this article. Of course everyone will occassionally stop the madness of their life and take a deep breath and ask the big questions. But starting the day with that perspective is liberating, empowering and so full of hope. Your best fan.