I have spent many hours with my students, asking thought provoking questions and allowing them to ask me a similar question in return. They often asked what I would change about my life or what event or time period would I like to do over? Many asked what I would do if I knew it was the last day of my life. The other day I was asked how I would live my life if I knew I would NEVER die?
Wow! As someone entering “midlife”, I often think to myself I better hurry up and do those things I want to be sure to accomplish. But if I live FOREVER?? Well now, that’s a game changer! So at first I started to toss back questions like, “Will I still age or am I stuck in a specific time?” “Is everyone around me living life as we know it now or are they also living forever?” And on and on I kept tossing questions out to the one who asked me. She was quick to smile and answer back, what I ALWAYS say to them when I give them a question to ponder . . . .”Interpret it as you will.”
So I did. And I chose to stay in my 30 – mid-40 range. I told them I was staying at that point in my life because as I know my life now, it is the age span I have learned the most about myself and the world around me and that I can say I have truly come to like myself. Now, what would I do and how would I live at this magical age for the rest of time?
That is SO. HARD. to fathom!
I will start with my health. In the age range I chose, I had just overcome some major hurdles in my life in my early thirties and presently, I am facing some new hurdles. But in between those hurdles, I can say those years were the healthiest years of my life. They were not without worry or struggle, but they were the healthiest I have known. And they were also a few of the unhealthiest I have known. I am so grateful for both ends of that spectrum. They taught me resilience and perseverance, and they taught me gratitude and humility. I have learned a TON about my body and the human spirit, obtaining a pretty good balance between when to put myself first and when to put others first. If I am going to live forever, I think I would probably eat well enough to keep my body healthy and functioning well, but not worry so much about aging and how my food choices will effect me in later years. In other words, Rita’s water ice, chocolate, and donuts will still have a place in my heart and my stomach! 🙂
If I live forever, what will my job be? I would imagine that would change over the years, and maybe more frequently, now that I have all the time there is. I have always loved what I have chosen as far as my career option. I knew at a very early age I wanted to teach and I enjoyed working with my students every single year I was a teacher. But now, it is time to move on to my next adventure in life and I am loving every single bit of what I am doing now as well. I would like to think that would always be the case. I can’t imagine waking every morning and dreading the day ahead. I think if I were to live forever, my interests and goals would change over time, due to things I learn along the way or people I meet who inspire me to move in a certain direction. I would like to think I will always put myself in a position to help others.
What about my free time? Now that I’m getting the hang of this idea of being around forever, I would travel so much more than I have to date. Perhaps I would work really hard for five years or so at a time and save more than I do currently and take a year at a time to vacation and see different parts of the world. If I have forever to work, then I certainly will make it a priority to take part of that forever time and cater to hobbies I enjoy also! The top three destinations on my bucket list right now . . . get myself back to Ireland, then Australia and Africa. That’s just for starters . . . my bucket list goes on forever, just like my life is apparently 😉 . And because I wouldn’t have to rush around and see everything in a given period of time, I would take the time to really immerse myself in the community in which I am visiting at any given time and come to understand their culture and customs.
And as these ideas and more went swirling around my head, I had to realize that I just can’t fathom what it would be like to live forever . . .because why wouldn’t I do all those things I mentioned above, right now anyway?? Why not always follow my passion with my career choices? Why not save as best I can and travel to those places? Why not eat healthy but enjoy in moderation those treats I love so much? Why not . . .
How about YOU? If you knew you would live forever, what would your life look like?