Saturday, February 26, 2011

Carpe What, Now?

I don’t like to get on my pedestal and publicly shame people, but I feel a moral obligation to say something here. (Also, I actually do kind of like getting on my pedestal and publicly shaming people. But only if they sit silently and let me do it. I don’t like confrontation.)

As a society, we are constantly bombarded with the diatribe of “living each day as if it were your last.” Columnists, pop singers, new-age psychologists, tattoo artists…they all think they’re some kind of “made-you-think” poets with this line. But I find this philosophy to be – how do I put this delicately? – a compost pile.

Let me paint a picture for you of what would actually happen if I lived each day as if it were my last.

  1. I would be fired. Because guess what – if it’s my last day alive, I’m ditching work that day. And sometime around, oh, day 2 of me still being alive but not showing up to work, my boss would probably call. “Uhm – are you coming in today?” “Sorry, Boss. I’m living each day as if it were my last. I won’t be in.” “Uh-huh. Well, ya hippy freak, to me, today IS your last day.”

  1. I would weigh precisely 500 pounds. If I know it’s my last day on earth, I am eating Crunch Berries and Chocodiles for breakfast, two rib-eye sandwiches for lunch, and a Tommy’s Burger for dinner. Five pints of Haagen-Dazs for dessert. Now, that’s a dangerous way to conduct your diet for one day; but if it just so happens to not be my last day on the planet? Well, things are going to quickly get uncomfortable and, digestionally-speaking, unpleasant for me and everyone around me.

  1. My family would hate me. Imagine your child or parent calling you daily and saying, “I’m sorry to tell you this – but I’m dying. These are my final hours, and I just wanted to call and tell you how much I love you. Thank you for everything you’ve ever done for me. I will miss you.” Emotional havoc ensues. Everybody is a big, weepy mess…until the next day. And the next. And the next. Then your phone call eventually receives a response like this: “There are no powers on heaven or earth that will stop me from coming over there this instant and removing any doubt that you will be taking your last breath today.”

  1. Any material comforts would soon be gone – why pay my mortgage or gas bill? “Hi, Mr. Craig? This is Nevada Energy. I’m afraid we’re going to have to shut off your electricity if you don’t pay your bill today.” “Oh, do your worst. The joke’s on you! I’ll be dead tomorrow!”

  1. I’d be making some powerful enemies, telling certain people exactly what I think of them. Starting with Nevada Energy, but moving on to people who set the gas prices, customer service at APX Alarm, Bill Maher, and Oprah Winfrey.

My final point to this nonsensical advice of living as if you were dying is this: H.H. Morant famously said, “Live each day like it’s your last and someday, you’ll be right.” Really H.H.? You do recognize that all those days leading up to that tragic day are days you’ll be wrong, don’t you? What kind of faulty reasoning is THAT? If you are so desperate to be right about something, why not choose an event that you would be excited about? “Live each day in your pajamas, because someday, you won’t have to go outside.” Now you’re on to something. Have Dr. Phil tattoo that on your lower back, Tim McGraw!


13 comments:

LisAway said...

I truly appreciate your delicacy about the compost heap. Delicate.

If you ever find out it IS your last day to live and therefore live out your list here, please make certain that on #5 there is a camera rolling. I really want to see you give Bill a piece of your mind.

And speaking of a camera, I came across your posts about The Garrens and realized OF COURSE you were one of them! And then I wondered if there are any videos on youtube. And now I'm off to go find out.

Kazzy said...

So true! And I love how you numbered everything number 1.

~j. said...

Hi. I like this post. This comment is not spam (totally convincing, I know).

DeNae said...

A brilliant post. It fits in the same category of "Why would 'love at home' feel like 'roses blooming beneath your feet'? Have you ever WALKED on roses? That doesn't feel like love at ALL!"

And according to at least half of your items, I am, in fact, living each day as though it were my last. Except I don't eat Chocodiles. Yet.

seashmore said...

Absolutely hilarious!

Michelle said...

I think you are really funny but, let me just add, after recently losing my 16 year old son, I can tell you that the first half of his life when everyday could've been his last was a lot more enjoyable than the second half when we thought we had to make him into a responsible young man. I with I could go back and not make him make his bed and do his homework. I wish I would've sat and learned to play gamecube baseball with him and fed him whatever he wanted. Sorry for being a downer--I'm afraid I might be one forever--partly because I got to a point where I was comfortable thinking I'd have him a lot longer.

Jonelle Hughes said...

Ken-
1. I love how you mention haagen-dazs frequently. Especially when I have some. Not so much when I don't.

2. Thank you for changing the background. My eyes say thank you too.

3. Thank you for writing about things that make me laugh. In a world that is far too serious, comic relief is vital.

4. Thank you for the advanced signed copy of your book. I love it!

5. Thank you most of all for yours and Katie's awesomeness, your kids awesomeness and just overall awesomeness. We are grateful to be recipients of it!

Camille said...

Love the post, hate that you put down Oprah Winfrey! grrrrrr
LOVE HER! ;)

Anonymous said...

I think this fits a bit better, than "Live like you were dying"
Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow.
~Benjamin Franklin

Brooke said...

BOOK?!?! WHAT BOOK??? Is there a book??? Why don't I have one hmm???

Dennis Agle said...

Fun post, Ken. Want to feature it tomorrow on http://mormondaddyblogs.com. (Hope you'll still be around to enjoy it.)

Thanks!

Dennis

Tristi Pinkston said...

Hi there,

It's awesome to meet you! Dennis just invited me to check out Mormon Daddy Blogs, and I have to say, I'm really excited about this.

Except, now I want Chocodiles. So there is a downside to this.

JaredNGarrett said...

Dude.
Well said. I've always thought it was a morbid thing to think or say or do. I don't want to be thinking about death every day.

I'd rather think about life and what a blessing it is. I even tweeted about this last week.

Anyway, nice work.