“Live Like You Were Dyin'”

Written January 15, 2017

“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”  ~Mahatma Gandhi

This quote reminds me of a couple of songs. Tim McGraw’s “Live Like You Were Dyin’”, and my all time favorite, Nickleback’s “If Today Was Your Last Day”. To me these songs make you think, what if you were given news that you had a certain amount of time to live? Ten years, one year, a few months? Would you make a bucket list of stuff you’ve never done or been afraid to do? Would you forgive all those who’ve wronged you in some way? Or would you be angry at every who hurt you and die with a resentment on your heart and soul? Would you get down on your knees and pray to the God of Your Understanding or to “whatever is out there?” Or would you take your own life?

Now I know the thought of death is a pretty morbid subject. I thought that way too just 10 short years ago but after all I’ve seen and done, these thoughts rattle around in my mind on occasion. No I don’t obsess on it but I do consider how I want to live my life. More so the last year or two since I’ve had some life changing events. Finance problems, romance problems, deaths of friends and loved ones plus my own health issues.

I’m not totally sure when it exactly hit me, but I’m grateful it didn’t happen all at once. I think it started one Christmas when I opened my sleepy eyes and noticed who was and who wasn’t in my life no matter if it was because they moved or passed away. Then it really sank in the Christmas after my divorce. It has really hit home now that I’m faced with the possibility of being seriously ill.

I remember as a teen I had some crazy notion I wasn’t going to see my 30th birthday. That day has long since come and gone. Today I question if I’ll see my 60th birthday and I reflect on how I’ve lived my life, how others have treated me, and how I’ve treated them. Despite a couple of rough patches in my life, I’ve tried to do good and be good. No, I definitely haven’t been perfect and of course have my flaws, but I also learned the phrase “Progress not perfection”.

One day I dusted off some of my music and stumbled on my old Tim McGraw music. I reminisced about the days gone by when my best friend and I ran wild and free around our ill corner of the world. We were in the prime of our lives and did our best to live as carefree as we could. We did things like our “death defying” hikes in a gorge near us, suntanned and swam in Lake Erie or her backyard swimming pool,went fishing down the road from our homes, a couple of concerts and even played hookie from work every now and then.

Now, some years later, “Live Like You Were Dyin’” takes on a whole new meaning. The song starts out with Tim talking to his doctor who gives him bad news regarding his(or someone else’s) health. Then he sings, “How’s it hit ya, when you get that kind of news?” As the years go by in my life, I reflect on how I want to live out my last days. After reevaluating my priorities I decided I don’t want to be alone and I want to live in peace and as carefree as I’m able. I don’t want to live in conflict, with drama or chaos with anyone anymore, least of all with myself. I’ve dealt with that stuff in some form for almost my whole life. I just want to be free to be…me. Stress has taken enough of a toll on my health and life. I don’t want it to actually kill me. Choosing between a difficult relationship with conflict, drama and chaos vs a loving relationship and in peace is an easy choice to make.

So, would I go skydiving or ride a bull named Fumanchu? Probably not. Love deeper, speak sweeter, give forgiveness I’ve been denying, go Rocky Mountain climbing? You bet. Well maybe not THE Rocky Mountains but a mini mountain that has rocks is something I can handle. The only imposition with fishing would be the cost of a fishing licence these days. If I did have a bucket list it would be to travel to lots of places and experience more of what life has to offer on this planet besides my lil corner of the world.

Thought for the day: Life truly is short when you look back on it and realize how much time was wasted over petty stuff. If you’re young, take it from this middle aged brawd. Enjoy all the good things life has to offer now while you can. Find and follow whatever it is you are passionate about. Before you know it your whole life passes you in the blink of an eye.

Tim McGraw “Live Like You Were Dyin'”

He said I was in my early 40’s,
With a lot of life before me,
And a moment came that stopped me on a dime.
I spent most of the next days, lookin’ at the x-rays,
Talkin’ ’bout the options and talkin’ ’bout sweet time.
Asked him when it sank in, that this might really be the real end.
How’s it hit ya, when you get that kind of news.
Man what ya do.
And he says,


I went sky divin’,
I went rocky mountain climbin’,
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I gave forgiveness I’ve been denying,
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin’.

He said I was finally the husband,
That most the time I wasn’t.
And I became a friend a friend would like to have.
And all the sudden goin’ fishing,
Wasn’t such an imposition.
And I went three times that year I lost my dad.
Well I finally read the good book,
And I took a good long hard look at what I’d do
If I could do it all again.
And then.


Like tomorrow was a gift and you’ve got eternity
To think about what you do with it,
What could you do with it, what can
I do with with it, what would I do with it.

Sky divin’,
I went rocky mountain climbin’,
I went 2.7 seconds on a bull name Fumanchu.
And I loved deeper,
And I spoke sweeter,
And I watched an eagle as it was flyin’.
And he said someday I hope you get the chance,
To live like you were dyin’.

To live like you were dyin’.
To live like you were dyin’.
To live like you were dyin’.
To live like you were dyin’.


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About Bella’s Thoughts. This is a project that I began in my mind a number of years ago when I began reading some daily meditations. I had my own thoughts on many occasions and attempted to journal many times without success. It began to take shape when I took on another project for a Spiritual Advisor and dear friend who past away. To learn more about me read my very first blog post. For more daily reflections go to... https://www.facebook.com/Stephanies-Sweetgrass-and-Dancin-1414954615472943/

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