Your Last Sunday
What if this were your last Sunday, ever? How would you look at Monday now?
Are you going to roll through this next week like you did the previous one? Or would you BE a different person?
Are you leaving behind a legacy that would make you feel proud?
Have you achieved your ridiculously incredible dreams and goals you had as a young person? Your impact, your relationships, your innovative business or leadership, your health, or whatever you see as creating the ripple effect your life has in this world. As you grew older, you were taught to be ‘realistic,’ to settle on what is within reason, or you got tired. Welcome to Plan A of your life. I am fighting for the survival of my Plan BE, and yours too.
I woke up this morning with a bit of a cold — a runny nose and stuffy head. I did not sleep well and just laid there, feeling irritated because today was supposed to be my fun day, and now I have to deal with this cold.
First world problems, right? I tried that little trick, but it didn’t work. I laid there, now a bit pissed off, because my little perspective trick of really considering how awesome my life is compared to billions around the world didn’t make me feel better.
I knew I needed a jolt, a shock to my system to get me out of my funk. After all, it is a beautiful Sunday morning in Boulder, Colorado, and I want to enjoy it.
So I asked myself a question I had never asked before, “What if this were my last Sunday?”
Sit with that for a moment.
I did, and it scared the shit out of me. Not because I am afraid of dying but because there is still so much I want to share, so much that is locked in my head that I want to get out into the world to help other people.
Then, as I lay there thinking about my last Sunday, the ‘realism’ snuck in and the ‘Yeah, but…’ this isn’t my last Sunday came front and center. I was having a hard time holding that feeling of urgency, the right kind of fear that moves you out of your shell and into action.
Then I remembered my sister. She has had a tough time since my mother’s death in July 2015. (You can read more about the shit-storm and awesomeness that has lead me to this point).
Before my mother passed, my sister was riding 100+ miles a week with her friends, eating well, was in great shape, and generally loving life. Historically, she has had a hard time with her weight, and since our mother’s passing, it had begun to creep up again, which made her even more depressed.
In the middle of the summer, she was in a horrible car accident, and in true near-miracle fashion, she only received a minor concussion. This was her wakeup and what brought her out of her funk.
Six days later, she was on her bike with her group of friends, on a beautiful July Saturday morning in the Wasatch range in Utah, racing down the canyon at 35 miles per hour — one of her favorite things in the world. A single rider on a side road was also racing down and neglected to be careful as the two roads merged, and crashed directly into my sister. My sister went over her handlebars, sliding off the road, and crashed into a rock, nearly headfirst. Her helmet cracked in half, and she couldn’t move.
My sister didn’t die that day, but she did receive a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that damaged the nerves reaching into her brain. Her sense of equilibrium was off for months, and sunlight was agony for her. She was unable to lift her head without vomiting for weeks, even with medication. She had to have a blanket over her head to ride in the car for doctors’ appointments, and the motion would make her throw up constantly.
After a few months, she was gradually recovering from the effects of her TBI, enough to get out. So, she went to one of her best friend’s/coworker’s wedding. This was her very first public outing, and what could be better than being with friends at a September wedding!
She called me from the bathroom of the wedding sobbing. These were her best friends in the world, and while she recognized most of them, she couldn’t remember several of their names. This was incredibly embarrassing for her, but they all understood, and everyone joked about it until some of them started talking about work.
My sister is an ICU pharmacist and teacher. As her friends were talking about work, she couldn’t understand what they were saying. It was like they were speaking Greek, and she realized that her life as she knew it might be over. Mistakes cannot happen in the ICU.
My sister is slowly recovering and is taking each day as it comes. She loves what she does for a living and is back to work part-time. Her challenges and journey again spurred me to ask, “What if today is my last Sunday?”
This time, the thought shifted me completely, and I got my ass out of bed, came straight to my computer — sans early AM coffee — to write.
I need to share more of what I have learned and helped people achieve ridiculously incredible results for themselves. And I need to start today.
As I sit here at my desk, looking out my window, I see a man on the corner, in 22-degree weather, with a sign. If this were my last Sunday, I would want to help, so I did. I took him coffee and a banana. My wife and daughter had a girls’ night out last night; hence, I didn’t have any cash, or I would have given him some. As I checked my wallet for money, I noticed all the shit on the kitchen floor, so I took a minute and swept it up before my wife saw it. Yesterday I probably would not have seen it.
Writing alone is not enough. Action is necessary too.
It is going to be a fabulous Sunday.
For me, I will spend it as if it is my last.
By the way, the first chapter of my new book (currently unnamed) has one more round of changes and then editing (by an uhhmazing NY Times editor Jaimie) before it is 100% ready. Here is a link to it for you to read. I would be interested in any feedback you have to offer. I have set up the first chapter to ‘sell’ you on wanting to read the rest of the book. Let me know!
My sister studied like she was back in college to be able to return to work part time. Doctors are not sure about her ever riding a bike again due to the TBI and the nerve damage. She and I are joining zwift.com so she can still ride and I will be able to ride with her. I love technology when it brings people together.