Ralph Waldo Emerson – Day 1

I have pledged to complete the Ralph Waldo Emerson 30-Day Self-Reliance Writing Challenge. The prompt and my entry for Day 1:

You just discovered you have fifteen minutes to live.
1. Set a timer for fifteen minutes.
2. Write the story that has to be written.

My timer is set and my fifteen minutes has started. I doubt that I’d be here writing a story. I think I’d be more likely to make a series of frantic phone calls to tell people how much I love them. Family, friends… People who need to hear it. I realize that fifteen minutes is not long to make these calls so I may only make a few. How to prioritize? Hm… Perhaps I would write a bit and hope that people found my email. Perhaps I’d write one email to many people and let each of them know what I cherish most about them. Perhaps I’d leave only a few words behind and spend the rest of my minutes relaxing with Ollie. Perhaps I’d change into something nice, brush my hair and put on some lipstick or perhaps I’d stay here on the couch in my jammies (four square shirt and snowflake fleece pants) and continue to eat my baby carrots and mustard.

With ten full minutes left at this point, I know that I’ve misjudged the amount of information that can truly be shared in fifteen minutes. I’d certainly mention somewhere, to someone, that my “will” is shoved deep into my hope chest. I scribbled it out on a sheet of notebook paper on a trip to Chicago with Jeff one year. We spent much of that time focused on what is really valuable. The items in my “to give” list each hold a special meaning for me and the person I wish to receive them. (If there are any questions, please ask Jeff. He’ll either remember the story and meaning or he will quickly make up something. For this, I adore him.)

I can’t imagine spending this much of my last few minutes focused on writing. I would want to be near someone who would be able to help me find comfort and help to remove fear from my shortest of short-term vocabulary. I’ve had amazing adventures in these thirty-five years and would be a bit sad that I won’t be here to enjoy more. Though, I’m quite pleased with all that I have experienced. I hope that those I leave behind would hold my spirit in their thoughts when facing a decision and remember how very short this life really is.

All that to say that my story would look something like this:

Life is short. Be amazing.
With all my love,
M

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