Last Sunday, I started my yoga class by letting my students know that I was about to tell them something true.
A few years ago, when faced with a difficult decision – option a or option b? – a friend offered their advice in the form of a question:
“What would you do if you knew that you were dying?”
I replied that the decision would be easy: option b, of course.
And then he said three words that changed the way I lived:
“You are dying.”
In this world of thirty-year mortgages, marriages, careers, and car payments, it’s easy to forget that we only have a finite amount of time here. I’m (so very) guilty of putting things off for a “better,” more convenient time. This week, our first week of school at Nashville Classical, has been very time consuming. I wake up at 4:30 a.m. and see my first kids around 6 a.m. at the first bus stop. I ride with them and spend every moment with them until around 5:30 p.m., when my last kids get off. Then today, it was back to school for professional development.
My body feels like it’s aged twenty years this week. But I continue to be inspired by my friend’s words. If I die tomorrow, I want to die knowing I lived every moment serving others, as well as myself.
With this in mind, Ryan and I are running the Tomato Arts Festival 5k tomorrow morning in lovely East Nashville. Having run a total of one mile this week, I wasn’t excited about it until I taught my first yoga lesson to my kindergarteners today. When I saw how happy they were to be moving from down dog to high plank to cobra, I was reminded how magical movement can be.
It seems every time I’m in desperate need for a life lesson, one is delivered to my doorstep. Today, I saw my kids’ smiles and knew it was time to just remember that we’re all going to die. And that was a happy thought.