Patrick Swayze has reportedly been given five weeks to live, and that has me thinking about life and how we live it.
I feel a bit weird about writing this as I have never been a huge fan of Patrick Swayze. I have liked some of his movies, but I never watched a film because of him. But still, I feel a sadness right now. It is like the line in Lake Placid where Oliver Platt’s Character talks of how it is sad when someone dies as he will never get to know them. I know, Kind of crazy.
More than that, there is the selfish reason to write this. I am always talking about living each day like it is your last, and have even made progress in living that way in my own life over the last few years. It is stories like this that drive that sentiment home.
Patrick Swayze went to the doctor, and got the news that he has pancreatic cancer, which has spread. Pancreatic cancer has a survival rate of around 5%. In other words, Steve Jobs got lucky, really lucky.
Five weeks is not a last minute, but in the course of a life, it might as well be. I know I have plans right now that are taking place well past five weeks from now, Patrick Swayze probably did as well. Now, he has a few weeks to prepare to no longer be here. That has to be hard.
So what does this mean? The next time you get an idea, act on it. The next time you wonder if you should not speak about something important to you, speak it! The next time fear is holding you back from moving forward, asking for a raise, climbing a mountain, just do it! If you are in a job that you hate, quit! Also, stop worrying what other people are thinking of you, just be the best you can be.
Because if you found out today that you had five weeks left, would any of it matter, really? No! At that point all that will matter is you and those that you love. Do you want to spend your last days wishing you had not stayed in that crap job, or that you would have spoken up, or acted on your great ideas. All those times that stress kept you up at night will seem so trivial and petty. The times you worried to distraction about what others thought about you will seem silly as well.
In the end, most of the things that we give a lot of importance to at the expense of our own happiness or calm, will not matter for squat.
So live people. I try to. I am not always successful, but it is trying to get better that counts. There is a saying. It goes something like hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. What is the worst? Ever hear of “Shit Happens?” The “shit” is usually the worst, and that is the worst because it hits you out of left field. You can’t predict or manage the bad in your life, or it wouldn’t be the bad. It would be the expected. The key is to deal with things as they come and know you have the strength to overcome.
So, forget that old saying. Prepare and expect the best, always. Life is too short to do otherwise. The bad and the negative will happen whether you planned for it or not, so don’t waste your limited time here focusing on it. Live, Laugh, and run around with pleasant abandon. If you live for the best always, when the negative happens, you will be so much more prepared, and then you can get back to the good quicker as well.
That is the best advice I can give on this matter.
One other thing, the Swayze news comes from the National Enquirer. Let’s hope they are as wrong as they usually are.