“I live life differently now that I might have an expiration date,” my husband half smiled as he turned his attention back to the road. “There may not be a next summer or a next weekend. I’ve been taking a lot of my life for granted. I can’t keep putting stuff off. It’s time to do it.”
His words struck a nerve. Facing cancer has made us look at everything in a new way. We have both been guilty of putting something off until another time, especially recreational activities with each other and our kids. It’s easy to assume we will wake up tomorrow with breath in our lungs. But we aren’t promised tomorrow. We aren’t even promised our next moment.
After my husband made the comment about his expiration date, it made me curious about items I had around my house and if they had an actual expiration date. I looked around and noticed a trend; there weren’t many expiration dates, but there were some “guaranteed fresh until” dates. Chips, crackers, cookies, and drinks, all with a definite date of freshness attached.
“Guaranteed fresh until.” I love that phrase. It takes something that is so final and makes it hopeful. We need to place that label on our lives. Instead of putting things off and assuming we will be around another day, we need to guarantee our freshness for the moment and live our best lives now. No more hoping to make a difference or become a better person. We do it now. We make it fresh. We make it relevant. And we guarantee our freshness each and every moment of each and every day.
How different would my husband’s words have been had he used the other phrase: “I live life differently now that I have a guaranteed fresh until date.” It makes me want to live that way. It makes me want to embrace this life and make it count more and more. It makes me want to try harder, follow through, and be a light no matter where I go, always spreading freshness until I can’t anymore.
We all have an expiration date, but it looks different for every person. What needs to be added, instead, is our “guaranteed fresh until” stamp. We need to stamp our lives and do our best to live a fresh, full life all the time. Stop putting off for tomorrow what you can get done today. Stop wishing away the moments. And start living like you are “guaranteed fresh until”. We only get one chance. Make it count.