WHAT IS #365DaysToLive? After really looking at my current existence, I decided to both live life and parent my son as if I knew I only had 365 days to live. The following is a blog post within that series.


While I plan to try and live each day of this challenge as if I only have 365 days to live, I don’t plan to blog big thorough blog posts about each and every day that comes and goes. Some days just aren’t that interesting, even if I’m doing something for myself. To keep myself accountable, though, I do plan to at least mention the gist of each day (within other posts).

For my Day 3 (which was Thursday), I took an important step in an area of personal improvement, and I went to play poker with some old friends. Poker is one of my favorite things that ever was, but I made the decision to walk away from anything but the occasional home game with friends. The big serious games just get too… serious. They get too negative. They suck away way too much of my life. They’re full of degenerates, and pessimists, and addicts. While I love so many people there, it’s not a place that adds value to my life. So, I walked away from it.

My day three was about getting back to my original love for the game with the people and places where it once was a healthy addition to my life, instead of the unhealthy heaviness it had become. It was so much better and my love of the game came flooding back. For the first time in ages, it became a social escape from life, which was the main reason I always loved it in the past.


Yesterday was day four of the #365DaysToLive challenge. I picked Noah up from school mid-afternoon, and on our drive home we decided to spend that evening doing something we’ve been talking about doing for well over a year now. It’s something that’ll take effort and energy, but which will be so fun both in the making of it, and the accomplishment of it.

But in the end, we both had had long weeks. We both got to the hour we planned to stop everything and jump into our project, and we both looked at each other like… Do we really have to do this right now?

Everyday life is already exhausting. Trying to live life to its fullest, as it turns out, is actually quite a bit more exhausting, even as fulfilling as it has been. Attempting to make the most out of every second, whether it’s work, free time, or sleep will take it right out of you.

What we really needed was a few hours to ourselves to relax, chill, and do our own things.


Instead of just jumping into personal chillax time, I told Noah “we’ve gotta do something. It can be something easy or simple, but let’s make sure we go to bed and know that we went out of our way to do at least a little something together. He agreed.

I asked him what we should do. He asked me to choose. We both hmmm’d and hawwww’d for a while, and finally he pulled Scrabble off the game shelf and asked me to teach him how to play. I was more than happy to do that, but if we were going to play a board game, we were going to do something to make it memorable while we did…


Again we went back and forth with ideas to make the game interesting, which we kept shooting down (mostly our own) because they took more effort than we were currently feeling like giving. Finally I had the idea of calling it “Screaming Scrabble.”

The concept was simple. Anytime one of us made a new word that landed on a “double word score” space or a “triple word score space,” the other person had to walk outside onto the balcony, where he would scream out at the top of his lungs.

But we couldn’t just scream any old scream. Whomever landed on the bonus spaces got to choose whatever phrase he wanted for the other person to yell out, so long as those phrases were positive, uplifting, or boosting to each other’s self esteems.

Since the very first player automatically gets a double-word score, we had a very serious game (5 out of 9) of paper, rock, scissors. I lost.

Noah made his word, and sent me out onto the porch. He thought for a minute as I stood there exposed to all passersby, and finally made me scream out, “I AM REALLY GOOD AT WRITING BOOKS!”

Dan & Noah Pearce playing Screaming Scrabble


I felt so awkward yelling it out, but I did it. Those were the rules of our game, after all. I bolted back inside as soon as the last word left my mouth, and we got back to the laying of letter tiles.


He drug his feet, really not wanting to do it. But he did it. And he bolted inside when he was done, embarrassed.

The next time wasn’t much easier. “I AM THE BEST DAD IN THE WHOLE WORLD!” I yelled as loud as I possibly could.


It got easier and easier with each Scrabble scream. We had each gone outside 7-8 times by the time our game ended, and on the last trip out for each of us, we stood and declared whatever we were made to declare with a more genuine boldness and confidence.

“I don’t even care what I have to yell, Dad,” Noah told me on his last trip out to the balcony. “Who cares what people think, anyway.”

“Dang straight,” I told him. “Who cares what anybody thinks.”


I didn’t know how it would turn out when I shot the idea for Screaming Scrabble out there. I didn’t know if it would be more fun or more mortifying when all was said and done. But it didn’t matter. We were going to do something different to make our night and time together memorable… Just in case we really only had 365 days left to live.

We both went and had our couple hours of personal time after that. I watched some TV and burned through some YouTube videos. He played his video games. Neither one of us ever would have looked back and had super fond memories doing that and only that, which is what we both wanted to do.

Instead, we took 25 minutes and made ourselves do something memorable. Because of that, we’ll have the rest of our lives to look back and remember screaming how awesome we both were from our apartment balcony as the city bustled around us.

And that’s a memory I like having.

Dan Pearce | The Single Dad Laughing Blog