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.

It’s been a weird several days.

Mentally, I mean. It’s been weird mentally.

For some reason I keep thinking I’m slacking in this #365DaysToLive challenge, and I don’t know why. Eh, who am I kidding. Of course I know why.

I haven’t done anything truly exciting. I haven’t scratched anything new off of my #365DaysToLive list. I haven’t gone on any big adventures. I haven’t…

What the… What kind of thinking is that? Am I kidding myself? #365DaysToLive isn’t about going out and seeing the entire world all in one day. It’s about living in such a way that I would feel satisfied with the last year of my life should I kick the bucket one year from today.

If I step back and look at it that way, I have still been ROCKIN’ my #365DaysToLive challenge. I mean, come on. This week…

  • I got my ass up and out the door to start WORKING OUT. I’ve finished three days of Couch to 10k. I’ve worked out every day except for the two days I was so sore from working out I could barely walk.
    • But here’s the thing… my body hurting means I’m moving it and working it and getting stronger.
      • And here’s the other thing… Getting stronger is how I’m going to really enjoy all the upcoming epic adventures a whole lot more.
  • I’ve eaten HEALTHY all week, except one day where for some reason I just snarfed everything in sight.
    • But here’s the thing… I ate awesomely every other day. And I knew going into this that part of #365DaysToLive was learning to accept my one-step-backs in stride.
      • And here’s the other thing… One day of snarfing is not going to undo all this hard work. All that dedication and healthy eating is going to make the rest of the #365DaysToLive a lot more enjoyable.
  • I’ve reached out to old FRIENDS.
    • And here’s the thing. Before I started this challenge, I had more or less convinced myself that I didn’t have any real friends because people haven’t reached out to me, I haven’t seen most of my “real friends” in ages, etc.
      • And here’s the other thing… It wasn’t true. At all. I simply forgot the quote, “I went out to find a friend and could not find one there. I went out to be a friend, and friends were everywhere.”
        • And here’s the other other thing… My friends were all still there. Still just as friendy as ever. I hung out with a couple of them and made plans to hang out with a couple others.
  • I’ve booked ADVENTURES. I’ve now got a trip booked to Las Vegas next week to see someone amazing (see next main bullet point). I’ve got a trip to California booked to take Noah to the Harry Potter World (or whatever it’s called) on spring break the first week of April. I’ve got a trip booked to St Louis to see a few of my most amazing friends in the middle of April. I’ve got plans and discussions with other friends, trying to figure out how and when we can see each other.
    • And here’s the thing. I’ve spent some money to set up these adventures. More than I’d usually be comfortable spending on so many trips all back to back.
      • But here’s the other thing… Once the money was spent, it was spent and I have been nothing but excited and pumped for the upcoming adventures.
        • You see, here’s the other other thing. If I were to die in 365 days because a rocket hit the Earth, or because I got hit by a bus, or for any other reason… I’m not going to care how much money I have saved up. I’m going to love those memories much more and die a happy and fulfilled person.
  • I’ve kinda sorta opened up my heart to someone. I met this incredible woman. A school teacher who lives in Las Vegas. A truly remarkable, hilarious, and fantastic human. We’re still in the budding stages, but something about this #365DaysToLive challenge made me open up a part of my heart that’s been closed off and clamped shut for some time now. For this challenge, I more or less shut out all dating unless I happen to meet someone I have to know, remember? Well, the universe is funny. It was like, “you think you can control me? Think again, pal.”
    • And here’s the thing. Everything going on with this girl is still super fresh. I have no idea if a week from now it will go down in history as a truly epic disaster of a fling. I have no idea if this is someone meant to be in my life just for this moment or forever.
      • But here’s the other other thing. I don’t care. What happens next doesn’t matter. What will happen in 5, 10, or 50 years doesn’t matter. What matters is, if I were to die 365 days from now, would I want to look back and know that I let potential amazingness slip through my fingers because I was being heart-stubborn? Definitely not.
        • And the other other other thing… It might work. It might be the beginning of something amazing. It… Just… Might.
          • And the other other other other thing… Let’s keep this hush hush. Shhhh. She’s off being the Maid of Honor at a wedding all weekend. Don’t tell her I wrote all this.

So, ummm… Why, exactly, do I keep thinking this isn’t working?

No, really. I keep wondering why. This week friggin’ rocked. Letting my kid hit the purchase button on plane tickets? FaceTiming for hours on end with a beautiful woman? Getting my ass out of the house and moving?

I’ve taken a couple little steps back, sure. I’ve wasted a few hours here and there. One morning I didn’t keep my goal of not hitting the snooze button. And on one of the nights I even went out for a jog, and came back with this…

Cut hand while jogging

Yeah. That happened.

It hurt.

Boohoo.

Do you know why I chose the main image I did for this post? This one right here…

Dan-Pearce-Single-Dad-Laughing-Train-Running

I chose that picture because I took it to share in the Single Dad Laughing Health Club something like 12 minutes after I had my hand all ripped-up by a chainlink fence (another great story for another day). I chose that picture because even though I should have been annoyed or discouraged by what had just happened, I wasn’t. I felt alive. I felt happy. Life was so good in that moment. The expression on my face was genuine.

I also kind of really love that picture of my hand. I took it right after I got home from the run. Do you know why I love it?

I love it because to me, it represents the power of living the #365DaysToLive challenge. It shows that I was loving life even when I was taking a little step back. Did you notice that fading ink mark on the back of my hand? That was placed there the night before after I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen in well over a year, and we went to a weird hippie music concert, which I agreed to attend just because it was something I had never done. I can see the cuts, I can see the ink, or I can see both for what they really are…

#365DaysToLive is about living. And living comes with its shitty moments. But it also comes with its amazing memories. That’s why I love that picture.

So, what. I didn’t have any truly great adventures this week. Who cares. This week was fuller than almost any week I had in the year+ leading up to this challenge. This week set a lot of stage for future adventures. This week was good. So good.

I suppose I just needed to remind my brain of that.

Dan Pearce | The Single Dad Laughing Blog