One of the only certainties in life, alongside taxes, is death. We all know and accept we will die, however, we don’t know when.
But if you knew when you would die, would you live your life the same? Or a bit differently? Or radically overhaul it?
The thought experiment
So, for today’s post I am linking up with other UK FI bloggers to play a thought game – what would I do if I would be dead in 10 years.
The rules are as follows: a quick stream of consciousness post answering the question posed. If you want to join in please do and write a quick post of your own – then let us know and we’ll add you in.
So here is my post on what I would personally do if I knew I would die in 10 years.
What would I do first?
Initially, not much different to what I’d do if I won £1m. I’d make arrangements to stop working but see out my contract and not leave others in the lurch, as that just isn’t me.
Although I don’t yet have enough money saved to support me for the rest of my life, I most certainly have enough to last 10 years. So if I knew I would be dead in 10 years, then it’s a whole different ball game.
That in itself is good to remember – that without working I could easily survive for 10 years today. And that makes me feel rich and reassured – that no matter what life throws at me, I have enough cash to get through financially. So there is one less thing to worry about going wrong. And that relief is a great privilege.
Bucket List Time
You know I love planning and making lists, don’t you? I’m currently working through my 40 by 40 list, which is a mixture of awesome and somewhat mediocre things I want to achieve in a few years. And I really should give it a review again, I think I’m falling behind schedule despite completing a few items last month – notably the Ring Cycle and 100 Parkruns.
But what would my bucket list look like if I knew I would be dead in 10 years? Similarly to my answer above, not very different than it does now. What I want to achieve and get out of life hasn’t changed, only the timescales are compressed. And that may mean some difficult choices, and some items being bumped down the list.
My life would still involve exercise, running, hiking, learning, theatre, more theatre, opera, reading, more reading. And of course travel.
Travel would definitely still feature in my life – there are so many countries I have yet to visit that I am very keen to experience – including Asia. Yes, I’ve not yet been to proper Asia (only Turkey), which is a bit embarrassing, to be honest.
So once I had finished work, I’d pack up and go full on nomadic, travelling the world and visiting as many new countries as possible. I’d sell my house and bank the liquidated cash. And face my hoarding tendencies straight on, and start to embrace minimalism.
I still harbour a desire to see each and every country in the world, and you know what? That might even be achievable in 10 years with a lot of planning. And I love planning, it gives me so much joy so I’d start working on a plan to see them all.
Using Time Wisely
One thing I’d change in life would be to use my time better. If my time is suddenly finite, I would value it more and make sure I used it better. I’d be much more willing to pay for things to be faster and more efficient all around.
I’d start outsourcing again and be less including to learn more practical skills like home maintenance, as there is less of a payoff and money would not be an issue.
Moreover, I’d make sure I spent good quality time with friends and family – focussing on quality rather than quantity. Most likely I’d fly them out to visit me on my travels and take them away from the stresses of day to day life. And then we could spend carefree time together and jointly experience cool new places.
So would the lack of consequences for actions affect me? Would I start doing things knowing I could get away with them and not face punishment?
I don’t think I would – my moral compass is ruled by my own moral code, not the threat of facing punishment from an arbitrary authority. I would feel really guilty if I harmed others, and who wants to go to their deathbed with guilt?
I’m not really narcissistic enough for a legacy, sorry. I don’t think my life is exciting or interesting enough that people would want to remember it. There would be no memoir or autobiography to document my life and like the vast majority of women before me, I’d simply disappear. As Virginia Woolf writes in A Room of Her Own:
Have you any notion how many books are written about women in the course of one year? Have you any notion how many are written by men? Are you aware that you are, perhaps, the most discussed animal in the universe?
However, I’d make sure that any remaining money was left to causes that aligned with my values. And that means feminist charities supporting women as well as the cat shelters. So I would actually write that will and make sure my wishes were known by everyone.
Read the other entries
So you’ve read what I would do, what about the others? How would it change or not change their lives?
And thanks to SavingsNinja for organising.
Over to you
- What are your thoughts?
- What would you do if you would die in 10 years?
- Would you change much about the way you live your life?