My friend, Terry, texted me a couple of weeks ago, insistent that I start watching "The Big C." She said she was obsessed, and therefore, I should be, too. This made perfect sense to me, and so, I immediately set out to find and become obsessed with a show I'd never heard of. I am nothing, if not obedient. It was a little tricky, because the show is not on Netflix. I could pay $2.99/episode to stream it, but I am WAY too cheap for that. At 13 episodes a season, and only 26 minute episodes, that was not going to fly with me. I decided to order the DVDs online at a bargain rate, and the day Season One arrived, I set to work. In case you are unfamiliar, Laura Linney knows in the pilot episode, that she has stage 4 melanoma. She will not survive it.
I watched three episodes within the first 24-hours, and felt like the A student. I watched one episode from Disk 3 before carelessly leaving it lying about, and it got stepped on and cracked right in half. Not to worry, I got right back on Amazon and ordered an even less expensive Season One again, and patiently awaited its arrival. I just finished the season Friday morning at the crack of dawn over my 5:30 AM before-Wil-wakes-up coffee, then texted Terry to tell her I'd finished. Shortly after I texted her she called, and I actually picked up the phone and we had a short, but satisfying dissection of the series thus far. "Do you think you could trick yourself into living as though you only had a year to live? Do you think it's possible?" she asked.
"You could pull off some facsimile," I said, "but you couldn't be reckless. You couldn't cash out your IRA."
"But could you act out?" she asked.
"Within reason," I said.
Acting out has never been something I've been prone to do, and even if I had only a year to live, it would not be top of my list of priorities.
"For me," I said, "it would be more of a question of priorities. What would I do with my time, my money, my energy? How would I spend it? If I knew I only had a year to live, would I spend another second with certain people?"
Terry and I have three seasons more to go and exponentially more conversations about this, to be sure, but I think in the end we might challenge each other to a year of living intentionally, mindfully,
Perhaps even a little teeny tiny bit recklessly.