165th Ask Josh – Last Day on Earth

In Uncategorized on May 23, 2011 at 10:01 am

Jacci B. did not ask me, but rather asked the world via Facebook:

So, the billboards say that tomorrow is the end, what do you do with the day before?


Dear Jacci,

There’s the theoretical answer (which I hate reading), and then there’s what you actually do on a real day before the world ends.

It never occurred to me that someone would still spend the day before the end of the world in a pretty routine fashion because nobody ever really believes that the next day will be the end of the world, even if a billboard told them so.

That said, anyone who says they would spend their last day on earth doing things like “skydiving” or “Rocky Mountain-climbing” or even going 2.7 seconds on a bull named “Fu Man Chu.” Because even if you were 99% certain you were dying the next day, I believe you may do a few more things you enjoy, but you would still keep yourself from burning bridges, spending all your money, or risking death.

For example,

I still show up at work, but I spend a little more time reading the Op-Eds of the WSJ and the NYT and I forward more links than usual on Facebook. Because, who cares if I’m clogging up news feeds, the world may end tomorrow.

I go out to eat, but I end up passing up a Chilean McDonald’s McNifica and end up walking to the Santiago Temple and eating in their cafeteria with some strangers… and I name the plate of lentils “Food Man Chewed.”

Also, instead of spending Saturday going from one house to the next, I settle to do some service for an old friend, then stay to have lunch and go watch Pirates of the Caribbean, have a little gelato to enjoy my last day, and then do a little shopping for Susan… just in case I don’t die and the world keeps spinning madly on.

I still do laundry, but I throw all the clothes into a single load. I am less worried about what will happen if my dark colors with my bright colors get washed together. Because if the world ends, then I saved myself an extra washing machine cycle before it happened. And if it doesn’t end, I’ll still have clean socks for Church the next day, even if my yellow and pink shirts looks a little more blue from now on.

I still go to the ward activity. And I still make plenty of jokes, just fewer at others’ expense. In case I have to see them the next day.

I read a book I like, but I don’t finish it. Just in case there may yet remain another day to read it.

Thus, living like you’re dying becomes a lot more sustainable life model when there is none of the drama of remembering to check everything off your bucket list and a little more focusing on the important stuff without having to leave the field unplowed.

Also, I would put off writing this post because even if I did get it published in time for the end of the world, nobody would have the time or a reason to read it.

I know, none of this is funny. So… spend part of your last day on earth watching this:



  1. I'm glad the world did not end. You haven't given me a gift from Chile yet.

  2. Jooooosh! I'm going back to school to get my teaching certificate (high school English). Also, I'm going to be the "new Mackenna" back at the office. You'll need to stop by and say hi sometime.Congrats on the upcoming bebe! So so exciting 🙂

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