What to do before the world ends

What to do before the world ends this Saturday…  today…  next year… on 12/12/12 or whenever:

Put the houseplants outdoors. Set free the cats, the dogs, the canaries. And by all means, pack a carryon bag (for the ark – or the spaceship) with whatever snack foods you prefer. (I’m bringing pecans, dried cherries and a couple of pieces of string cheese.)

After that…

Look at your children. I mean really look at them, in the eye – allow them to look at you the same way. Let them look into the center of your pupils where they’ll find the tunnel to your heart. Find that tunnel in their eyes.

Listen to them – and talk to them. Hold them. Turn off the television and walk together, outside, even if it’s raining. Ask them questions. Share your feelings. Tell them about your life when you were their age. Kids love that.

If you run out of things to say, experiment with just walking along together in silence.

Now, do the same things with your spouse. Your best friend. Your neighbor. Your crazy uncle.

Is there anything you want your mom to know before it’s too late to tell her? (It doesn’t matter if she’s living or gone. What would you say?)

How about Dad?

Is there anyone else you’d like to talk with?

Take a day off from work… just because.

Look at the stars.

Eat the cheesecake.

Pick up the phone and say..

  • I’m sorry.
  • I’d like to know you.
  • I’ve always wanted to work here.

Say… whatever it is you have to say.

Look back over the life you’ve lived and make a list:

  • What has made me the most happy?
  • What am I proud of?
  • Who loves me?
  • Who do I love?

What people, places or experiences stand out?

What impact have you made on the Earth and its inhabitants?

What do you wish you’d done more of? Less of?

What do you wish you’d known?

What would you have changed, if only you had the time?

Is there anything left unfinished, unrealized, unsaid?

Write it all down.

And then, the day after (or the day before) the world has met its fiery end, start doing it.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Rai Muhammad Azlan

Interesting as always :)



A great reflective piece…as always.


Dawn Waldron

I’m almost scared to say that I wouldn’t change a thing. (Except I need to bake some cheesecake) But thank you for showing me that today.



Fantastic and instructive. And your conclusion is wonderfully poetic, Amy. Would that I did these things every day. My daughter is very put out that the apocalypse may conflict with her prom.



Pls tell your daughter that I said: The apocalypse will only make your prom more interesting. Bring a sweater. :)


Dana Reeves

Beautifully written; as always. :-)


Jeanine Byers Hoag

My son is already in bed for the night but I’m going back in there to hug him again, anyway, after reading this post.

It’s cool to think of using this world’s-end prediction as a wake-up call about what you would need to do if it were the end.



The lobby of my high school in Germany had a quote by Martin Luther. Translated, it said: “If I knew that the world would end tomorrow, I’d spend today planting an apple tree.”

Incidentally, I spent the day of the Rapture with people I used to work with and suddenly realized how much we all mean to each other. So mission at least partly accomplished. What a gift! Now I have to finish your list, which is a great one.


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