1. Clear your calendar. This means not going to work, canceling that meeting, skipping that errand. This is the most important first step you can take.
2. Make amends with your Maker. If you don’t believe you have a maker, take your chances and make amends anyway. Unless you’re super committed to believing that you know something the rest of us don’t. In which case, skip to #3.
3. Make a fabulous meal with the ingredients you already have at home. Just make sure it can be made in 15 minutes or less. If all you have is macaroni and cheese, then make sure to use cream instead of milk. And use all the cheese. Don’t bother going to the store with everyone else and stocking up on supplies. What's the point? And fast food won't be fast enough. For those of you with a fabulous wine collection, this is the time to pull out that $250 Bordeaux you’ve been saving for a special occasion. This counts as a special occasion. Drink it with your mac & cheese. No need to decant. Drink now.
4. If you have pets, give them the run of the fridge. Just make sure to keep them close, because when the world lights up, you don’t want them wandering around confused in a nuclear wasteland. If you have any meat in the freezer, unthaw it in the microwave and feed it to them. They will remember that kind gesture for the rest of their lives. Guaranteed.
5. If you have a DVD collection (I wouldn't count on internet service), find a comedy. “Abbott and Costello Meets Frankenstein” is our family favorite. You’ll likely die laughing.
6. If you don’t have a DVD collection (who does anymore?), put on your favorite music. Or go to Spotify, Apple Music, or whatever music service you have and play J.S. Bach’s “Goldberg Variations.” You owe it to yourself, at least once in your life, to hear the most beautiful music ever created by a human being. Depending on timing, you may get through the first 8 Variations. You’ll be glad you did (the First and Eighth are to die for). The recording published by Little Julia, recorded in October of 1993 at Friedrich Ebert Hall in Hamburg, Germany, and transcribed by Dimitry Sitkovetsky (first violin), is my favorite.
7. Look through old family photo albums. Pictures saved tend to be of happy times. These will be your last memories as you shed this mortal coil and head for Parts Unknown. Don’t bother looking through cell phone pics. Those are mostly just meaningless recordings of uninteresting events.
8. If you don’t have a family album, talk about favorite memories. It’s important, at times like these, to dwell on the past. As my son, Will, likes to remind our family, “The future will happen. It’s only matter of time.” In this case, it's only a matter of minutes.
9. When you begin to hear loud and unexpected noises coming out of the sky, do one of two things: huddle together and face the opposite direction, or stand up and face the music. Either option is perfectly acceptable. Make sure to turn up Bach.
10. At the opportune moment (you’ll know it when it comes), make sure the last words you speak are, “I love you” to those around you. And look them in the eye when you do. And don't forget to smile.