Today I read the eulogy of a woman who recently passed away at an age much too young. I didn’t know her, but who one of my good friends was lifelong buddies with her and had often described her with enthusiasm, laughter and admiration. The eulogy, written by one of the woman’s friends, was an amazing, heartfelt and descriptive narrative and it made me laugh, cry and of course, think about how short life is.
Why does it take death to remind us of things we should remember on a daily basis? It’s true – if you’re being honest and you’ve ever experienced the death of someone in your life, you know that you have a period of time after the funeral during which you think, “I’m going to be nicer. I won’t work so much. I’ll remember to be happy. I’ll spend more time with my spouse/kids/parents.”
And then life gets back in the way. And we get caught up in petty stresses and ridiculously long work days that pull us from the people that matter the most. Awards and accolades and corner offices become the priority. We forget to make the kid’s soccer games, or we get home too late to say good night… night after night after night until our kids are suddenly teenagers who don’t care to say goodnight to us anymore. Our egos take over and we forget that it’s time that really matters. Time with those who love us and those whom we love.
Don’t forget to take the time. It’s the one thing we’re guaranteed to run out of – and it’s up to you on how you spend it.
I’m not suggesting you throw caution to the wind, grab the sails and take off from your day job. As lovely an idea as it is, we do have to pay the bills and continue with the generally mundane tasks that life has in store for us. But we don’t have to let them take over all of our time. We don’t have to fall prey to letting what’s actually the least important things take over as most important. When someone reads your eulogy, will they talk about your work accolades or your personal relationships? Maybe both… .but you’ve heard before, you won’t be on that deathbed wishing you had worked more.
So today, I share with you some of the lessons I took from reading the eulogy of my friend’s friend. She sounded amazingly unique, but I think these are simple enough for any of us to remember and heed about life, and how we’re spending our time:
- Laugh. Keep laughing.
- Be adventurous.
- Don’t conform. It’s so – boring.
- Help others. Even when it’s “inconvenient” to you.
- Don’t put yourself in a box – you don’t have to choose one thing to be or do for your entire life. You’re allowed to flip the script any time you want.
- Love. Even when you’ve experienced the pain of losing it – love again.
- Move on. Let go.
- Keep the faith.
- Keep going.
- Give. More than you receive.
- Surprise people with kindness. (Which reminds me of a sign I saw this weekend that made me laugh. It said, “Smile. It makes people nervous.” Why is that?!)
- Take the time. Don’t just send a “hello” text. Write a letter. Send an unexpected gift. Make it clear how much people mean to you by giving them your time.
- Say “Yes!” with gusto.
Thanks Sue, for sharing a little bit of Turquoise so her enthusiasm for life can keep going and touching others.