Are you actively making life matter? I am acutely interested in making life matter. Every day, top of my to-do list is just that. Every day.
I want to learn. I want to do great and small things. Ordinary and extraordinary things. I want to tend my garden, make the most of all the rooms in my house (and other cliches). I want to enjoy every walk, notice the sky, hear the birds, tend to my relationships, stretch myself, take risks, allow for mistakes, be generous. I want to be all marvellous… sing along to songs I love, spend time with people I love, dance in the rain, try new things, enjoy old comforts, grow, burn bright. Of course sometimes I’m just a bit blah. Sometimes I’m lost in my laptop, my emails, my phone. Worse, sometimes I’m a bit rubbish – get things wrong, behave badly, make bad choices. And sometimes I arrive without remembering the journey. But hey, I’m only human.
I recently did a course on experience design. (Learning and stretching.) I will use this learning to help me think through the experience of death and do what little I can to make the experience as good as it can be at the points where Final Fling can help:
- when someone is looking for information
- when someone wants advice
- when someone wants to connect with others who’ve done the journey too
- when someone wants help from experts and volunteers who might be able to help
- when someone wants to plan.
Embracing mortality helps make life matter
I believe that embracing mortality is a fundamental part of making life matter. For those who are dying and those who live on. Because there is a high probability that all of us will do both of those things at some point in life and when it’s my turn to be in either role, I want a good experience.
I believe death can be a profoundly enriching experience. At this stage, I can’t comment on dying. (Of course we’re all living and therefore we’re all dying but a general state of wellness is very different from a general state of illness.) So I only comment from the perspective of being one of those who lives on.
My limited experience of death up close and personal has been an augmented reality experience. I found it a heightened sense of being alive and in the aftermath, a heightened reminder of the depth of the living loving relationship I was losing.
In these scenarios, death’s palpable creeping up offers enhanced and intense moments as time becomes rationed, as the tick and tock marks the seeping reality … our time together is up. For now. In this way.
Tips for making life matter
The ripples of these lives, now gone, echo down the years for me. I still hear the voices of my folks – parents, grandparents – reminding me of positive, active, pragmatic tips and tactics for making life matter.
So this week, I share words of wisdom I’ve held onto:
- Work hard and play hard. (In that order works best for me.)
- Fight your own fights. Stand up for yourself. Speak out.
- Look for the best, not the worst in others.
- You’re no better than anyone else and no-one else is better than you.
- Every day’s a school day.
Let me know yours.
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