5 tips for making life matter

b9 My Final Fling

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:

  1. Work hard and play hard. (In that order works best for me.)
  2. Fight your own fights. Stand up for yourself. Speak out.
  3. Look for the best, not the worst in others.
  4. You’re no better than anyone else and no-one else is better than you.
  5. Every day’s a school day.

Let me know yours.

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