Yesterday was my mother’s birthday – she would have been 82 years old. She passed away just over three years ago and it goes without saying, although I will say it here – I miss her very much – we all miss her very much. She was a strong pillar in our family. I think of her on her birthday every year just as i did when she was alive, and I think of her on the date of her death as well – two very important dates in her life.
We all have a birth date and and will have a death date – it is just a simple fact – and it is all of the days in between that form the richness of our life. What a wonderful and sobering thought. Every day in between – we don’t often think of the ending – and perhaps that is good in many ways – however I think it is important to remember that the passing of each day takes us closer to that end – and therefore each day counts – each day matters.
As I write this I think perhaps I am painting a picture of futility and negativity – not my intent at all. It is only my intent to shout loudly – live each day with purpose, intent, enthusiasm and joy – even if your intent is to relax and do nothing – live it fully and be present in the moment! Life is a gift and I say celebrate the richness of each day! I know that some days are not rich at all – or maybe they are rich with pain and suffering – which makes them poor is so many ways as well – but there is a richness in poverty – for it is only when we lose that we find – only when we are weak that we are strong – and only when we are blind that maybe we can finally see.
My sister Carol celebrated her 50th birthday a week ago and although I beat her to this milestone – only by a small margin – it still gives me pause to ponder on how quickly life passes by – especially as you get older. I remember when I reached the age of 40 I felt as though life was just beginning – I had gained confidence and had enough experience under my belt to feel as though I had something to say – something to offer – but there was still so much of life ahead. It was a magical age. And then came 50 – I still feel the same – the difference being that there is less ahead then there is behind – and I am keenly aware that each day matters – and each decision matters – and so I want to make the moments significant.
What does it mean to live each day with significance – I’m not sure I have all the answers to that question – but I can say that it leaves little time for wasteful thoughts – wasteful tasks – and wasteful feelings. I am working on developing a life plan with a simple tool developed by Michael Hyatt (you can find this tool on his website michaelhyatt.com). The plan although simple causes you to stop and think about what your priorities are – and what your intent is. Stephen Covey coins the phrase “begin with the end in mind” ….. how you want to end is important ……but it requires that you live in such a way now so that you reach your end goals…..in all areas of priority – not just work – but spiritual maturity – self improvement and preservation – relationship strength – financial stability – and whatever else might be a priority on your list.
Live actively – not passively – be aware – be present – and see the beauty around. The flowers in this post are from the bouquet that was presented to Carol on her birthday – so very beautiful – so very celebratory! In our family we have a tradition of having a special family dinner at a fine restaurant of the recipients choice and we have a special gift and always celebrate with flowers – because we believe that these milestone birthdays are significant – a cause to pause – and celebrate life.
And so I encourage you to celebrate each day in a significant way – for each day is a gift – and is a leg of the journey of our own individual life – a life that is meant to have purpose and impact. Knowing each day is a piece of the whole that creates a rich life causes me to stop and ponder the importance of each day – each activity – each relationship – each thought – each action – for they form the legacy of our individual life! That is a beautiful thought!