Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving Brain Snack

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them." ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Friday, November 19, 2010

Write Your Own Epitaph?

William H Hahn Jr. - I told you I was sick

A friend of mine recently mentioned in passing that she had a health issue that made her and her sister joke about how her obituary should read. What’s next is a couple funny ones I found :

Here lies the body

Of Margaret Bent

She kicked up her heels

And away she went.

Here lies an Atheist
All dressed up
And no place to go.


After a death in our family recently it made me start thinking about obituaries and epitaphs. I know it’s a bit morbid but just go with me here. I read an obituary this week written about someone I knew well. I read it twice. I wondered who wrote it because nothing that was mentioned resembled the person I knew the deceased to be. It’s so often the case that we perceive ourselves much differently than others do. Sometimes we conjure up a much more complimentary or glamorous view of how we believe others see us. At other times, we are sure that others view us as insignificant or worse, invisible in value. Either is an extreme and the truth truly falls somewhere in the middle of those two.



 [ep-i-taf, -tahf]


1.a commemorative inscription on a tomb or mortuary monument about the person buried at that site.

2.a brief poem or other writing in praise of a deceased person.



So what if we could write our own epitaph?

You gotta think about what would go in the “dash” you see above. Because that dash represents your breathing years.

It represents a lot of activity.

A lot of sleep.

A lot of joy

A lot of struggle

A lot of accomplishment

A lot of failure

A lot of love

A lot of frustration

A lot of time spent doing things you deemed important at least for the moment.

And all of what in the dash basically adds up to the content of your epitaph.

So, my thought for today – for this week – for this lifetime, however long it is….

Is to decide daily what I want the dash to represent. It’s about choices and making them toward something valuable in the long haul.

Oh my! A lot of thinking to do about priorities, adjustments, PEOPLE.

So, we are writing our own epitaph after all. Only the remaining time in the dash in unknown.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Between The Lines

Have you heard the saying, "Just keep it between the lines." It might come in response to asking someone how they are, or they may use it to describe their philosophy of life. Here are some words that could describe how that's lived out -
Many of us find those words to be positive ones. In fact, it's one of the first things they taught us in school - color inside the lines. These words normally fit in my box of Good.

I'm wondering how different our personal worlds would different the whole world would be if we chose to NOT live between the lines. What if we started living outside the lines. I'm not suggesting abandoning all of the above words completely, going crazy and living some sort of lawless existence. But, what if we just pushed out the boundaries a bit and stepped over onto the other side of the lines.

What if we got -
And these are just the ones that start with a vowel :)

Here are some words that describe the realms in which we might practice this:
visualizing...(not in a weird way)

Here's what I'm thinking....
What if we looked at something - a person, an animal, nature, a piece of art and really tried to see it, in detail, in context - noticing it's uniqueness and contemplating it's purpose.

What if we put something in a place it didn't belong, discovering a new use or beauty in placing it there.

What if we set aside some time to think about something that's not on our everyday radar. To think creatively about a challenge we have that needs a solution.

What if we picked up a paper or book that we would never want to read if we were still "between the lines". Maybe it would stir an idea or thought to share or savor.

What if we did something that would cause people to say, "that's so unlike you". All of a sudden you partake of a new experience and feel something about it - "I like it!" or "I wouldn't do that again".

What if we closed our eyes and visualized ourselves or our surroundings in a completely different color. Perhaps the shirt we would normally purchase in black, we decide to purchase in red. Or we buy new throw pillows in some indulgent color that transforms the room and our mood.

What if we outrageously gave some stuff away. Like the kind of stuff that people would say, "What!!?? Why are you doing that?" And you said, "because I'm outside the lines today".

How 'bout it? Dare to live outside the lines for just one day? One week?

I'd love to hear from you on this one...anybody wanna give it a try??