I'm writing my own eulogy.
I know, I know. It seems a little macabre. I'm not dying or anything. At least not that I know of. I'm doing it for a couple of reasons. First, to help put things into perspective. Lately, my life is just bursting at the seams. It's mostly good, mind you, so I'm not complaining, but I do need to find a way to prioritize. What's really important?
Secondly, I'm having a bit of trouble with death. It seems that wherever I look, there it is. I'm usually a pretty stalwart kinda gal, but I gotta admit it's getting to me. Maybe it's my age. I'm forty-three. I know of at least five people busily dying from cancer at this very moment and it has thrown me into a tailspin. I've found myself just sitting the car and crying several times lately, which is completely out of character for me.
According to Wikipedia, a eulogy is a speech or writing in praise of a person, especially those recently deceased. It's sobering to think of your life in this way. When it's all said and done, what kind of a person were you? What were the things that you chose to spend your valuable time on?
If we knew that we only had two weeks or even two months, most of us would spend those moments with our loved ones. The choices get more complicated when the timetable is longer. We have to live our lives. The bills still have to be paid. We can't just sit around waiting to die.
I'm the kind of person who usually jumps right in and lives each moment to its fullest, and I still plan on doing that, but I'm going to write my eulogy in hopes that it will help me sort this out and put it behind me. I've made several attempts, which were largely failures. Have you ever known those people who respond to tough or awkward situations with humor or sarcasm? Yep, that's me. I'm a smart-ass. It keeps happening in the eulogy writing, too, and while hilarious (at least to me, if no one else), it doesn't have the gravity that a eulogy seems to demand.
My current approach is to make a list of the larger concepts that are important to me and then assess my life to determine how I'm doing incorporating those things into my daily life.
The list so far goes a little something like this:
- Continue to strengthen important relationships.
- Discard relationships which consistently have negative affects on my life.
- Cultivate a life which incorporates creativity. This makes me exceedingly happy!
- Reduce stress.
- Increase exercise.
I'll keep you posted, but in the meantime, does anyone out there have some input on this topic? I'd love to hear how others have dealt with this issue.
The artwork in this post is courtesy of Jeremiah Ketner. He's wickedly talented and you can find even more fabulousness at his website, including details about his current show, Ideal World.
As always, if you've got creative works to share, either literary or visual art, you may submit using this form. I'd love to hear from you!