“It’s not the years in your life which make a difference, it’s the life in your years.” Abraham Lincoln.
The first few weeks of 2016 seemed to be filled with the untimely deaths of some of my heroes. David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Dan Haggerty and Glenn Frey. And then Terry Wogan. I’m 51 so I guess my teenage idols have got about 20 years on me in the main.
It’s focussed my mind and energy on how I want to live and what I want to experience. It’s a bucket list of sorts, but one that’s not just about things or places, but also about behaviours. In particular, I want to focus on positives and notice when I choose not to do something, and ask myself why.
What needs to happen so that I can do it? What’s stopping me right now? What do I believe about myself when I choose not to do it? Does the activity or behaviour sit with my sense of self? All good questions to ask and listen to the answer.
I doubt any of us can argue that Bowie and Frey in particular packed an awful lot of living into their years, not all of it healthy. I remember listening to Terry’s Breakfast Show on Radio 2 some years ago, and he was having a rant about living healthily. He suggested that it was pointless arriving at the Pearly Gates with a body like a temple, all fit and healthy. Surely the best way to arrive, said Terry, was as a physical wreck, as by then you wouldn’t need your body any more. I laughed at the time but have since come to realise that being able to pack as much into my life as possible for me means having a healthy body and mind. That doesn’t mean I’m constantly clean living, but that I’ve found a balance which works for me.
Mark Twain said: “Work like you don’t need the money. Love like you’ve never been hurt. Dance like nobody is watching.” I think he was on the same page as Abraham Lincoln, don’t you? Live life to the full. And if you notice that something is stopping you from doing that, take steps to remove the block.