May is the month of celebrations for our family. For me it has always been a much-anticipated month. As a child it was all about MY birthday coming and I was convinced that the magic of autumn turning the 100-year old Elms that lined the street where I lived in Canberra into a golden yellow was nature’s way of preparing for my special day.
Photo of Grant Cres, Canberra – Credit Grahamec (via commons.wikimedia.org)
When we moved to tropical Queensland I think that was my biggest disappointment. There was no change to the season, no heralding of May…the anticipation was all but gone.
I share the month with both of my parents who have birthdays on consecutive days in May. But May started to get a little more hectic when I started dating Craig also born in May and THEN we decided to set out wedding date slap dab in the middle of both of our May birthdays so we could celebrate for a week every year. Having kids, then added to the crazy, throwing Mother’s Day into the mix.
My house pretty much looks like a florist right now! Not that I am complaining!
Since losing a friend my vintage a few years ago, I am grateful for each and every birthday I see in – because it is a blessing denied to many.
Those who know me well, know that I have been 37 for over a decade now. My mum was 35 till she was 50, so I figured I would do the same. Many tease me about being in denial, but I am not. I am just not a big fan of the number four. To me it is such a “meh” number. It can’t even work out how it should be drawn – some people draw it closed and pointy, others draw it “open” like some odd headless stick figure with an arm pointing skyward! There are no lovely curves AND you have to lift your pen off the page for it! The pain of it!! So – I am skipping the fours and I’ll jump straight to 50 when it is time to! Judge me all you like. This is me. Ha!
I know it is cliché but I really do want to make each day count. There are days that I do that better than others of course, but I try to live each day so that I have no regrets. If I am not happy with how a day has gone, I do my best to make amends where I need to or make the next day a better one.
Late last year after connecting with a business mentoring community I was challenged in my thinking on goal setting and invigorated like never before to back myself to use my experience in the law and in life to see if I can’t bring some change to my “world” and to leave it a slightly better place. Three weeks later, I started writing this blog. Posting to the sound of “crickets” I thought, yet now I am surprised at getting feedback from the other side of the world and as I type I am humbled to say my posts have been read over 6,300 times in just 6 months.
I am madly writing a “how to” book in the hope that I will have that written and published by November this year. With it, I hope to spread the message to law colleagues and the community generally, that there is a better way to resolving wills & estates inheritance disputes than starting down a court battle pathway. I am genuinely passionate about helping grieving families navigate, what is already such a difficult time, in a better, less painful and less costly way.
For the last few months I have seen midnight more often than not. I am at times tired, but my bigger goal gives me the energy to keep going.
If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you. Steve Jobs
I do want to leave my “world” a better place. I want to make a difference. I try to do that daily in my life as a mum to my two kids, as a wife to my hubby, as a neighbour, as a friend and as a boss. The key, I think, is living in a way that aligns with the things I value the most. I put family first and I value relationships above material things. I want to do right and make right. I love to try new things and to see things from different perspectives. I try to encourage and build up, I cheer others on. Sometimes I do ok, other times I screw up. But most of the time I am contented knowing I have given this thing called life my best shot each and every day.
I had a conversation with a friend over the weekend just gone – about how hard it has been for her to watch her strong and capable father, age and now suffer with the daily pain of an incurable cancer. Yet she took comfort in knowing that neither she, nor he, nor their family will have regrets when he breathes his last. Not just because his suffering will end and his eternal life will begin, but because nothing has been left unlived or unsaid. Love has been shared freely, openly and often. Family holidays and overseas trips have been enjoyed with an ever-expanding family of grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. Life has been long and full and overflowing with the good things that outshine the bad.
A life well lived is a legacy in itself.
Try and leave this world a little better than you found it, and when your turn comes to die, you can die happy in feeling that at any rate, you have not wasted your time but have done your best.
As I mark having navigated another lap around the sun, I am grateful for the life I have lived so far, and I am excited for the days, weeks, months and, God willing, years ahead.
How about you? What plans do you have to leave your “world” a little better?