On Monday I attended a funeral. It was a sad and unexpected occasion.
Part of the service concentrated on how such untimely deaths (and death generally) can focus the mind. The priest spoke about how death reminds us we aren’t infinite beings and to not waste time on the mundane. Even if, for some, that reminder is fleeting.
“One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. DO IT NOW” Paulo Coelho.
It was the devastating and premature departure of someone, I loved, that started my journey toward a simpler life over 5 years ago. I picked up two books on a life-changing visit to the local library back in 2009. One book has been quoted time and time again, here at the blog, but I may not have given the title of the second book. It was ‘The Courage To Grieve’.
Death focused my mind. I knew something had to change. I fully, and painfully, understood how time on this planet is so precious, and so short. It was time to go simple.
My first step on the path toward a ‘family life simply done’ was to get my physical house in order. To reduce clutter and to improve the organisation of our home.
Losing someone put everything into perspective. The clutter I’d been collecting for years lost its value. Slowly but surely the clutter reduced, along with other investments of my time (and energy) that no longer seemed important.
I’ve written this blog post a hundred times in my thoughts. I’ve physically written it down twice on paper. What I type today will be different to what I wrote previously, because we evolve. Every day we change and grow, our emotions and memories change based on our life experiences.
One time it was written as a potential guest post for another blog. I’ve tried to find that draft, but can’t. I’m thinking it’s may be for the best. Yet another 12 months on it’s less raw.
But I do remember what I titled the never-submitted guest post.
It was the same title as this post – Getting Your House In Order.
But the title of this post has a double-entendre.
At the back of my mind, in my deep subconscious I carry a strong desire ‘to get my house in order’ should I not return home, unexpectedly, one day.
This may sound morbid. I assure you it isn’t. I try to skip through life with a light-heart – but with my feet placed firmly on the ground. There are no guarantees, and when that realisation is spun as a positive it can bring many benefits. Among others, here are 5 that spontaneously spring to mind:
1. The ability to keep things in perspective and remember that ‘this too shall pass‘
2. A deep appreciation of the passing of precious time. For example, each day I just observe my children’s faces for a minute or two (a bit scary for them maybe?)
4, It reduces what I take for granted
5. And ultimately – I don’t take life too seriously. After all no-one gets out alive 😉