The Way I See it: Don’t put off making memories

The passing of a loved one reminds us that we need to live each day to the fullest

I wonder how many people dying at a young age, or a life event has to happen before we will really look at improving our lives and putting our priorities in order. We being you and me.

I was struck by Glory Westwell’s comment in her husband Paul’s obituary, “we should kiss more, because you never know.” And Paul died that evening. I’m glad they kissed.

That “you never know” comment is said by many of us on a regular basis.  If we did know would we live differently? If you had a snapshot or a road map of your life and were told you have 55, or 39 or 63 or 84 years, make the best of it. Would you do those activities, and share time with loved ones’ with full attention?

When Gord died at 39 of a heart attack, which I related to smoking that he started as a teenager, I wondered that if he had been told his heart couldn’t handle the smoke would he have quit, or maybe not even have started. I am sure he would have because he loved living and adored his sons.  He would have wanted to enjoy fatherhood, and he didn’t get to.

But we are not given our own personal destiny chart, well sometimes when we are really sick we are told “you have three months, maybe two years, get your affairs in order.”  There is an abundance of information everywhere for all of us on healthy lifestyles, but sometimes you can do everything right and you still die earlier than hoped.

Peter Mayfield, another lovely man, like Paul Westwell, also died recently. I spent some time with him and Hylda this spring and we were discussing my darling’s retirement. Peter said “Make sure he does it, retire at 60 don’t wait, because you never know.” I went home and told my darling, “I have on good authority you are on the right track by retiring at 60.”

You never know.

So I am going to make a new bucket list and this time I am going to turn it into an action plan with those goals broken down into objectives and action statements with deliverables. Mostly I just need to decide which of those great ideas I can start today. I am sure that I am not alone in having  a wonderful list that doesn’t get started because daily living activities or some other project takes a priority.

One of my brothers is a great role model for me, his life is all about pleasure. He loves to read books and he does so, he loves sports, his family, travelling, music, and so much more and he makes those his priorities. He is super kind, thoughtful and funny and also calls baloney when it needs to be. He tells me all the time, “you work too much what are you working for?”

Procrastination, thinking of needing more money, at the end of the day I can’t take it with me and I would have more fun enjoying myself than working really long hours. Those joyful memories are the ones we keep close by and will be my companion as I age, hopefully I get to be a grandma, and a great one at that.

I am changing my work and am back in my old field of health and social services and delighted to be there. I am working less and am shopping for a sports car, something I promised myself years ago. And it is the driving the car with my darling or my sons, or my friends that will be the most fun.

Dance like nobody’s watching; live like you were dying, climb more mountains, go barefoot more often; get off the train. All good life mottos. The way I see it, “we should kiss more” is a great motto for life as well.

Michele Blais has worked with families and children in the Vernon area for the past 27 years. She is a longtime columnist with The Morning Star, appearing every other Sunday.