This past weekend proved to me the beauty and endlessness of the Circle of Life. All in a 24 hour period I experienced several important life events:

  • Dear friends welcoming into the world their first grandchild, a highly-adorable bundle of pink cuteness
  • The beautiful and poignant memorial service celebrating the too-short life of the son of another dear friend
  • The 65th birthday party of yet another dear friend (planned and hosted, mind you, by a woman who will be “only 93” in a few weeks).

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

As you might imagine, it was a weekend of full of emotion. Yet the word “celebration” – celebration of life, celebration of memories, celebration of relationships –  was the key theme throughout.

Here are a few of the messages and reminders I received as this 24 hour day unfolded. They are in no particular order.

  • Gratitude for life and its pervasive insistence on renewing itself.
  • Life is beautiful, wonderful, precious, and fragile.
  • Babies are adorable and give us hope.
  • Be intentional with the gift of life and time –  and how you care for it and spend it.
  • Likewise be intentional about how you spend your precious time – and who you spend it with – as this will color, impact, and influence you.
  • Release any idle complaints about “getting old”; it’s an extravagant and self-indulgent trap of your own making.
  • No one really cares what age you are.
  • Instead of complaining, be grateful you’re still here.
  • Consider that not everyone gets the opportunity to experience a long life.
  • Likewise, age is merely a number therefore “acting your age” can be the biggest mistake you ever make.
  • And who decided what “acting your age” is, anyway? Pfffft. Whatever.
  • My nearly-93 year old friend will advise you to put the word “only” in front of your age.  (E.g., “I’m only 58.”  Can you feel how things shift when you do?)
  • You are never too old to be young and full of life, laughter, and spirit.
  • Others want to be inspired by you, and if you are lucky, you will get to hear about the many ways you have done so.
  • Saucy instigators have all the fun. So be a saucy instigator.
  • Everyone will have good luck and bad, triumphs and tragedies in their lives, especially if you live (and love) long enough.
  • Accept this, and put the many lessons you learn to good use.
  • The challenges you’ve dealt with can make you hard and cold – or more compassionate. You get to choose.
  • Trust that when and where there is darkness, there will eventually be light.
  • Be a light to others when their world is dark, so when you experience darkness others can be a light for you.
  • Take care of yourself so you are strong enough to survive and overcome the dark – and celebrate the light.
  • Laughter through tears IS the best emotion.
  • Forgive and move on. If you don’t, you are the one who suffers most.
  • Share fond memories whenever you can; it’s fun, inspiring, and meaningful.
  • What’s more,  your memories are unique – others may have forgotten.  (Or may appreciate your embellishments!)
  • The bigger your world and the circle of people you’ve loved and impacted in a positive way, the more you will be missed and celebrated, no matter what your age.
  • Never give up on life, and it will never give up on you.
  • Think of how you wish to be remembered – and live each day accordingly and intentionally.