It’s funny how the topic of death makes you think a lot about life. Well, I find it at least ‘interesting’. When a family member or friend dies, I find I go through a time of deep self-analysis. I think most people do! I find myself thinking about what I believe. I also think about what my life looks like right now, what’s important to me, and what changes I would like to make? Often, what do I want to be remembered for?
None of us know when we are going to die, or how we are going to die! God knows, of course, but we aren’t privileged to this information. I often wonder if we did know our expiry date, would we live our lives any differently?
I think I would feel the sense of urgency to live passionately, and extend ourselves to not waste a moment. Which obviously causes me to question myself when I feel lazy and completely unmotivated in life. Which happens more often than what I would like to admit.
We are all given an allotment of time to live our lives well and passionately. We get to choose how we spend our lives, Most people want to leave this world having done something special or significant with their allotted time. I know I want to leave the world a better place for those I leave behind.
I have been following actor Samuel Johnson and his sister Connie’s charity, ‘Love your sister’, over the last few years. This brother-sister team are to be admired. Connie was diagnosed with cancer when she was 11, and since then she has been in and out of remission. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed as terminally sick a few years ago.
Samuel Jackson has starred in numerous Australian movies and television shows over the years, including playing Aussie Music man, Molly Meldrum, in the semi series movie ‘Molly’, last year. Connie and Samuel have worked tirelessly raising over $4 million to help find a cure for cancer. I love how down to earth and real Samuel and Connie are, and I love that Samuel would give his right leg if it meant helping his family. In fact, he rode around Australia a few years ago on a UNICYCLE raising money for cancer research – specifically to help his sister, but to help all those in the ‘love your sister’ village who are also battling the insane disease. Talk about making the rubber hit the road! (pun intended).
In the last couple of months, Connie has decided to stop treatment and spend the time she has left with her family. The fight to continue raising money to help the ‘Love your sister’ villagers continues though, so if your interested in helping out, head over to their website. (Love your sister.org)
There are numerous people in the world living their lives with purpose and passion every single day. There are wonderful people doing wonderful things.
An Irish woman called Christina Noble, moved to Vietnam in 1989 to set up a home to give the kids on the street a place to call home. She loves children, and while everybody told her it couldn’t be done, she has and is still over there looking after children who find themselves homeless.
Carrie Bickmore, from ‘The Project’ on channel 10, is raising money to help Brain Cancer sufferers – ‘Beanies for Brain Cancer‘. She uses her platform to bring attention to the cause.
Phil Camden, a Pastor in NSW who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2013, raises money for MND research and spends a lot of time with other MND sufferers. Sadly at this time there is no cure for Motor Neurone Disease, and it truly is a despicable disease. Phil writes a blog called ‘Fridays with Phil’. I love that despite his disease, he is living his life doing what he loves – supporting others!
Nick Vuijicic is an amazing man. He was born with no arms and no legs. He is a preacher and motivational speaker who travels the world motivating people to look at life differently – encouraging people to not allow our circumstances dictate our lives. He speaks at a lot of schools and many kids are really affected by his story. He likes to live his life intentionally, hang with his wife and kids, play golf, swim and not allow the fact that he is without limbs effect his life.
We have friends, Donna and Errol, and their family have started an organisation called ‘Vana Childcare Ministries’. They have built houses for orphaned children in Zimbabwe, and raise money to help with nutrition and clean water, educational opportunities, medical and health care, loving community and family support. They are incredibly passionate about children and families in Zimbabwe and have done amazing things for the community.
When my step father was diagnosed with MND in April of 2016, a group of community physio’s, Occupational therapist’s, speech pathologist’s, social worker’s and support worker’s starting coming regularly to check in and work with my mum and stepfather. Everyone of these people came with a smile and a great attitude. They were passionate about their work – their purpose in life was to help others, and they love being of value to others. Even the cleaners who came to help my mum were happy people who thought of their jobs ‘as cleaners’, an important part of the team of people who were helping my Mum and Step father out.
I’ve detailed a number of people who I believe are living passionately in one way or another. Living passionately doesn’t have to be a massive task, all it means is that you are doing something in your life that you believe to be a little bit life energising. Some people volunteer, teach, work as nurses and doctors, sing, dance, authors, bloggers, artists, visit the sick in hospital, pastor churches, raise money for causes – there are a lot of ways to live passionately.
I believe that Mums need to be passionate about their parental role in their children’s life. It’s not all nappies, disciplining and/or refereeing (although some weeks you feel that you’re going around in circles). Parenting is a very important job – we aren’t just correcting our kids tone or behaviour for the fun of it. We are essentially correcting them so that one day they won’t become an unteachable and or disrespectful adults. It’s easy to raise a brat. It’s much harder to raise a civilised, respectful, loving, patient, well spoken, well rounded,, responsible ‘future-adult’. I will admit, I am a little crazy about this, because I see it to be a big responsibility on our shoulders. Growing up is a process, not a race.
Our job is to protect, support and teach our kids, and to get them ready for adulthood. Not throw them into adulthood without the maturity and skills they will ultimately need. Not raising kids properly is like throwing them under the bus, adulthood can be really hard at times.
I love being a mum, and in this season of motherhood, I don’t have a lot of time to do much else – but that is because we chose to homeschool our kids. There are benefits and disadvantages to every decision we make in our lives. This is the homeschooling season of our lives right now. I do have a number of personal goals (writing a book/s, and creating some apps)I am quite passionate about, and I am working on those slowly, but my number 1 passion in my life is my family. My favourite time of the day is having dinner together, chatting and joking around with one another. Sure there are always issues we are working on and dealing with, but we also know the issues don’t define us. We are not ‘our issues’. We don’t want our kids marinating in their failures. Every issue in life is a teachable moment.
At the end of our lives, somebody will stand up and give our eulogy. It will be the story of our lives. Our experiences, adventures, personality, funny moments, family, and friendships all woven together into a beautiful narrative. I would like to think that mine (when I am around 99 years of age, thank you very much) will be quite the colourful tapestry. I don’t want to be remembered for where I have been or what I have owned, but rather for how I lived my life, and how I treated others.
Do you think about living more passionately? What would you do if you knew your expiry date?