I hardly watch any TV but A time to live, a documentary film by Sue Bourne has shifted my perspective on death and dying once again. It already shifted quiet a bit when my friend was dying and then died at a young age, I will write about that another time. Sue Bourne found 12 people ranging in ages from their twenties to late sixties who had managed to find positives in their terminal prognosis and some had gone on to live years after the time they were told. Whether it be through will, better-eating habits, lifestyle changes, and attitude.
There are so many perspectives and views I could go into, though the shift for me personally is when someone in the documentary mentioned how they used to think they would live till a hundred happily when really it’s not about the length of time you live but in the fullness, you live while alive.
‘I’d rather have a good life than a long one’
I used to think about and have said it aloud too, about living to a hundred and something. Like this Great Grandma in India who says she is 106 and shares cooking recipes. Or like a Yogis, I hear about living till 126 years, 160 years. I felt like the Western World puts a cap on ages, someone is ‘old’ at 70 or 90, they may live longer without the collective expectation they will soon die.
If anything this is a reminder too as Yogi Bhajan says – live as our infinite selves through our finite form. It’s not about how long you live but how much you do live, truly alive. Of course, there are goals and achievements we all want to get to and they take up time and energy and real life things too. But I don’t believe we can live for that ‘thing’ or just live ‘to get by’ happily without also recognizing the joyful experiences we can bring to life, seize moments and be spontaneous. After all, and this is what I told my friend often – we are all dying, just at different rates. If someone realizes that now, with no diagnosis of anything, that is a blessing.
I wanted to start a project inspired by these thoughts, though another project is not what I’m looking to do, I have a journal page and drawing to finish! Anyway, I first thought of A time to live list, like a bucket list with a focus on living, not kicking the bucket. Then I felt I wanted to eliminate time from the title as focusing on time just makes things more rushed and less in the moment.
In my journal I wrote: Living List May -June, with a list of fun things to do, I included some that I had planned for a while in my diary and others I am excited and nervous to try but had been putting off. Some things I’ve done this week e.g my dad organized my first skiing lesson and I had fun at Hemel Hempstead and I finally had my first Reiki session!
‘Do things instead of just talk about them’