Experiment With Your Life: Part One

A year ago I read this book and I started an experiment in conscious living. I set an imaginary last day of my life. Then I tried to live each day as if I would expire on the imaginary death date I had set. 

I'll grant you it is not a very original idea. Tim McGraw even popularized it a while back with his catchy tune "Live Like You Were Dying".

I designed my own experiment because I didn't entirely agree with everything the author proposed.

I can be an independent thinker, sometimes.

So I made plans and I took notes as I practiced life before death.

**FAMILY!!! Do not be alarmed. I was not then, nor am I now, depressed. And while I have very little control ultimately, I fully intend to live long enough to embarrass my greatgrandchildren, or at least enjoy baby food with them. End of parenthetical statement**

Here is what I learned about having a deadline (pun intended): 
  • It did NOT motivate me to exercise more, or to become a better homemaker, or to build wealth. I did NOT master a second language, nor did I become more organized or start a part-time business of my own. I originally thought that it might help me with each of these things, and I did make half-hearted movements toward each of these things (well, I thought about doing some of them anyway) but apparently my values lie elsewhere.

  • It DID help me behave more thoughtfully. I tried to be response-able and kind. I noticed goodness, and I tried to share my observations with others when it seemed helpful. I wanted desperately to sleep by the ocean and stand on the rim of the Grand Canyon, so I made both of those things happen. I hugged my beloveds and told them "I love you". I listened. I laughed. I planted vegetables and flowers. I made stuff, if not art. 
It was a valuable experiment. I am quite happy with the life I am living.

And I'm not even close to done yet.

Watch for more posts about Experimenting With Your Life.


Hursts in California

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External Brain

I <3 my Moleskine for capturing important information and random bits. Planner pages:

After searching high and low for a 2-page per week planner, I finally created what works for me. Inspiration came from here. And you should see her blog, too. I do not claim to be an artist, but my Sunday scribbles are good enough to entertain the Grands:

Bits and pieces I cull from all over end up jumbled together:

While the current Moleskine is an adequate capture tool, I am ready to shift to separate and individual skinnier notebooks for specific purposes. I'm thinking Planner in one skinny notebook, Doodles and drawing in another, and a third for Writing exercises and ideas for future blog posts. I'll update you with the new PDW system when I get it up and running.



GrandGril is a beauty!!!

soft and furry:

She's perfect. If I wasn't such a failure at uploading video, you'd hear her sweet voice, too. Perhaps a later post will include that clip.


Expanding the Circle

Tonight we welcome GrandGirl into the family. I think she overheard that we were gathering this weekend and she wanted to be a part of the excitement. Such joy!

Thrice I have thrilled at the miracle of my adult children becoming parents.

I am so proud of them and so in love with each of my offspring.

Every birth is holy.




image courtesy of the Vintage Moth

Years ago the mother of my high school sweetheart referred to me as "beloved Julie" and I think it was the first time I ever heard the two words together. Later, when I was divorced, I made a banner that hung over my bed to remind me that I had once been, and would someday be again, beloved. The banner also reminded me to be open to the love around me, to accept love, to "be loved".

This evening the walk to the mailbox yielded not one love letter, but TWO!

One envelope was from a dear old friend far away, and one from my precious baby girl. My heart is full tonight. And when I am done savoring the love letters I will add them to the Box of Love that I keep in a special place to pull out whenever I need to remind myself to "be loved".


Me & the Grils

3 more days!!!!(but who's countin'?)
Boys are invited, too.

And the white dog is waiting

Yay for Spring Break!

I miss the Green Prius

I loved her for three months before she gave her life for me. I am convinced she would never have harmed me. However, I have never loved her replacement. And because I spend about 1000 hours a week on the road the possibility of some sort of automotive brain seizure scares the bejeebers outta me. So Mr. Last has kindly switched vehicles with me for the time being.


He & She

These kids tickle me. And they tickle each other, too.

It seems likes it's been the two of them for as long as I can remember.

In the early days he got all polished up to take her to the high school dance:

Years later they became lifetime dance partners:

Tonight they are on the verge of becoming three.


A Heapin' Helpin' of Hospitality

We are all decorated with flowers

And I'm cookin' up a mess of vegetables:

So whaddaya waitin' for? C'mon down to:

No reservations necessary. See ya soon!