What factors go into a life well-lived? It’s a question that hit me hard after the sudden death of my mom, and the subsequent losses of my grandparents.
The older I get, the more I see that for most things in life, there is no single right answer. And what it means to live life well will look different for each of us. It may even change throughout our own lives.
So many of us (myself included) have gone through days, weeks, and possibly even years, living life “unconsciously”. Mindlessly going to school, eating, working, and checking things off of our to-do lists; lacking true awareness of the present moment, and not fully appreciating the beauty and fragility of life. It’s easy to do.
After my mom died, I found a note in her iPhone that said “the dash”. Once I got past the sharp and painful reality that I’d never be able to ask her what it was about, I turned to google for answers. There, I found Linda Ellis’s Poem, The Dash. I wish I could ask my mom if that’s what her note meant, and if so, where she came across it. Most of all, I wish I could tell her how proud I am of how she lived her dash. And while I know I can’t do either of those things, I can be more conscious of how I’m living my dash; living in the present, sharing my passions, loving with all my heart, and practicing gratitude every day. Losing my mom has been incredibly painful. But from that loss, I gained the inspiration I needed to change paths. To follow my heart, pursue my passion for functional medicine, and honor my love of helping others.
The poem is only a couple hundred words, but it’s a powerful reminder of the limited time we have on this earth and the things that really matter. If you’re wondering what goes into a life well-lived, I encourage you to read the poem and consider: Are you living well today? What would you like to change? How do you want to live your dash?