You are going to die

Updated to Life on October 11, 2017.

Author’s update: My sweet Mom, Eleanor Rita Wallace Culver passed away March 28, 2017, just 7 days before her 99th birthday. She is greatly missed.

We are going to die. That’s life and I think the sooner we get our head around that indubitable fact the better off we are.

I’m writing this en route to deliver a eulogy for my dear mother, Eleanor Rita Wallace Culver, 99, minus a week. And death and the brevity of life is heavily on my mind.

And while I don’t want this short post to be morbid, I do want it to be meaningful.

We are wired for survival – seek pleasure, run the hell away from pain. That’s nifty for buffet tables and staying safe in cross walks. The problem is we have a hard time exercising future vision.

Future Vision is hard to find

Maybe this has happened to you (I’m kidding…I KNOW it happens to all of us): your week is insane – packed with appointments, meetings, kids needing new soccer shoes and preparing home-cooked meals made of organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, blessed-by-a-Buddha ingredients because you watch too much Master Chef AND that’s because you’re so exhausted by the end of the day you CRAVE zoning out with mindless shows.

And now it’s Friday and for the life of you you can’t recall anything about the previous 5 days, other than feeling exhausted. It was an amygdala workout without much future vision.

Future vision is when we create the time to imagine our future. What do I want my life to be about? What do I want to create or solve or overcome? What do I want to be known for? How do I want to serve?

These are huge, existential questions that you can’t unpack while checking your InBox or thumbing through your Facebook feed.

Contrary to my typical style, this is not a post that leads to 3 bullets of, if I say so myself, sage advice.

Instead, I want to pose what might appear to be a simple question that I think can lead to profound insights. Here it is:

What are you avoiding?

What are you avoiding?

I suspect we all have something we’re avoiding. One thing I’ve been avoiding is to start again with my work. There’s parts I’m hanging onto because I keep getting hired (and it pays the bills). But I know that once I stop reading or learning about a subject it’s time to move on. And it’s time to move on.

Maybe you’re stuck in a relationship that no longer works.

Or avoiding a tough conversation.

Or you’re playing it small with your education or career.

Maybe you just want to get back to woodworking, reading, playing piano or walks in the woods.

I’m curious to know:

Tell me in the comments – what are you avoiding?