On Saturday I was asked to give a eulogy for a client of mine that I’ve known for about the last 12 years. As you can imagine, I was deeply saddened by his passing (age 61) and very honored by the invitation to speak at his funeral. I prayed that I would have the strength to get through it without breaking down.
So often when someone leaves us here on earth, we think about their life experience; who were they really? Deep down, what truly mattered to them and how did they express this through their day to day life. As I sat and thought about how I could express to a church full of people, most of who I did not know, the essence of this man, I was reminded of the theme song from the Broadway musical “Rent.” While reviewing the lyrics of the song, I realized why it came to me as I was writing his eulogy.
“How do you measure a year in your life? In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee, in inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife? In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes, how do you measure a year in your life? It’s measure in love, in seasons of love.”
Every part of this man’s life was a rich season of love. He spent quality time with friends and all the members of his very large family. He was a caring, gentle and committed husband and a dedicated father always spending time with his girls as they grew up into the wonderful women they are today. He was passionate about creating a home where memories would be made and friends would be welcome. He placed a hi-value on all of these experiences that enriched his life and all of the circles of people he included in his life vision.
Measuring a year in your life isn’t always spoken of in these terms. The value of measure all too frequently has been based on dollar signs, what’s reflected on the outside about who you are, what you own or where you go on vacation. One of the most commonly spoken regrets of the dying is that they didn’t have enough fun in life, they worked too hard. Working hard has its’ value; a value that can easily be lost when you lose the precious time to be with your family or care for your own well-being.
Although the way one measure’s their life is a regular topic of discussion in coaching sessions, it became an in-depth discussion for my husband and I as we shared our reflections after the service. In our very full lives, we can easily get pulled away from our center, the powerful place that reminds each of us to spend the seasons of our life focusing our time, energy, commitments, and our love on what matters most to us.
Ask yourself, how do you measure a year in your life? Better yet, have a meaningful conversation with someone you love. That conversation just might be a game-changer for you.