Friday, September 10, 2010

Life is a Verb: 37 Days to Wake Up, Be Mindful and Live Intentionally

Life is a Verb book cover

Patti Digh starts her book with this story:
At some point in your life, you'll only have thirty-seven days to live. Maybe that day is today. Maybe not.

Such a day arrived on October 24, 2003 for a 6-foot, 5-inch tall man with a southern accent, a golfer's tan, five World War II Bronze Stars, and a forest-green Lincoln Town Car. On that beautiful day, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He died just thirty-seven days later.

That man was my stepfather, Boyce.
Unsurprisingly, this caused Digh to wonder: "What would I be doing today if I only had thirty-seven days to live?" And her answers to that question resulted in this book.

The book is filled with stories and suggestions; there's a good chance you'll find at least one idea that resonates with you. Here's the story that relates to decluttering - a story of Digh's daughter, Emma, showing her portfolio of drawings to some illustrators at a convention.
As one of them turned the page in her portfolio, I heard Emma say, "That's not really a good one."

"Emma," he said, "if you don't like something, take it out of your portfolio. You don't want to have anything in here that you need to make excuses for." ...

"I understand, she said. And suddenly, so did I. ...

What in my portfolio (where portfolio means house, life, brain, relationships) should I keep? What should I sell? What should I toss?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a gem you found in the book.
Lorese Harper
Neat Nest

Cynthia Friedlob said...

I know that I wouldn't want to spend even one minute of those 37 days uncluttering! Good motivation to get the useless stuff out of our lives a.s.a.p. and get on with living.

EH said...

Jeri, you always come up with the greatest and most helpful ideas, links, and suggestions. This book is a typical example of your eye for terrific tips. 37 days....interesting concept...yes, definitely motivation to clear out the clutter NOW. Thanks for another excellent post.

Jeri Dansky said...

Lorese and EH, I'm glad you enjoyed the post.

And Cynthia, of course I agree that it's good to get the useless stuff out NOW - for your own sake, for your heirs' sake, and because what's useless to you might help someone else out, so why not move it along?

Barbara@BabyBloggingBoomer said...

Totally excellen. Totally right.