I’ve Lived a Good Life

Nearly seven years ago, my aunt spoke those words from a hospital bed, surrounded by her husband, my wife, and me.

What started as breast cancer had spread nearly everywhere in her body and a woman I loved more than words can paint had accepted reality while this nephew still foolishly held out for a miracle. She was looking forward to relief from her pain, and though I wanted nothing more for her than that, I selfishly wanted her to stay with us.

Now I see my parents aging and dealing with their own health issues. Recovery from my own injuries doesn’t come quickly anymore. My son is able to reach items on the counter that he could barely see six months ago.

As the years add up, I’ve become more aware of time’s passing and how quickly the present slips from our grasp.

When the inevitable comes for me, I want to be as confident and accepting as my aunt. I want to say, “I’ve lived a good life.”

I want you to be able to say it as well.

It’s never too late to help others, to repair old wounds, and to evaluate where you are in achieving your goals. Strip away the excuses. Realize that we’re never here as long as we think we are. Keeping trying to find a way to make the impossible possible.

Believe me, I get how easy it is to put things aside (just go through the sporadic archives of this blog for a shining example). Time heals all wounds, and with it, strips away the urgency. But try to remember that same time is going to pass whether you’re paying attention or not. Don’t forfeit your gift to say how it does so.

-Phillip

11 thoughts on “I’ve Lived a Good Life”

  1. Thanks for that Phillip. I found you on Hugh Howey’s blog. Just at the right time as I’m planning a new site myself and am looking for inspiration as I set up…
    Love the look of this site and your work ethic.
    The short stories thing, I’m doing too but not at the speed you are and not in the way you are…I need to publish straight away like you!
    I’m a songwriter and my band is releasing our next album in October. I’ve started writing a short story for each track in the hope it will provide more interest and that way I can attract more people to my other writing… (one novel so far).
    Just got to the stage where I’ve realised I need some help with a decent site/blog to build a platform. I can’t manage all this tech stuff on my own anymore!
    I will pass this on to the guy who’s helping me…. Whereabouts are you on the planet?
    I’m in the UK.

    1. Hi Sheena. I’m so glad you found me through the comment on Hugh’s blog. I recently changed the look of my site to make it a little easier to navigate, so I’m really happy to hear it’s working out that way.

      This is the first time in my writing career that I’ve attempted to write and publish so much, so quickly. Let me tell you, it’s been a real eye-opener. If you’re like me and have trouble finishing things, I can’t recommend Ray Bradbury’s suggestion enough. I think we all need to practice the craft to get better and this has been the best way for me to do so. I envy those that can jump straight into publishing novels. Just hasn’t worked for me…and I think that’s the key–keep trying different things until you find what works for you.

      I love the idea of writing a short story for each song you’re recording! It’s been a long time, but I’ve done a lot of songwriting myself. Ran into the same issue as my writing though, of never finishing and publishing most of it.

      I live in (mostly) sunny southern California. It’s been a pleasure to meet you and I’ll visit your website to get to know you better.

      1. It’s a bit jumbled at the mo until, like I said, I get a new one…but yes – I’ll let you know when it’s up and running!
        Keep up the great work.
        Are you publishing your stories on Kindle?
        I really need to self-publish something and a short story seems like a good idea – just to get into the practice of it.
        I started a self-publishing book marketing course and it’s good but I am realising just how important it is to have a ‘backlist’, which is why I just need to get on and ‘just write’. So many distractions! And all very seductive of course – isn’t that the nature of them?!!!

        1. I’m planning to publish them, but like you say, the backlist is very important. I’m waiting until I can get a decent collection going, maybe even set them up by genre so I can do some bundles. I highly recommend trying this challenge. I’ve had good weeks and bad weeks, but after tomorrow, I’ll have written four brand new stories in one month. Just typing that now kind of blows my mind. 🙂

          Looking forward to keeping up with your journey. Let me know how the self-publishing course goes for you. I might be interested as I get deeper into this wild experiment.

  2. Phillip, I just replied to your reply (!) and ticked the notifying boxes for notifications from you…but I think I might have pressed the wrong button and unsubscribed myself.
    Plus, a new comment I just made isn’t showing!
    I’ll try again…

    1. No worries! Let me know if you run into any problems getting future posts and I’ll see if I can’t diagnose on this end.

  3. I’ve been thinking along the EXACT same lines lately. It feels like a lot of people I know (myself included) are at a big evaluation point in life.

    Great to get this reminder not to waste time, and to spend time on the things and people you really care about. Thanks Phillip.

    1. Glad it resonated with you, Lauren. It’s good to remember these things every once in awhile as we face our own struggles in life!

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