Then there was one.
Just 3 years ago my kids, now three strapping young men with the world at their feet, had four grand-parents.
My wife and I’s respective parents.
However, the cycle of life has spun and stopped for three of them. My wife’s mum is the last of the Mohicans.
As I write this at thirty-odd thousand feet above sea level, I reflect on the last three or so years and the change it has brought to so many lives.
You see, I am on my way to say farewell to my wife’s father, Allan (my dad was Allan too), who lost his battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
As I did at the funerals of my parents, Allan and Margaret, I will deliver a eulogy honouring Allan’s life and recount the highlights of a man who was respected and loved.
Each time we have laid a close and loved relative to rest in recent times, including my beloved nephew, Wade, who fell victim to the insidious Motor Neuron Disease at just 39, it makes me reflect on my own mortality and what I can contribute to my loved ones and community in the time I have left.
This life is a blink of any eye – make no mistake about that.
The cycle turns quicker than many of us think.
What can we do to make the most of the blink in time we are given in our earthly bodies?
Scroll through any social media feed and you are bombarded with well meaning quotes and observations designed to help you focus on what is important, but with our attention spans shrinking by the day, these gems of wisdom are quickly forgotten as the next post grabs our attention with the latest celebrity or political scandal, or sports update.
Our minds are filled with hundreds if not thousands of messages every day, but little is retained to put be to any practical use.
Recent studies have shown that one of the top undertakings to live a fulfilling life is the building of meaningful relationships and connections to your community.
With so many people now looking for that ‘connection’ through social media, isolation and the break down of even the most basic social skills; stimulating conversation, exchange of ideas, healthy debate and simple human (non-sexual) intimacy.
People like Allan, my dad Allan, and my mum Margaret, built tight and loyal groups of friends with differing common interests and thrived because of those interactions.
Golf, tennis, kids footy and netball, line dancing, meals on wheels, a chat at the shops – they sought the stimulation that other people provided and were seeking themselves.
They tried to make the cycle of their lives a pleasant journey.
As Jordan Peterson says – life is pretty tough, interspersed with moments of joy and happiness and its how you embrace and deal with both ends of the spectrum that determines how fulfilled your life may be.
To find joy in your chosen vocation is a huge part of the puzzle to finding a meaningful and happy life, and for me personally, I have been able to choose my careers paths and found that the triumphs generally outweighed the challenges and failures.
Helping people navigate the, sometimes treacherous, waters of the property market still brings me a sense of purpose and joy in sharing the wins that buyers and sellers crave.
Everyone’s cycle of life differs, and being able to reflect upon and share the full cycle that Allan completed, at his farewell, will indeed be an honour and hopefully a comfort to his loved ones.
Remember…the clock is always ticking. No matter where you may be in your cycle, find and pursue the purpose that makes you happy and imparts a positive outcome for those whose lives you touch.