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Living out “The Dash”

Recently while at a funeral, a poem called The Dash by Linda Ellis was recited. You may have heard of this poem before or it might be new to you. Basically, it talks about the two dates on your tombstone, but what’s most important is the dash between your date of birth and death that truly matters. We have no control over the two dates that adorn our stones, but we do have control over all that’s in between.

We all know that we should be living life to its fullest and making the most of our time here. That looks different for everyone, though. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the day to day of our lives going through the motions of our routines and not thinking about making a difference or a change for the better. When faced with our mortality I can’t help but reflect and think about how time goes too fast. Hours turn to days, days to weeks, weeks to months and months to years. Then before you know it another year has gone by and you haven’t done what you hoped or expected. As I reflect on all that is important, what we do with our dash will look different for everyone.

Do what you love. Sometimes we need to make a tough decision and make a change in our lives. This might be something drastic and totally overhauling our career but it could also be something small we can add. Maybe you’ve always wanted to volunteer or coach. Making the first step is the hardest part. Once you make the change, you will find it was easy to find room for it in your life.

Spend time with loved ones. I for one am guilty of neglecting my friends and family at times. Even though it’s easy enough to send a text or make a call, it’s also just as easy to get caught up in your own life. This is something I personally always struggle with and know I need to work on being more present in my relationships that are important. Don’t take your loved ones for granted.

Experience everything you can. Whether that’s travelling the world, learning more or trying something new. Challenge yourself and push yourself to grow.

Live the life you always dreamed of before you can’t.