Living Forward is Triage for Life

Living Forward

Living Forward: a Book Review

God has a sense of humor. First, he gives me a word for the year with a double meaning—constrain—which means to both compel and to hold back. Next, he puts three books in my life (books I received for free with the understanding that I would leave an honest review) and I feel compelled to read all three of them carefully because I want to hold up my end of the bargain.

All of the books belong to the self-help category—not a genre I read on a regular basis. Ok, who am I kidding? I haven’t read a self-help book for a good six or seven years.

I just finished the third book and I feel as if I stand at the base of Everest—but due to the first two books, at least I have the proper equipment. Living Forward, by Michael Hyatt and Daniel Harkavy, presents the rationale and procedure for creating a Life Plan. A Life Plan is a statement of goals and priorities based on writing one’s eulogy.  Yep.  It sounds a little macabre, but the authors point out that if we don’t think about how we want people to remember us, we won’t know how to allot our time and efforts in our life accounts (and who wants to come up short of funds when the bills come due?).

As my fiftieth birthday approaches, I have come to realize that although I have a lot of ideas, wishes, and unspoken desires, I haven’t spent a lot of time actually accomplishing or fulfilling many of them. Nor have I spent much time thinking through the WHY I do what I do.

For the last 28 years or so, motherhood, marriage and work have consumed my time (all worthy pursuits). Throw in a couple periods of intensive caregiving for family members who experienced cancer and mental illness, and it’s easy to see how my boat of life has started to drift with the tide. I haven’t exactly sat in the boat with my hands folded watching the scenery bop by. But I have spent a lot of time bailing like crazy and when the storms stopped, blinking in wonder at where I ended up.

Although I excel at micro planning, planning long-term and actually thinking about leaving a legacy has never occurred to me. I’ve often mistakenly thought that ‘legacy’ simply meant a pile of money one leaves one’s children or some charities—as a teacher, I figured I’d never have much of a legacy to leave. Now I understand that ‘legacy’ has a broader definition—how I spend my time will leave a legacy of relationships and accomplishments that will help others.

I find it no problem to plan logistics, transportation, classes and activities for 90 students to spend a week camping in the Colorado Rockies, but I rarely plan for more than six months away and most of my unspoken goals remain daydreams floating in the ether of my mind. It’s time to stop the drift.

#Livingforward is like triage for life. Click To Tweet

Hyatt and Harkavy have convinced me that I need to create a life plan and look at my life accounts and prepare purpose statements for them. I need to schedule a day away to put my Life Plan on paper. So, in the next week, I will commit to doing the pre-planning and organizing.

Life is precious, and I don’t want to keep wasting time wondering what in the world I’m doing. I feel constrained to continue with the trajectory God has put me on (but I could definitely use some prayers, because like I said earlier, I feel like I’m standing at the base of Everest and I feel constrained to climb it—no matter how difficult it might prove).

What about you?  Does the term ‘Life Plan’ make your insides quiver like tapioca pudding during an earthquake?

Inspire Me Monday Instructions

What’s your inspirational story? Link up below, and don’t forget the 1-2-3s of building community:

1. Link up your most inspirational post from the previous week (just ONE, please).

2. Vist TWO other contributors (especially the person who linked up right before you) and leave an encouraging comment.

3. Spread the cheer THREE ways! Tweet something from a post you read, share a post on your Facebook page, stumble upon it, pin it or whatever social media outlet you prefer—just do it!

Please link back to this week’s post or add the button to your post so that we can spread the inspirational cheer :).

I'm joining my friends @blestbutstrest and @caregiver mom for an #inspirational link up. Check out the great stories! Click To Tweet

So, go ahead! Take the plunge and share your most inspiring post with us!

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Anita currently teaches English to 7th-12th graders. She describes herself as a 'recovering cancer caregiver' who gives thanks daily that her husband has been cancer-free for ten years.

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