What My Grandpa Taught Me About Living Life Fully

One day, hopefully many many years from now, we will cease to exist on the planet.

It might sound morbid, I know. We don’t like to actually think about it, because sometimes it feels so big and confusing and terrifying it’s often best left alone.

I never used to think about death. I knew it was out there but it never felt real to me. That is until my Grandpa went to bed one night, rested his book face down on his bedside table to hold his place, set his alarm, and never woke up again.

It was then that it actually began to stir in me that one day we will be here and the next we will be gone.

A family member told me that he deems our minuscule existence as pretty pointless, so might as well drink and smoke and get by, that nothing we do matters after all.

Another friend of mine says it’s impossible to live to the full every day and that we won’t remember it anyway so does it really matter?

And while sadly I haven’t yet figured out the meaning of life myself (working on it, gang!) I do know that whatever meaning we put on anything dictates how we act and behave around it. So the meaning I have? Well my meaning is to say: holy crap balls do we really want to spend our finite time on the planet moaning about our situation, miserable as sin, complaining about our lot, getting fat, passing judgement and shaking our heads at the news?!

I understand that the weight of life can feel oh so heavy sometimes, and I’m not immune to that. It’s so easy to think ‘what’s the point?’ sometimes, and I’ve been there too. It’s easy to complain and be miserable and roll your eyes at anyone who talks about life being otherwise.

But if we’re not going to remember it anyway, doesn’t it make sense to pursue the fullest, richest most delicious life we possibly can?

I believe it IS possible to live life to the full every day. Because what if that simply meant being full of life more of the time?

While many are wishing their days away for the weekend or their next holiday, I always have this feeling that time is running out!

There’s so much to feel FULL about every single day. Just look around at the life you’re living - the people that surround you, your home, your experiences! It’s pretty damn wonderful, when you look closely. It starts with a change of perspective. Loving what IS instead of moaning about what isn’t.

But sometimes, you know that what you’re experiencing isn’t how you want it to be. Yet you continue to do nothing in the hope that one day, something will turn up and force you into making a decision or a change. And I get that too, because then the decision isn’t on us. It’s why you hear of so many people waiting until they’re made redundant before they start their business venture. We' all wait for the push sometimes, because our comfort zone is…comfy!

Make the decision NOW.

Or if you don’t, please stop complaining.

Can you imagine being on your death bed only to realise you’ve spent the majority of your life wittering about the people you didn’t like, or the things that hadn’t gone your way, or the wrong doings that you’d endured, or the nightmare state of the bloody M25.

Look around you at all the incredible things that are going really really brilliantly. Your life is FULL of them when you look out.

And yes it’s important to talk about things that don’t feel good to you. But there’s a difference between expressing your emotions and just complaining in order to pass the time of day.

And I promise that when you stop complaining and start looking at, noticing and appreciating the good stuff, your emotions will change for the better anyway.

If you’re reading this and it stirs you, know that you’re not alone.

The world thrives on negativity and it can be easy to lose faith and hope in believing there’s a better way for you and your life, that maybe you ‘should’ settle after all, but I don’t buy it, and I know you don’t either.

“Here’s to the ones that dream, hopeless as it may seem.”

There is a light inside of you and an inner knowing that life cannot be all complaints and bills - that you are meant to thrive and live out the most brilliant and full experience. You are only ever one thought and one decision away from changing everything. You are supposed to have FUN and follow your dreams and LAUGH more than you cry and make a difference in the lives of others.

“When you let your own light shine, you give others permission to do the same.”

My Grandpa taught me to live life fully.

He may not have been jumping out of planes in the way we see ‘living life to the full,’ but his life was full to the brim. With family, friends, great wine (always), playing his favourite sports, being part of a team, singing at the top of his lungs, long walks and travel and pub stops, admiring the flowers and being in awe at the wildlife, and changing lives through teaching, and speaking and sports. And always with the motto: “It will all be OK!”

When clearing through his things, I found a reading he delivered for one of his friends that had passed, and a passage read: “What if your only purpose on this Earth is to leave the world a better place than you found it?”

And when we had to open up another room at the church to fit in all the people that had turned up to my Grandpa’s funeral to pay their respects and say their goodbyes, I knew that leaving the world a better place than he found it was exactly what he’d done.

So here’s to living fully. With heart, with friends, with singing at the top of our lungs.

Here’s to leaving the world a better place than we found it.

And to looking out for more of the good things, more of the time.

I promise it will change your whole damn life.

“Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day.”

Sophie French1 Comment