Monday, 13 June 2011

When Change can be as Good as a Rest

I attended my Mother in Law’s funeral last Friday.  It was a small, predictably sad affair with about 30 to 40 people in attendance.  After the Service, all of the guests came over to our house where we’d provided food and drink for all to help themselves.  As I mingled in and out of the small groups of people ensuring they all had food or something to drink I noticed how quickly their discussions had moved-on from what was the reason for the gathering to other things that were affecting their daily lives;  the weather, work, health, holidays; all those sorts of things.  It struck me how rapidly the matter in-hand; ie the life and demise of my Mother in Law appeared almost inconsequential.  I know that it wasn’t but, if an ‘outsider’ had just dropped by my house they would have been forgiven for not realising that it was a wake in process as it appeared more like a tea party.  It made me think.  It’s a cliché I know but life is short; so short that you’re almost forgotten as soon as you’ve departed. 
Now of course, I didn’t expect wailing and acts of self flagellation by the bereaved, but I guess it’s pretty much the same the world over.  Some will be of the opinion that we move on to a better place – so there’s really no need for sadness.  Others will just celebrate life and leave it at that.  But as I said, it did make me think, life IS TOO short!
And what will most of those who attended the funeral be doing next week?  Will the experience change anything for them?  Will they be at all motivated to seize the opportunities that we all have?  Or will they return to doing all the same things that they were moaning about; the weather, work, health, holidays, those sorts of things?
Opportunities come and go.  Most are probably lost or missed and we don’t take them for a number of reasons but mainly it’s because seizing an opportunity will undoubtedly lead to change.  And it’s having to commit to make that change that renders us immobile.  So why are we so resistant to improving our lives?  Fear of failure perhaps?  Too comfortable with what we’re doing?  Comfortable doing those things that make us unhappy so that we can all tell each other how much work and life sucks whenever we get the opportunity at a social gathering.
Review your opportunities before it’s too late.  Because, life is too short and because change can be as good as a rest.
With best wishes in all that you do,




  1. Hi Keith,

    First and foremost, I'd like to extend my condolences at the passing of your mother-in-law.

    I totally agree that life is too short, we're all here on borrowed time. Most of us tend to forget that and perhaps take it for granted and we miss the opportunities that are out there for grabs.

    Change is a scary thing to grasp for a lot people (me included) but we must believe that we have that luxury and that it's only a matter of taking a chance before it's too late.

    All the best,

  2. I think it's laziness that keeps us immobile and unwilling to change our lives. We can assign any type of $100 word to define it, but when it comes down to it, the simple truth is that no one wants to be expected to do something. That's why the faithful spouse will turn a blind eye to infidelity because it's too much trouble to start over again with an unknown product.

    That's why the water cooler lamentations will carry on from one day to the next, because we are too lazy to change our circumstances, it's much easier to bitch about it. We are comfortable with things that are familiar to us. We fear the unknown, the untested because it is easier to cocoon ourselves in our warm and familiar surroundings secure in the knowledge that there is an endless supply of co-horts to gripe with us and feel our pain.

  3. Sorry to hear about the passing of your mother-in-law. And you are correct, life is very short and often unexamined. Thanks for reminding us to "seize the day".

  4. I'm sorry about your mother in law! Your family will be in my prayers as you go through this time. I agree, life is short and we should sieze all opportunities. When we put things off or wait for a special occasion, life can unexpectadely hit and we might miss our chance. Live life in the moment! Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  5. I know I am a little late here but my condolences to you and your family. I really appreciated this post because it resonated with me on so many levels.

    The most obvious was the funeral. It reminded me about my father's funeral. The circumstances surrounding his death were rather is nearly 15 years now and I still sob...and yet everyone refers to his funeral as "the best funeral" they had ever been too. Why? Because everyone did exactly what you describe in your post...lots of socializing and discussing everything BUT his death...and you know what? It's okay because my dad would appreciate even his funeral being referred to in that manner. is too short..the sad part was that he had just started doing things he had never done before in the months leading up to his sudden things...I have often believed that he somehow had some sense that his life was going to change dramatically...whether he wanted it to or not.

    While some people resist change out of laziness...there are others who resist it because they fear it and there has never been someone there to either nuture them through the change or even drag them kicking and screaming through the change. I worked in an environment of people who were so resistent to technology, that they wouldn't even use their this century...I couldn't believe it.

    It wasn't laziness either...they had deep rooted fears of "breaking the system"...I simply told them that if they did anything that could break "the system"...then the system needed the time I was done many had become tech-comfy that fear of email was distant memory.

  6. Keith....

    I think you just changed my week with one article.

    The line: "Now of course, I didn’t expect wailing and acts of self flagellation by the bereaved, but I guess it’s pretty much the same the world over."

    This struck me and made me think also how often we try to impress and convince others to value us but often end up under-valuing ourselves and life KEEPS ON MOVING!

    Great post. I intend to maximize the opportunities that I have because I can't afford to wait until some unknown future date to start. My prayers are with your family. Be encouraged.

  7. Thank you all for your comments and kind condolences.

    With best wishes,