At my grandma’s funeral, there were lots of tears and lots of laughs. We shared beautiful memories and shoulders to cry on. She was 91, she had as big of humor as she had heart, and she did life her way.
While I looked around at the church where her service was held, three things really struck me:
1. 64 of the 66 of us from her family made it to the middle of Montana from all over the world with 4 days notice. She had cultivated relationships with all of us, she had prioritized family, and therefore we prioritized her, even in her passing.
This closeness transcends into all of our relationships, even if we disagree and live completely different lives, we love each other deeply. It’s taught me to always aim to understand rather than judge, because we are all indeed one big family.
2. Her faith was so strong, that I could almost feel her version of heaven in the room. She was devoted to god. In fact, one Sunday morning my sisters were hanging out with my grandma, who was getting ready for church, and my sister Hannah said, “come on grandma stay and hang out with us, what could be more important than time with your family?” To which my grandma replied, “god.”
Whatever our spiritual beliefs are, having faith in the divine, or the universe, or ourselves, is a huge blessing in life. But it also takes cultivation and space for that practice, so if we want to hear the voice of god, or be more in tune with our inner guidance, we have to prioritize it, like my grandma did.
3. We buried my grandma on my grandfather’s birthday. He was the love of her life, and it felt like a huge cosmic gift to be giving her back to him. He died over 30 years earlier and yet was ever present in her life.
That kind of love is so beautiful and everlasting. And . . . it takes work, not just work in the relationship, but work on ourselves to evolve and grow when we are met with obstacles together.
I’ve been so inspired by these parts of my grandma’s life and passing, and as I think about my own mortality I see there are ways in which I would love my ending days to look: healthy, vibrant, full of family and friends, feeling connected to the divine, feeling like I made a positive impact on the world, having my sweet husband by my side (either physically or metaphorically), and being able to look back and say I really enjoyed the heck out of life.
Recently I’ve had a few people from our Dreambook community ask me why we put such long-term goal setting in a year-long planning book. They shared that it felt very difficult to have any real goals for that far away when life is so unpredictable, and some even said that they felt so stuck on this that they couldn’t move forward with the rest of the work in the book.
I totally get it.
Setting goals for any amount of time in the future, 3 months, 6 months or even a year takes practice. We are able to get better and better at envisioning a future, the more we just do it. So if it’s something that seems unnatural to you, know that that is totally normal, and continually trying is the only way to really get “better” at it.
If 10-year goals or lifetime goals freeze you, then wait on them. 10 years and your lifetime will be there later and there is no reason to beat yourself up for not getting them down on paper. And if you want to dabble in them, you can just use it as practice and fantasize about whatever you might consider fun to have in that time.
However, we include setting these goals in a one year planner with the intention of considering life holistically. For me, most of my 10 year and lifetime goals are less specific and more related to the closeness of my community and family and how I want to feel in my body. They are goals that don’t happen overnight, and that what I do this year and every year greatly affect.
If we don’t consider that we are going to age, and things are going to change, then when we get to that moment in time, we may have regrets that we didn’t take better care of ourselves, or that we didn’t spend as much time with our families, or that we made no space in our life for magic.
So instead of getting 10 years in the future or to the end of life and wishing for the past to be different, we encourage people to imagine the ideal for that time and then put some things in place now to support that ideal future.
This same logic can be applied to 3 year and 1 year goals as well if you don’t feel like you have specific concrete goals in mind either because you just aren’t clear yet, or because your life is in such flux that it would be hard to imagine. Instead, imagine how you want to feel in the different areas of your life, and then be open to circumstances falling in place to support your most ideal experience — whether that experience is one year, 10 years, or a lifetime away.
Wishing you the most exceptional life you can imagine.