A friend of mine bought me a book whose title I cannot remember, but I do recall that the entire book is nothing more than a list of six-word memoirs.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Lucky in love, Unlucky in metabolism
Beat death Thrice, still not religious
If Eliza Doolittle wore cowboy boots ...
Came, saw, conquered, Had second thoughts
Occasionally wrong, but never in doubt
Cursed with cancer, blessed with friends
Well, I thought I was funny
Not as blond as I look
Laughter and inappropriate humor since 1985
Made costly mistakes, learned valuable lesson
From time to time, I think about how I would summarize my life on this planet in just six words.
This can be looked at as a joke, but it can also be viewed as a spiritual exercise. While most of us would surely want our obituaries to be longer than six words, such limitation does force us to consider what stands out in this life we have been leading.
How do you want to be remembered? What are the highlights you want mentioned at your funeral or memorial service?
My six word memoirs have included: "Nothing turned out as I planned" and "Living well is the best revenge," but neither of those really tells you anything meaningful about me.
"Sarah and Katie: My highest joy," comes closer, as my daughters have given my life more meaning than most anything else. But I wouldn't want to neglect my original family or my late husband or my friends or my ministry or the fact that I adore music and driving really fast and the beach in late afternoon.
What are the things you love? What are the things you want to be remembered for?
If you don't like your six-word memoir as it stands now, there is time to change it.
No matter how old you are, if you are still alive, you are able to change, and grow. The questions remain for you to answer:
What do you love? What is your gift to the world?
Enjoy your memoirs!
The Rev. Susan Moran is pastor of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Rockport.