First, an exercise that I have created as a gentle way to help us reconcile ourselves to the knowledge our lifespan has an ending. Most of us, when we focus on the meaning of our own story, are surprised by what is truly important to us. I found that having lunch with friends and writing our own obituaries, contrary to what you might expect, was a very enjoyable experience.

We realize our time is limited. Are we leaving something undone? Places to see? Bridges to cross? People to see? Treks that need slogging? Making a list of journeys, experiences, or personal reconciliations, and then completing them one by one (and crossing them off our list), has be- come a popular pastime. Everyone is making a bucket list. Heavyweight movie stars (think Jack Nicolson and Morgan Freeman) entertain us with portrayals of men rising from their hospital beds to go for crazy adventures and heartfelt reunions. What about you? Do you think you can formulate a plan that would fulfill your sense of having lived to the max?

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