Last Sunday’s writing exercise was to ‘write your eulogy exercise.’ The idea behind the exercise was to 1) write the eulogy, 2) review it, 3) find the gaps and think about what you wished it said, and 4) change your life to fit it. The idea behind the exercise is to decide how you want to ‘live your dash.’ Several years ago, the poem, “The Dash” was written. The idea was your tombstone will have at least 3 things on it: date of birth – date of death. Your life, and how you chose to spend it will be lived within the dash in the middle.
While I’m great at creating, implementing, and completing plans, strategies, GNATS, timelines, etc. for projects, programs, and problems in my professional life, my personal life is ruled by opportunities that present themselves seemingly serendipitously. I wouldn’t have it any other way. However, it makes it difficult to create personal plans more than a few months or a couple of years out. Because of that, this project was an interesting one to complete. What do you think of my results?
Dr. Sheila Embry was born in 1959, a time when the country was in transition – out of the post-World War II rebuilding and family boon, into the cultural unrest of the 1960s, and the women’s movement of the 1970s. She was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and attended J. B. Atkinson Elementary School, Western Junior High School, and graduated with honors from Ahrens Vocational and Technical High School.
After high school, she began her own transition, moving to Southern California, attending Chaffey Community College in Rancho Cucamonga for a year, attending Riverside Scientology for a year where she graduated with State of Clear. Then she settled into getting business degrees (BA from McKendree, MA from Webster, DM from University of Phoenix), marrying, divorcing, losing a soulmate, caring for family, and enjoying decades of adventures along the way. Her professional life included working for Hilton Hotels in her early years, and the federal government in her middle and later years where she worked for U. S. House of Representatives, U. S. Department of Justice, and U. S. Department of Homeland Security. Along the way, she lived in Kentucky, California, Virginia, New York, and Hawaii, while also living temporarily in Texas, Florida, Colorado, Utah, and Jamaica. Additionally, she enjoyed her travels to Alaska, Israel, and too many Bahamas and Caribbean islands to list here.
Sheila chose to live a long life, because, as she said once, “if I had to work for 40 years, I wanted to enjoy the same amount of healthy time in retirement.” She liked to boil things down as simply as possible, once describing her life as
- in my 10s, I survived
- in my 20s, I married
- in my 30s, I loved
- in my 40s, I developed
- in my 50s, I wrote
- in my 60s, I danced
- in my 70s,
- in my 80s,
- in my 90s,
- in my 100s,
Her life ended on her birthday reuniting her with over 100 family and friends who had traveled before and served as her personal cloud of witnesses throughout her lifetime. When asked how she wished to be remembered, she stated, ‘if my life hasn’t already answered that question, there is nothing I can add now.” She was xxx years old.