Living the Dash


Living Your “Dash”

 by Rubel Shell

Everyone is writing his or her own

eulogy every day.

My friend Howard Harvey shared an e-mail he received from a friend. It was a poem. Not a piece of classic literature, mind you. But a thought-provoking several lines about living one’s “dash.” You know what your dash is. It’s that little fragment of a line between the years of someone’s birth and death. You know how it’s written in text or on grave markers: “Shirley Jane Doe (1945 — 2000).”

That tiny, nondescript dash stands for everything she ever was or did. It covers all her accomplishments and fears, all her accumulations and losses, everything that made anybody notice and care that she ever lived at all.

 For it matters not, how much we own
The cars . . . the house . . . the cash,
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash.

If we treat each other with respect,
And more often wear a smile . . .
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while.

The poem closes with a reminder that everyone is writing his or her own eulogy every day. And all of us will care how it reads. Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash?

Life doesn’t promise smooth sailing, but those who travel with Jesus on board are guaranteed a safe landing. So how are you living your dash?

Think Pink Biz Note:  Whether you are in or out of Mary Kay, please feel free to share here.  I would love your feedback on how you are fulfilling your life’s dash.  As well as things you’ve been inspired to do to live your dash.   Whatever your dash is about, just write it.  Be passionate about Living Your Dash!

© 2000, Rubel Shelly. Used by permission. From Rubel Shelly’s “FAX of Life” printed each Tuesday.



Filed under Think Inspiration, Think Unique

8 responses to “Living the Dash

  1. I do hope there are those of you who will share a tidbit or two of Living Your Dash. Whether joyful or tearful, what part of your dash will you share? There are no boundaries here. Just feelings, just thoughts. No jury, no judgements. Human compassion solely for how you want to live and be remembered for your dash.

  2. I do love the poem and the sentiment. I live the dash by not taking any people for granted or any time spent with them for granted. My job is a job and not my life. I work to live and do not live to work. If that makes sense. You never know when you’ll reach the end of the dash, so live each day in the moment. 🙂

  3. I love your inspiration. Music and photo’s are beautiful too.

    I am more aware each day just how truly short our time here is and am more appreciative of my family and loved ones.

    I love Shades last sentence. You never know when youll reach the end of the dash, so live each day in the moment.

  4. Life has a way of escaping daily, rushed, and unforgiving at times. I too have to remember to live each day in the moment! Thanks for that thought Shades!! It’s so easy to get sidetracked from what’s really important.

    I want my dash to be one that is remembered for how much I cared about others, and especially how much I loved God and my family. I want to leave an indelible mark that can never be questioned. I want one of my greatest attributes to be “she was a woman who loved and cherished the gift of life.” Yes, I want to live my dash in the moment (thanks again Shades!), and for my dash to be a big smile in the end!

  5. Found this, makes a great fit to this topic from a self-made woman.

    It’s only when we truly know and understand that we have a limited time on earth-and that we have no way of knowing when our time is up-that we will begin to live each day to the fullest, as if it was the only one we had. — Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

    Here is photography from her son, Kenneth Ross.
    Click on portfolios to see an array of his work.
    Each portfolio section is a slideshow. Enjoy! These are awesome!

  6. I was just popping in to ask what a “dash” was, thinking it was an Americanism but fortunately you explained it already.

    In my life I work too hard and have too little time for others but I guess that’s the cost of divorce. Luckily I have a great relationship with my kids which is the only thing that is important to me.

  7. Thanks for stopping by. Kids are a huge part of our dash for sure! They can re-write our lives.

  8. Mine totally define mine at the moment though I guess that will change as they grow older.

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