On August 16, 2012, I am turning 53 years old. That is very soon. Two sleeps from now.
My father was 53 years old when he died.
Emma is now the age I was when my father died.
I have always wondered about this birthday, about surpassing him in age. And recently I wondered how many days he lived past his 53rd birthday.
So I counted the days.
And there were 137 of them.
Some of you might know the significance of 37days in my life. To see that number reflected again in such an important way was… well… it was meaningful.
And then I counted 137 past August 16th to see how long I would live were I to live only the same amount of time as my father.
And 137 days past August 16th brings us to December 31. New Year’s Eve. The eve of a new year, a new life.
There is something magical about all that.
It feels big to me, a marking of time, an important journey. To honor my father and his too-short life, and also to remind me that life is short. And, in truth, to help me get my life in order, to be more mindful, to clear ground, and simplify, and do all the things we put off but need doing.
And so I’m embarking on this journey. Come, be a pilgrim with me. It will be a simple path, one in community with others who want to love well, live fully, let go deeply, and make a difference.
I am celebrating this birthday with John at the UNC Cancer Hospital in Chapel Hill, as we begin his journey – and I’m starting this Project 137 journey from there. There is something beautifully ironic about that.
Every day for 137 days, you’ll receive an email with an inspiration, a question, an “assignment,” or a happy.
You’ll be asked to examine, in various ways, what needs doing in your life. And then, without the amount of reflection that simply paralyzes you, to act on those things, to do them. As if time were running short, which it is, of course.
Special guests from 3x3x365 and elsewhere may join us at various times during these 137 days.
This isn’t a class, but a project, and a gathering. It is an experiment in community.
Together we will create greater, deeper meaning in our lives. We will live like we are dying in order to fully live. And we’ll do it together.
In addition to our online gathering spot where you’ll receive your “assignments,” we’ll also have a Facebook group for conversation and community.
Hell, who knows what we’ll do. It will be big and luscious and grounding. You will engage at the level you can–and that will change for all of us in the course of 137 days. Some days, you will simply read the quote for the day and that will be enough. Other days, you’ll clear space in your house and life. Some days you’ll be asked to create closure in open-ended things in your life.
Give what you can and feel called to give. Whatever feels right to you. Everything you give will be used for John’s medical expenses.
I hope to see you there on August 16th.
You can register here.
What would you do if you only had 137 days to live? Leave a note in the comments and let’s learn from each other.