Aug 092020

At different times in our lives, we have been asked about our experiences. Whether for a job or for getting to know people, we chose the most relevant things to mention. Often the emphasis was on brevity – summarising experiences or jobs. But suppose you were asked to summarise your whole life in a few words. What would stand out?

In the book Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs, people were challenged to use only six words to describe their lives. Some of their responses were funny, others poignant, but they all showed it really is possible to describe a life in a few words. Below are some extracts from the book, complete in six words:

Followed rules, not dreams. Never again.

Found true love, married someone else.

Afraid of everything. Did it anyway.

Marked time till 55, reborn thereafter.

Time to start over again, again.

I live the perfect imperfect life.

Cursed with cancer. Blessed with friends.

Always working on the next chapter.

Lived like no tomorrow; tomorrow came.

Glass half full; pockets half empty.

As the examples show, it is not always the 'big occasions' that end up being the most significant. Life's important lessons can often be summarised in a small number of words and these can say a lot about both events and people. How would you describe your own life — in six words? [Editor: email your six-word description and we will publish it.]

[Editor: this six words business is clearly quite a big thing. For example, see the Six words memoirs website.