Living life to the fullest


People love sharing quotes on social media. Recently, I came across a Keanu Reeves quote – or, perhaps it was Richard Gere quote as some people state – anyway, this quote made me think not only about the trustworthiness of the Internet, but also about life.

The first photograph illustrates my life these days, and the second one – my life’s beginning. As you see, the richness of color increases over the years, and the dark areas only mean that I finally know that I know very little.


Let’s go back to the quote. I am sure you have read it many times. I just copied and pasted it.

“My friend’s mom has eaten healthy all her life. Never ever consumed alcohol or any ‘bad’ food, exercised every day, very limber, very active, took all supplements suggested by her doctor, never went in the sun without sunscreen and when she did it was for as short a period as possible – so pretty much she protected her health with the utmost that anyone could. She is now 76 and has skin cancer, bone marrow cancer and extreme osteoporosis.

My friend’s father eats bacon on top of bacon, butter on top of butter, fat on top of fat, never and I mean never exercised, was out in the sun burnt to a crisp every summer, he basically took the approach to live life to his fullest and not as others suggest. He is 81 and the doctors say his health is that of a young person.

People you cannot hide from your poison. It’s out there and it will find you so in the words of my friend’s still living mother: ‘if I would have known my life would end this way I would have lived it more to the fullest enjoying everything I was told not to!’”

I am honest with you – I have read this piece many times, trying to attribute it to Keanu Reeves. I couldn’t. My friend had eaten healthy and lost her life to cancer, leaving behind three children. This part I understand. What I don’t understand is the definition of “living life to the fullest” in this message. Somehow I feel that the old couple have nothing to do with the idea of a ‘full life’ measured in eating, drinking and challenging the common sense. Yet, it is not the first time I hear this definition – eat what you like, drink what you like, party, do stupid things, live your life to the fullest. I have done a good couple of stupid things myself, but obviously not many enough to experience the joy of fulfillment and achievement… So, instead, I am trying to fill up my life with the things that are more meaningful. You can guess that it is not as easy as simply eat my favorite food ( I have many favorite foods). Sometimes I feel discouraged, but then I think about many terrific humans who truly live their life to the fullest, and I do my best too, spending time with my family, learning as much as I can take in, traveling as much as I can afford, doing nice things to others. I know that this list is not impressive at all, and looks pretty selfish too, but it keeps me busy, and gives me many opportunities. I love being alive.

An overused proverbial phrase “When life gives you lemons…” has many recipes to get you through the unpleasant experiences. But what if life gives you garlic? I googled and learned that I can use it to kill vampires. Be happy for everything life gives you 🙂 There are some pictures from the English Market in Cork City.


Sometimes life seems so awful. Can it get any worse?

english market

Yeah, it can!

english market

But hang in there, it will all get sorted in the end 🙂

english market

Sometimes your life is a reflection in the river.


Sometimes it leaves lasting marks.


Life is never the same, and to live it to the fullest means to embrace all the aspects and do your best to enjoy it. Your best, not only your basics 🙂 With all my sincere love for chocolate…


inesemjphotography  Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. I just wanted you to know that I shared your photos with my husband and he was amazed. He said that his classes will be more meaningful having seen your work.

  2. A good post. There is a lot of truth to it.
    (There also is a lot of Paulo Coelho stuff going around elsewhere)
    I had a key question when I was interviewing young and eager executives to come into my company. The key question, beyond school, university, experience was: “Do you have a Passion”. Blank stares. Not in the manual. and I went on to explain: ” It can be anything, collecting stamps from Rhodesia for instance. Whatever”. Very few had a Passion. I hired them all. 🙂
    So, just feed and nurture and follow your passions, great or small.
    Take care.

    1. Thank you for this wonderful comment and adding a great aspect to the definition of Full Life. Very few had a passion, huh? Most of people can tell what they love to do straight away, but if you ask what they are passionate of doing… Many people would tell that they love to travel, and it is how they imagine their life lived well, but they have no means, you see. Meanwhile, a passionate traveler is long gone, on a budget, and even wrote a blog 🙂 Your HR skills are brilliant 🙂

      1. Thank you my dear. About HR skills, my former executives would tell you I also was a tough boss. Some called me Gibbs! But then we still meet with many, and always enjoy it. So maybe I wasn’t too bad a boss? 🙂

  3. Heartwarming post, Inese, I am truly touched by your post. Thank you ❤ I love especially this line: "Life is never the same, and to live it to the fullest means to embrace all the aspects and do your best to enjoy it." – so true!

  4. Living life to the fullest, is kind of tricky sometimes. Sometimes responsibilities or lack of funds etc can get in the way. Perhaps we should try to live life in the moment, and see where it takes us. An impromptu meal with old friends might seem like a little thing to do – but often it’s these moments that bring us the most happiness. I did just that on Saturday evening, it was lovely. My friend popped round with her daughter, who has been friends with my daughter since they were infants. They are both sixteen now, and still such close friends, how time flies.

    1. I love meals with friends 🙂 I agree with you about living in the moment. If we don’t waste our moments, it means we live our life to the fullest. What more we can do? Regardless of our health, age, funds, location we all measure our life in moments 🙂

  5. You are very wise Inese. I agree with you, one’s ‘fullest life’ could be another’s ’empty life’ depends on what ‘fullest’ means to this person. I do feel that most of us are too busy and too focus on chasing the outside world, but hardly take an inner journey to find out who we really are; what do we really want in this life. With the increase of seeing people looking at their smart phone while eating, the enjoyment of living in the moment seems to be taken.., it’s one step further from a fullest life if you ask me…

    Vivienne X

    1. Absolutely agree with you, Vivienne! The more we focus on what we do, the more we enjoy it. Eating and using your phone at the same time is a grand example 🙂
      Most of people whom I know personally, are living good and meaningful lives. ‘Full life’ is not necessarily a cool or exotic life. These are rare 🙂 While we dream or wait for one to happen, our own life is passing us by. xx

  6. Great post as always. I agree that living life to the fullest means different things to different people. the fish pic made me chuckle as well as your comments LOL 🙂

  7. I suppose everyone will interpret the phrase ‘live life to the fullest’ in very different ways. What makes life ‘full’ to one person may be the opposite to another. As for eating healthily, we can all eat what we find to be healthy fo us – but if we had no lapses, life would probably be nowhere as much fun!’ It’s certainly an interesting quote, though – whover said it.
    I love the way you use the two photos to illustrate the two periods of your life. The first one definitely has that mellow look compared to the clear brightness of life’s beginning. Lovely photos Inese.

    1. Cannot disagree with you. We are all different. The thing is, that many people simply don’t know the ways to fill their life ‘full’ with anything except parties and eating/drinking, not because they are bad people or something, but because they just don’t know! There are so many people who have no idea about the vast knowledge accumulated by humanity and about the best examples of human spirit. If they only knew. It is why I write all of this – in a very unsophisticated way, to reach out, to offer some simple food for thoughts, baby food, actually. The most crucial things are simple.

      Millie, ‘lapses’ with desserts are not foreign to me 😉 I love nice food and struggle with my diet.

      1. Your posts are absolutely excellent, Inese. You reach out to so many of us, and always give us lots to think about. As for your photos … all I can say is that they are superb! You’re right about interpretations of ‘full’. Parties and boozing may well be the only ways that some people know how to enjoy themselves. There are
        lots of reasons for that, and I’m sure we could both write an essay on the topic.
        I’m not averse to ice cream and good food, either. That’s why I spend so many hours walking and swimming each week. If I didn’t, I’d probably resemble a Christmas pudding. 😀

    1. Thank you for stopping by, Laurie! We will always make plans anyway 🙂
      It is a good practice to ask yourself in the afternoon – what made you feel good today? If the answer is ‘nothing’ then hurry up, you still have time 🙂

  8. I have read and heard similar stories. I believe living life to the fullest means different things to different people. To me, living life to the fullest is definitely not measured by how much bacon and butter I eat.

    1. Thank you for your comment, Vashti! When I finished reading that Facebook post, I opened the comments and learned that ‘eat drink and be merry’ is considered a formula to living well by majority. I only hope that all these people simply didn’t think before they commented.

  9. I am rather late to the discussion, Inese. I think living life to the fullest doesn’t mean to forget the rules, still see your doctor, eat healthy foods, indulge a little, have meaningful or spiritual life. Love and care for others: to share your time to brighten others lives. . .
    Not the same thing but I object to the words,”hopeless romantic.” I made up a more positive “spin” on it: I am a “hopeful romantic.” (Put it on a post because I believe I created a thought worth considering.) Hugs, Robin

    1. Thank you for your comment, Robin! You added a very important aspect. When do we feel the most happy and fulfilled? Exactly as you say – it is when we know that we have brightened somebody’s life 🙂 Doesn’t matter how, because we are not the same, we have different capacities, resources and circumstances. We might regret some things that happened – or never happened – in our life, but we shouldn’t discourage ourselves by thinking that we are not living our life to the fullest if we care for someone else.

  10. Well I like your points about the color of life as u age – but I tend to disagree about how much we don’t know! I mean sure – knowledge is vast and of course in philosophy we can learn and learn. But when it comes to health I have found there are serious delusions out there and ignorance – and common sense is thrown out the window.
    A site called marks daily Apple (mda) has so much truth – so I invite people who want answers to these scenarios to read read and read some more!

    Because the sun does not cause skin cancer – the sun actually helps us make vit D and has health perks – cancer comes from a failed immune system! Cancer happens when the immune system gets so burdened to where it cannot fight off the free radicals who are unstable and then steal from our healthy cells.
    Do you know they use sugar to find tumors and cancer cell movement !? Well many people argue that there is a fungal connection to cancer – I agree – and then other factors.
    And so our sweet lady who got cancer – well maybe it was lack of a good dose of sun – or the horrid chemicals in some sunscreens added to her already toxic liver or body – cos flukes are more prevalent than most know and they pull from immune function.
    And our bacon and butter eating man – well he had a kick ass immune system – that was not impaired by fungal sludge and pathogens.

    In closing – all Health is connected to immune function and that is why some get cancer and some do not- and so saying she ate all the right things is unsound in the argument because we need healthy fats and less sugars snd some sun.

    Anyhow – in closing – I feel as if there is a delusion about what the human body needs and big mistake people make is to avoid the sun – avoid all fats and then eat way too much sugar.

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