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 saw that, people in social networks likes to post phrases said (allegedly) by famous people. I prefer to post my own thoughts instead in those social networks.
    ¨LIve to the fullest¨is regularly a horrible phrase misattributed to Borges. As you show it can take any shape… I prefer to think that every person has to learn to live his/her life in his/her own way, without damaging to others of course.
    I love the words that explain your feelings in your photographs. : )

    1. Allegedly, exactly 🙂 I don’t believe that the actor who hasn’t had an easy life is so shallow to reduce the purpose of life to only eating and drinking.
      You are right, this is a very misleading phrase, and I really wanted to tell that there is much more to life, and we have to do our best to feel that our life was well lived.

  2. A lovely post, Inese. The interesting thing to me about those quotes is that they gravitate toward extremes on a continuum, when perhaps it’s not a continuum at all, but a web. Or perhaps it’s all random and impossible to make sense of. I tend to think along your lines, that meaning-making is the secret, embracing all the disparate pieces, and doing our best to enjoy every moment. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your comment! When I first read the quote in Facebook, I said to myself – no way Keanu Reeves has said that! He is an actor, he has such a life! He wouldn’t be that shallow to reduce all the life’s experiences to eating and drinking. Then I read the comments to that Facebook post and was surprised to find out that actually every commenter agreed with the statement. Unbelievable. There is so much to do in this life to live it to the fullest.

  3. Chocolate makes it all worth while. A great piece. It is true you can find pleasure is small things and Terrific pictures in the worst situations.

  4. Inese, you’re far too humble!
    As for living life to the fullest, I think it comes down to savouring the little moments and recognising that we only have one chance at life and that it may be a hulluva lot shorter than ‘the average.’

    1. Oh, you are so right. I know many people who died before the average age.
      People have different circumstances, and not everyone can live a life of a movie star 🙂 Sometimes the most humble life can be the most strikingly full of events, adventure and purpose.

      1. I don’t think you quite got my point that ‘YOU ARE TOO HUMBLE’ about your wonderful self!!

        I’m not sure all that many people would like to live the life of a movie star. I certainly wouldn’t!

        1. No, I got it, but I think you are too good 🙂
          My reply is just a separate thought, nothing to do with the ‘humble’ from your comment 🙂 It was about the ‘small things’ part of your comment. Some people think that the life is not full if nothing big happen, but we can give a big meaning to a small thing 🙂

  5. Indeed, life is also full of uncertainty. I wish we could know more about it. I think living life moderately might be a good balance. There are many things in life that you cannot know for certain or can prevent even when you do the best you can to avoid any bad things. Certain thing we know if we do, there is going to be a good chance that certain thing will happen. Of course there also chance that it might not happen.

    You have lovely pictures here. I love the picture of the small creek under the bridge especially.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by! Your words are wise. You know, living the life moderately might be the most fulfilling. Moderately doesn’t necessarily mean halfheartedly. Doing our best is the most important, and living in balance is a good example of ‘doing our best’ 🙂

  6. A powerful piece. There’s no accounting for fate or chocolate…I mean choices. Actually, I’m not sure what I mean because it’s late and I’m tired!. Carpe Diem, I say, and eat lots of garlic.

    1. Thank you so much for stopping by 🙂 I love chocolate, and food in general, but it saddens me that for so many people living life to the fullest means perpetual partying and eating without measure. Is that all? Really?
      Sleep tight 😉

  7. I’ve been on both sides of the fence
    I’ve lived my life to the fullest
    I say all that I’ve experienced
    Has taught me life’s pleasure and it’s sorrows
    I would do it all again
    Only grandeur
    Great post Inese

  8. To eat an orange, fully….to sing a song, fully….to savor the wine, fully….to love a friend, fully…..if only we could always do everything, body and spirit, in the moment, to the fullest.
    Those photos are wonderful…..I can’t get that fish out of my mind! 🙂

    1. Thank you Cynthia! I was waiting for the opportunity to share the fish 🙂
      I agree with you. Halfhearted manner of doing things is not my favorite.

  9. Inese, I loved your reflections and photos.

    “But what if life gives you garlic?”
    ~ Great question. So much better than the overused lemon 🙂 Life throws all kinds of good and bad experiences at us. Like you said, we have “to embrace all the aspects and do your best to enjoy it.”

  10. This all depends on how you define life to the fullest. Here is another quote: “What good will it be for a man if gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?”
    Great post and pictures.

    1. Absolutely agree. We cannot overlook any aspect of our life. It is exactly what I want to say 🙂 Eating and drinking is not enough to fill up the everlasting life 🙂

  11. This is a wonderful post. Words of wisdom are always welcome, especially when there are great pics to go with them.. LOL When you said “what if life gives you garlic?” I immediately thought… you make garlic-ade!

    1. Thank you Resa! It is exactly what I always say – there is no single recipe for all. We have to think by ourselves, and your garlic-ade is a great solution. Punk intended 😉

    2. Sorry for the typo, Resa! I just scrolled down the comments and found two typos! I wonder if I can edit the comments? Hate the autocorrect! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Teagan!
      My friends story is too bad to discuss in comments… The only good thing is that Bob can walk and take care of himself, and lets hope his mind comes back.
      I have read your new post. Getting ready for the party 😉
      Many hugs!!!

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