Enhanced Ageing Inspirations
Activity - My Meaningful Life
Posted by Stephanie Butchart
Feb 17 2018
My Meaningful Life Activity PDF

There’s more to the story of Margaret Ellis’ Battle of Ability. We first went through Margaret’s Life Story, a common life review activity in older age, developed through reminiscence. As you all know, when the last page turned Margaret smirked at me and said, “So what, that’s it? My life’s over?”

What you don’t know is that the next time I came back to see Margaret, I had brought a follow up to the activity. The reaction to this was an even bigger smirk that the visit before…over ninety years old and living in what she knew to be her final destination didn’t bring any interest in a bucket list.

Why? She had done all that she had wanted to in life. A bucket list is great for people who don’t get to live the way they want to, who need a list of their life’s greatest unaccomplished accomplishments. Instead, when we reach our final stage in this world we learn, grow and develop in other ways.

We learn who we are, where we have come from, what actions our life has led and why we lived at all. We grow new understandings of our experiences, a bigger picture of our life within this world.

We develop wisdom, our ability to think and act based on life experience.

We can only do so from the act of reflection and often we find ourselves in a state of ‘too late’. ‘Woulda, coulda, shoulda’ no more…welcome to My Meaningful Life.

This activity can take place anywhere and at any time. It can be done alone as a personal exercise, as a pair to discover a deeper connection, as a family to share your lives together and as a large group of friends diving into the meaning of your individual and collective life.

Adaptations are available at anytime, if you or someone you know would like an alternative version of this activity please write to

Stephanie Butchart
- Friend, family, founder

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The Ellis Method provides innovative opportunities to approach, assess, intervene and monitor older adults and adults experiencing difficult challenges.