Feeling very reflective

posted by Jeff | Sunday, July 5, 2009, 12:34 AM | comments: 0

Diana and I had a nice mellow holiday at home. We watched the Williams sisters in the Wimbledon final this morning, hung out doing pretty much nothing, watched Star Trek III and IV (she loves those movies) and did up some yummy picnic like food. Grilled and blackened some turkey burgers, had brown rice and corn on the cob. Really good meal.

Just before bed, Diana was sorting through some of her mom's old jewelry. I guess she liked a lot of junk, so she'd like to find the stuff that's worth something. I obviously never got to meet her mom, but it makes me smile to hear people talk about her. It sounds like she had her quirks, like anybody, but a lot of people loved her.

That got me to thinking about my own life. There's no real way to know if you're doing enough to have positive impact on other people. There is no universal measuring stick for that sort of thing. It's human nature to nurture, I think, and every year you get older, you want to do more for others. I'm sure that has a lot to do with our desire to have a child, even if we are getting a bit of a late start in trying.

The flip side of that is the expectation of death. After seeing Up, which I imagine would make most anyone cry in the first 15 minutes, Diana told me that few things terrify her more than death. I'm kind of the opposite. While I'm not looking forward to it or crossing the street without looking, I think I have a certain peace about it. I can't control it and it will eventually come for everyone.

And perhaps that realization is what makes us want to do something that matters. It's true that most of us will be completely forgotten a hundred years from now. That doesn't mean, however, that the things we do today don't benefit individuals, and if we're lucky, the world, tomorrow. For many, the accomplishment is as "simple" as having a child, while others become astronauts or presidents.

So it begs the question, what is it that I have really done? While, again, it's hard to measure, I think the kind of love and support I've given to a very small number of people is the biggest legacy I can leave. I'm not done by any means, but if I were hit by a bus tomorrow, I think I'd be content knowing what I have done. As I put it to Diana, whether I live to 50 or 100 (and I'm shooting for the latter), I'm fortunate to be in her life. We spend a lot of time worrying about the future, but we can never do so at the expense of appreciating today.


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