Time’s up. Hope we was done with all he wanted to do. He can’t come in today or tomorrow to finish up.
Yesterday’s news – Jim Flaherty’s death stirred Canadian media landscape – and thought processes of Canadians, not just because a fine man died suddenly at 64, but from realization driven home – that could have been me?
His sudden-death finish tugs, not so much because of my dad dying recently at 91, but more so connected with my friend Gary’s death at 64. And reminding myself that I’ll be 63 this summer.
Maybe you’ll ask yourself:
What if I dropped dead?
What would my legacy be?
Gets us thinking about high praise. High achievement. How do we measure up?
Wondering what would be said, who would care and what would matter, if it was one of us? Looking inward, telling-self we’ve not done enough, or well enough, haven’t achieved what we could have.
I made progress on 5 client projects yesterday. Most were small. Some, I believe, much larger in their significance than yesterday’s work might imply.
On 3 client projects, I didn’t get anything at all done.
OK, I thought about them, which might be interpreted as progress. Mostly I was thinking about the need to move things along. No request for a strategic pause.
And once client asked me to pause – because he is too busy.
On my own projects – new adventures, fresh ideas, new directions – some progress on 3 items, 2 in a forward direction, 1 going the opposite way …
How can that happen?
Most days morning papers tell about so much change and turmoil. Turning on TV or surfing internet-news – pace of change, strife and drama overwhelms. Looking at our own insular world, very little changes.
Ask: what are 10 things I’ve changed this year that make a difference in my life or to the world AND has anyone noticed? If that’s too hard, consider the last decade. Or your entire life. OK, If that’s too difficult, just pick 5. Or pick 3.
Not to undermine anyone’s perception of how well they are doing, but as admission that I realize I talk a good story, but my struggle with changing things in my life is likely just as challenging as the next person. And the next. Each of us in this game alone. Only I know how well I am doing.
What changed yesterday?
Not a lot.
Quite a lot.
Depends on your place, vantage point and involvement.
Depends if I am alive, or not – on whether I’m not done, or simply not dead yet. I find so many reminders everywhere I look that there is so much to do, and so much desire to do it.
Maybe I should start a club.
The Not Dead Yet Club.
We could hold meetings. Membership, easily acquired – just show up, make this hour and the next and the next ones that come after that actually count for something.
Membership revoked upon death.
No refunds, credits or exchanges.
All sales are final.
Fear of death, as it is so often described is, I believe, a cozy misnomer.
Fear of being irrelevant fits better in my understanding.
We fear having lived a worthless life, a life of no noticeable affect.
We fear not being remembered, revered or respected when we aren’t around to speak for ourselves.
We fear being forgotten too soon, or too easily. We fear our accomplishments, ones we are most proud of – our children, our friends, our projects and accomplishments – our entire life’s work – will too quickly move on, that our worth and memories of it will vanish as if we were never there.
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: 4C/39F, overcast, showers forecast – which is good because it is now very dusty with all that leftover grit and sand on streets and sidewalks. Gusta avoided all the muck – lucky me.
Hi Mark – Such a positive ending to today’s muse! A great read!, MK, Calgary, AB
Loved this column - liked your similes, metaphors, word pictures! To me - on this day, your writing resonated with spring-like hope and optimism. You made me feel good - thank you. ... I think I might go build me a 'room for improvement', Cheers, GG, Calgary, AB
You say argue and I say debate. I remember my dear sweet Grandma Edna telling me, "You'd argue with a stump." I disagreed with her, after all why debate something that doesn't offer up a different point of view. Point of view is the same thing as opinion and we all know what they say about opinions. As to happiness, I have found it to be very fickle in that it sometimes hangs around for a while and sometimes only fleetingly. I control my happiness just as I control my emotions. Or do I? GW, Bon Wier, Tx