My body of work is, realistically: fathered two daughters of whom I’m very proud and a few other things that helped some people.
The rest of my ‘body of work’ has been transactional, financial, earning money and paying taxes, being a citizen and neighbour, making some friends along the way. Loving well, but not well enough. Caring well, but not caring well enough. Working for myself or for others, doing good and working hard, but too often not good enough or hard enough.
Looking straight ahead, nothing is obvious – each oncoming event is another bug on the windshield or stone chip that leaves a star that starts the crack.
Looking rearward is where we look, and how we look, to discover our body of work.
Mine, if I’m writing a resume or obituary, would include all my projects and accomplishments.
I believe most of us would start that way, proudly telling the stories of what we’ve done, how we’ve done it, and reciting the problems and challenges we overcame. That’s our body of work.
But when we look again, through a longer lens, looking for what will last, that list shortens. For most of us, it’s family. And friends.
Maybe we built something, or left something, or started something …
Well, join the club – because that fits most of us.
We can be 50, or 60, or 80 – our answers will be so similar.
My concern for me, and my challenge for my contemporaries – if your body of work is done, what comes next?
A few decades of idleness?
If our body of work is to have any meaning, if all those mistakes and miss-steps we made were to serve any purpose at all, now is the time to put those strengths and skills to work – let’s get started, because, as we know better than ever, there is no time to waste.