In the past years I have lost my grandfather and I’ve seen some friends lose spouses and other relations: it’s been rough. I know many people reading this can relate with the death of a loved one. I remember my grandfather, and these other people as so vibrant, so a part of life. Now that they are gone it is sobering to realize that I will never see them again. It has gotten me to thinking about what really matters in life.
There are accolades at my work to strive for if one chooses to. You can do what it takes and get a small plaque presented to you etc. Or, you can think about those who have gone ahead of you and what they have left behind that matters. In the entrance to our auditorium at the school where I teach there is a photo case. In that photo-case is a montage picture of the teachers when the school opened in 1985. I was 15 at the time. The teachers in the picture have retro 80’s shirts and most the men have beards. The pattern on the clothes are the kind you just don’t see nowadays. It was a different time but the teachers them were flesh and blood as I am now with my staff. Losing my grandfather got me thinking more about what I will leave behind by way of legacy and less about what I can get out of life while I’m alive. For example, I love my wife so much.
Leaving something behind is my biggest concern. I’ll admit, while writing blog posts I think about how my kids will one day read them. I think about whether to include all my rants when I don’t see as they will offer them any help in life. I think this is a good filter. This mindset also filters out the drama of my work. When I am only concerned with making a contribution, the gossip lines fade in order of importance. I want to leave behind a model of passion for teaching, for blogging, for guitar and piano and the appreciation of many kinds of music. I want people to be encouraged by what I have done and believe they can do even better. When I think of how animated and gregarious my Grandpa was in his 85 years, I get inspired to live fully. If I can encourage even one other person to do that, then I will feel my life was success. That kind of influence is what I hope to leave behind. If you could leave behind just 3 things, what would they be? Here are mine:
1. My best life lessons in a journal (written not online).
2. Lessons of my favorite recipes – Pizza and enchiladas.
3. Guitar lessons to as many people as possible.