In our family...

In our family....we do second chances...we do grace...we do real...we do mistakes...we do I'm sorry (and I forgive you)...we do loud really well...we do hugs...we do family...we do love.















Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What legacy will I leave behind?

This past year, someone dear to my heart, passed away. He was in his late 80's and had lived a good life. While he made a big impact on my life when he was alive, even in his passing, he impacted my life. I was asked to speak at his funeral so as I was preparing what to share about this man and his life, it hit me that he had lived life in such a way that he had left behind a legacy worth passing on...not the monetary or material kind, but how he lived as an authentic person, how he loved unconditionally, how he treated and what he did for others, and how he simply lived true to himself.

This is when I began to ask myself what kind of legacy I would leave behind...if it would be worth passing on someday. This opened the door to all kinds of inward reflections of who I am and what I want to leave behind when I pass from this world. What will they say about me? What kind of mark will I have left on this world, if any?

I came to the realization a long time ago that I don't want to live my life in survival mode. I made it my goal to be authentic...to be true to myself, so that I could live an authentic life. I don't want to live my life haphazardly with no purpose or focus. I want it to mean something. But, it seems that I find myself in this survival mode from time to time, forgetting about my dreams and losing my focus of the bigger picture. I'm not sure why this happens. I catch myself falling into the trap of just getting by each day, feeling stagnant from lack of purpose.

In an effort to step out of this survival mode, and start living a life of purpose again, I am going to start making a plan to put those things back into my life that I have somehow lost...Those things that make me feel good and bring me joy so that I have something to offer the outside world. I am also making it my goal this week, to make a list of those things that I want to leave behind as a legacy to my children, my grandchildren and their children...and to all those that will have known me.

Do you think about the legacy that you are leaving behind? What do you want to leave behind? What are things you do to live a life of purpose? What helps you stay on track? Please share with me your wisdom and insight. I honestly want to know so that I can learn for my own journey.

12 comments:

The Mom said...

Superb post, really has me thinking. I'm going to store this away and work on my own post about my legacy!

Beth said...

wow...you're deep today!! ;) But I DO think about what legacy I'm leaving. I feel as lonbg as my kids know that I loved them from the bottom of my soul and did everything I could for them, that they have good memories, fun memories of me, and pass those on to their own kids someday....I've done pretty good.

Heather said...

The legacy I'd like to leave my daughter is similar to yours. I want to live an authentic life, not one in which I'm doing just what I have to do to get by. I want my daughter to embrace life, take risks and be brave.

Claire Marie said...

Sometimes our lives are so filled with "stuff" that getting by in survival mode is admirable. I do know what you mean in your post though. I am just commending you for the legacy you may not realize you are already leaving behind without any added thinking toward it.

Today was a good day for you my friend!

Carry on and forward with your legacy.

Midlife Slices said...

Yes, I think about this a lot these days. I really have no answers but I strive to be the best I can be and hope my children/friends/family have a clearer understanding of who I am, than I do right now.

Bina said...

Wow. I have NEVER thought about that. The only thing I've ever thought about is if anyone will actually miss me, besides my kids.

I'll be the one with no one at the funeral. Sad.

Twenty Four At Heart said...

What a great post. I think right now I am striving to get our family back to some sense of normalcy after the last two years. In a sense, it has had to be "survival mode" thru all my surgeries. Now my biggest goal is to provide normal, happier memories for them.

Cheryl said...

I would like to leave behind a lot of happy memories,which I plan on making quite a few once we get our home built and quit working so much. I want my grandchildren to get to know me.the real person I am and I want to teach them things that I hope will be of use to them in their growing years. My two children turned out to be pretty responsible young people,I hope to hav some of the same effect on my grandchildren as I did on them.

D'Arcy said...

God showed me two years ago diverging paths that I could take in my life...

I was living in NYC, working for rich people who could give me all the connections I needed as a write and an artist. It meant having to sell my soul to them in the form of my time and my dignity and allow them to treat me asa they would treat a lower class citizen until the time I had proved my worth or served my purpose. It was a very real draw. While I wasn't rich myself I was spending my time in high rise penthouses, going back and forth from Dior to Versace to Gucci...and while it was so hard it held me captivated because you knew just around the corner would be my big break, my huge success, my dreams come true.


Then my family in Utah, who I barely saw for the last several years as I chased my dreams, all began to grow, my nieces and nephews didn't know me, my sister suffered from depression, my brother got into a mess after mess and my parents have grown weary dealing with it all, yet they trudge on...and I saw this path, I saw the help I could be to my sisters, I saw the influence I could yield in the life of my nieces and nephews, I saw that I could really spend time helping my parents in their golden years. I saw that I would live in an average house, make an average salary and by all accounts be an average person in this world that craves name and fame.

I chose the latter. It was hard. Still is.

But I know for a fact that the simple lives you and I lead are grander, in the big scheme of things, than any CEO or Success that NYC could produce.


Good job!

D'Arcy said...

God showed me two years ago diverging paths that I could take in my life...

I was living in NYC, working for rich people who could give me all the connections I needed as a write and an artist. It meant having to sell my soul to them in the form of my time and my dignity and allow them to treat me asa they would treat a lower class citizen until the time I had proved my worth or served my purpose. It was a very real draw. While I wasn't rich myself I was spending my time in high rise penthouses, going back and forth from Dior to Versace to Gucci...and while it was so hard it held me captivated because you knew just around the corner would be my big break, my huge success, my dreams come true.


Then my family in Utah, who I barely saw for the last several years as I chased my dreams, all began to grow, my nieces and nephews didn't know me, my sister suffered from depression, my brother got into a mess after mess and my parents have grown weary dealing with it all, yet they trudge on...and I saw this path, I saw the help I could be to my sisters, I saw the influence I could yield in the life of my nieces and nephews, I saw that I could really spend time helping my parents in their golden years. I saw that I would live in an average house, make an average salary and by all accounts be an average person in this world that craves name and fame.

I chose the latter. It was hard. Still is.

But I know for a fact that the simple lives you and I lead are grander, in the big scheme of things, than any CEO or Success that NYC could produce.


Good job!

D'Arcy said...

oops, slow computer, that posted twice!!

Jason said...

"In an effort to step out of this survival mode, and start living a life of purpose again, I am going to start making a plan to put those things back into my life that I have somehow lost...Those things that make me feel good and bring me joy so that I have something to offer the outside world."

You hit the nail right on the head. This is one of the most crucial parts of happiness and even. . . survival.

Keep taking care of yourself. Be good to yourself. You sure deserve it.