what would you like to be remembered for?May 26, 2022
I was scrolling through Facebook over the weekend, trying to leave witty happy birthday messages that'd beat all the other birthday messages, when I noticed that my home feed was reading like a doomsday roster.
"What else is new?" I know you're wondering, with an audible eye roll - as news of yet another mass shooting hit our media feeds late Tuesday night...
But this felt weirdly different and deeply personal. So many people in my life are experiencing excruciating loss. Loved ones are ill, passing away, suffering through intolerable circumstance...
It brought the suffering that's happening "out there" - suffering that I occasionally (admitted with much embarrassment and shame but also in the name of self-preservation) dip in and out of - to my front doorstep, in a big way.
Maybe it's the state of the world or my recent travels or rising interest rates and/or the occasional dabble in the microdosing of psilocybin (for mood and energy - more on that another day) but I've been thinking a lot about how I want to be remembered.
Or, more correctly how I DO NOT want to be remembered. (You see I, like a toddler, am much more adept at finding clarity in my NO than I am at finding words for big yesses).
I've been thinking about how I don't want to be remembered as a workaholic. A relatively happy but perpetually stressed out, gossipy, complain-y kinda person: too busy, unendingly tired, with never enough time or money, shoving a body I'm at war with into jeans that don't quite fit, as a roll through another day of to-dos that I feel low-key resentful about.
I don't want to be remembered for ignoring what I need, for shoving down my feelings in order to appease others, sweaty and flustered, over-giving until I have nothing left.
I mean, it'd make for a great tombstone:
Once a martyr, always a martyr!
but it doesn't make for a great life.
As a write this I realize that the best way to frame how I'd like to be remembered, is through the eyes of my children.
I'd want them to say:
She loved her work. She was committed and devoted to it - pursuing all of her biggest dreams - but she made sure we knew we were #1 on her priority list, always.
She was silly.
She had a temper (a witch's fury, we joke;) but always tried to see our side and apologized when she was wrong.
She loved the water - dunking in any lake or ocean, no matter the season - and most of our conversations happened while she was in the bath.
She lived life to the fullest - saying YES to as many things as possible - eating, travelling, dancing, laughing, reading, shopping, visiting... just yes yes yes!
She took amazing care of herself - moving her body, eating well, feeling the best she could in and about her body... so she had the energy for all those yeses.
She was grateful for everything she had.
What about you? What do you want to be remembered for?
I know I have some work to do to make my list a reality. How about you?
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