A broad question looms: What is legacy? I answered some of that in last week’s post. Beyond that, there are the following considerations, based on activities I have done a lot lately:
- Sorting through *stuff* in my house: I separate it into what’s useful and what’s not. Each item has a story and I have to decide what (and how much) I want to carry forward from my old life to the future. It becomes a balance of practicality and sentimentality. As Paul Kelly (and no doubt numerous others) said, “You can’t take it with you”.
- Sorting through *other people’s stuff*: as above, but with the added question of “Who gets to decide what’s no good?”, as sung by the Indigo Girls.
- Cooking up preserves of chutneys and jams: I see this as a legacy on an annual basis.
- Mending my mother’s treasured quilt from a special time in her life: through that process I’m preserving her memories, if also amending their appearance, and keeping the quilt able to be used.
The older I get the more memories I have available, to reflect on, to put into perspective, to think about the meaning of life: feelings of mortality (due to the death of friends) challenge the assumption that I am invincible and will be around forever – which makes me more determined to try to find my true self and live to my true ideals, even when I’m still searching to define them … I found a card in a newsagency one time, which really spoke to me. The picture was a stylised drawing of three girls from behind, and the inner quote said, “We didn’t know we were making memories. We were just having fun.” It spoke to me because I have close friends who I feel like that about – who says what makes the most lasting impressions, for themselves and others?
My morning mantra is, “How can I be the best that I can be today? What can I contribute to the world today? What do I want to look back on at the end of the day?” So I return to the core question: what do I want the imprint of my life to be? We all have a choice as to what we leave behind, especially when it comes to how we treat others.