Tonight I’ve been going through a lot of old papers and photos that belonged to my dad. He passed away a few months ago, having lived 89 years to the fullest. I take after him in that I have many passions and interests. He was quite the record-keeper, and neatly organized mementos of all of his different hobbies and interests. I’m not sure how he had time for all that, because he was also a busy and successful entrepreneur who ran his own businesses for 60+ years.
Looking back over a life like that, I can’t help pondering those “is that all there is?” type questions. Many a time I’ve asked myself in the past, “When you’re 90, will you look back and think, I’m so glad I worked late on that particular day, or will you remember the days at the beach?” Looking at my father’s life in the artifacts he kept, I think the answer for me will be like his must have been: all of the above.
I cram as much fun and enjoyment as I can into my life. And I’m fortunate that my work is also enjoyable and fun. I think I may treasure the memory of pairing with a smart, fun and energetic developer on my team today as much as I will a morning snorkeling in Kailua-Kona. OK, maybe in different ways, but I was fully engaged in both activities, learning, and really enjoying myself. Why wouldn’t I look back fondly at both work-related and personal activities a few decades from now? And isn’t that what it’s all about?
It’s really great to get an email from a customer who, thanks to my help, has been able to accomplish a goal. It’s nice to come across a card that former teammates gave me when I moved on to another opportunity, reminding me how much we all enjoyed working together. And, it’s great to sit on the couch in front of the wood stove with my cats and dog. We have to enjoy every minute of this life, and find rewards in both our professional and personal lives.
But as much as I’m enjoying sifting through my dad’s many boxes, I highly recommend NOT hanging on to quite so much STUFF! Nobody can take your memories away from you, and you don’t necessarily need quite so many reminders of them! That’s all from this evening’s philosopher’s corner.