Saturday, August 14, 2010

Obituarizing

So I was chit chatting with my friend and coworker Annette yesterday at the circus. She seemed pretty stressed out. Work has been busy, and to top it off she is one woman living in a house with a husband and two teenaged sons. She calls them all pigs (which is pretty normal, I think, I mean, my brothers were in charge of the yard, and the girls of the housecleaning - in Oregon, yard work really happens for maybe 3 months out of the year if you play your cards right). Anyway, she told me one day she was completely fed up and gave them an assignment - write your own obituary. She meant it so that they would realize what, if any, impact they had made on the world, but deep inside it was self-serving: once she killed them, she'd still have to figure out how to eulogize them. Don't worry, Annette isn't a psycho killer disguising as an escrow officer, but let's be honest - the job is enough to want to make you go postal. Coming home to a house full of non-productive boys can't make it any better.

She asked me if I thought she was a terrible person. I told her no, that I thought it was a great idea. I don't think teenage boys with little motivation would find it a challenge, but for someone like me, staring down the barrel of 45? Great idea.

It has never been my intention to have accomplished certain things by certain ages in my life. I have always just sort of gone where the wind takes me. Considering I am still in this apartment after two years, which is pretty much the longest I've lived anywhere since 2004, and the fact that I have pets, well, I feel myself sort of ... stopping. Slowing down, anyway. Grounding myself, but that implies that I'm trying to ground myself, and I'm not sure that I am. I have a sort of resistance to the security that staying in one place for too long brings. If I didn't have a general mistrust of doctors I might have that looked at, but alas..

So what will someone say about me when they stand up in front of the handful of people that might attend my funeral (this sounds sort of morbid, doesn't it? But death is a part of the circle of life, my friends. Everything is inevitable.)? What have I done? Have I made an impact on anybody besides making people laugh? Is there anything more tangible than just trying to pull somebody out of a crappy mood or helping someone work up a file? Surely someone's life is better out there because of me, right? But whose? And what have I done? (By the way, these are rhetorical questions; I'm not fishing for answers.)

I guess the ultimate goal should be to walk away from my own obituary thinking, That was a good person. This is an exercise I have to put some thought into, and who knows, I might even publish the result for the 14 of you that are left reading. For now, think about Annette's idea and consider the impact you have made on your world. And then consider there is still time to change anything that doesn't sound so good.

(Fairly deep for a Saturday morning, yeah?)

2 Comments:

At 1:11 PM, August 14, 2010, Blogger Rosas Clan in Tulum said...

Don't discount the value of making someone smile. Not everyone has as wide of a range of smile grabbing as you do. jaja

PS- I would have been scared out of my mind to pick up and move to Mexico if it had not been for you. Was more of an adventure.
Thanks

 
At 12:03 PM, August 15, 2010, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great idea to write my own. I am probably the only person that would say something nice about me! Well, maybe my daughter and her daughter. lol... So when I go, I would like you to come and say something.. something simple like "she supplied beer to a bunch of needy teens"..hehe. Seriously, I have often wondered why was I put here and who did I have an effect on..but mostly, would I be missed? Thanks for giving me something to ponder. You always make me smile no matter your topic.

 

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