What Great Things?

One morning last week I was watching “Fraiser” on Lifetime, while getting ready for work. On this particular episode, he and his brother were in a fender bender that resulted in air bag deployment and Fraiser ended up with a cut on the bridge of his noes. Off they went to the ER, to wait for an interminably long time and they ended up leaving before he was treated. On the news that night they found out that Frasier had mistakenly been reported as deceased due to a mix up at the hospital emergency room.  

The report of Frasier’s demise, as funny as it was, made him think about his life and what he wanted to accomplish. He decided he would write his own obituary, including things that he wanted to achieve before he passes away like running a marathon, learning to row and visiting South America. He was worried that the legacy he was leaving would not be something he would be proud of, or happy to leave. He was concerned about the way he would be remembered. The obituary was a “bucket list” of sorts, but also a list of goals for his life.

Do you ever think about your life in that way? Do you ever wonder how your obituary is going to read? I do. I really wonder, some days, if I have done anything to leave a legacy behind that anyone will remember. Other than raising my wonderful children, whom I’m extremely proud of, I honestly don’t know that I have contributed anything else of value in this world up to this point in my life.

I’m not feeling sorry for myself, though. What I am feeling is a bit introspective. I’m wondering what it is that I want to accomplish with the days that I’ve been given. It seems I’ve squandered so much precious time! 

Oh the time I’ve wasted on frivolous, meaningless tasks that no one cared about in the first place! Time that I could have spent in prayer instead of watching a made-for-TV movie full of washed up actors. Time that I could have been photographing a sunset, or a child’s dancing instead of sitting at my computer playing spades. I deeply regret that I didn’t allow myself to have a voice to stand up for myself for many years and allowed others to control me and use me without returning the same kind of caring that I gave them. These are moments of my life that I cannot get back, and I’m sorry for that. Life doesn’t give you do-overs. Sometimes you get lucky and you get second chances! But the time lost is lost forever.

About a year ago I found a fortune in my cookie that said: “What great things would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?” That one tiny scrap of paper made a serious impact on me. It’s taped to my monitor riser at work, still. I see it every day that I’m at work and I think about it.

Hmmmmmm…What would I do? I might write a poem or a story. I’d love to become a “real” photographer. I’d probably train for a Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Three Day Walk (I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do that 3-Day Walk but have been so afraid I couldn’t raise the funds required or actually make it the whole three days because of being so overweight and out of shape.). Perhaps I would volunteer at church to work in the nursery or start another day care business. Maybe I would learn to play the piano or sing (I’ve always admired family and friends with musical talents). I would get my college degree.

If I knew I could not fail…there are many things that I would attempt. I’m sure of it.

Maybe I should just stop expecting to fail?

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7 thoughts on “What Great Things?

  1. So you’re NOT a “real” photographer? To my eye your pics are amazing (but then again, I’m below even amateur, lol). But seriously, you could go pro. I’d hire you.

  2. I think there are a few goals you have forgotten:
    1. Raise my children to be responsible & productive adults. DONE!

    2. Inspire others around me. DONE!

    3. Become something more than others expected me to be. DONE !!!!!!!!

    4. Give of myself when I feel as if I have nothing left to give. DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I feel that way too sometimes, like I haven’t really done anything important or worthwhile. And then I have to stop and think about what it is that I have accomplished.

    My mental image of you:
    strong.
    funny.
    excellent, skilled photographer.
    happy mamma.
    good friend.
    loving wife.
    deeply committed to spiritual practice and prayer.
    cancer survivor.

    Oh, and when you decide to do the Komen race for a cure, let me know. I’ll be on your sponser sheet.

  4. I agree with blue bamboo’s whole list. You are and have accomplished so much more than you give yourself credit for. And I would add “amazing cousin/sister,” “hard working employee,” “animal lover,” “thoughful Auntie” and “super-deluxe haircutting lady” to that list. 🙂

    I’m happy to sponsor you, too!

  5. Seriously folks, I’m thinking about signing up for this year’s 3-Day. It’s in mid-November. Cuzzin, you should sign up for it with me and fly out and we could do the 3-Day Cuzzin/Sister thang!! Think about it.

  6. You can definitely do it! The Breast Cancer 3-Day offers lots of tools to help you train and fundraise. And even if you don’t think this is your year to participate as a walker, consider crewing or volunteering. You can speak with a Breast Cancer 3-Day coach at 1-800-996-3DAY to get a lot more information. Best of luck!

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