Last weekend I had to attend a funeral for the dad of a good friend of mine’s. It was, of course, very sad and the loss of a wonderful human being is never something you can make sense of very easily. The beautiful thing, however, was the focus of his celebration of life. As is the case in most situations such as this they had his birth date written out like this: June 27, 1944-November 25, 2013. The focus for the funeral was the – (dash) – all that he did in his living years that impacted people and helped make the world a better place.
All of this got me thinking. We are heading into a time of when we focus on giving. The celebration of life really got me reflecting on how we give and if there are ways in which we can really fill in or expand our own dash that might enrich our lives and those who are in it.
With the start of the month well underway I wonder what it would be like to take a few moments and reflect on how you want to be remembered. When the time comes for your dash to be celebrated what feeling do you want to evoke and who do you want to be remembered as? This month can be busy, and sometimes our focus can be on finding the best present to buy, what we are bringing to our work’s Christmas party or what our child’s wish list is to Santa. It can be easy to get lost in all we need to get done at this time of year and lose sight of the opportunities to create moments and memories that have a lasting impact.
So here is what I recommend. Ask yourself, even just for a few moments today, how do you want people to remember you? What do you want to define your dash? Maybe you want to be the wife who is remembered for making moments to connect with your husband, even when you’ve been married for 25 years. Or perhaps you want to be the father who leaves work early every Thursday just so you can make your son/daughters soccer game. Or maybe you realize you’ve gotten so busy that you haven’t been calling home as often as you would like and would rather make connecting every Sunday a priority again.
At this time of year it can be a beautiful opportunity to start a new tradition as a couple or a family that isn’t about gifts but rather about connecting. Maybe you make hot chocolate and walk around your neighborhood to see the holiday lights every Sunday. Or perhaps you and your partner have a bake off to see who makes the best Christmas cookies. It can be anything and doesn’t have to be fancy, costly or complicated. Forming those memories now adds more depth to your dash …what better way to wrap up the year!