Confession time: They pick on me in the lunch room because I read the obituaries on a regular basis. You've heard the comments before. "Are you trying to make sure you're not in there?" or "Are you checking to see if you have to come to work today?" But the answer for me is really very simple. I've always been fascinated by the way that people live their lives. I'm intrigued by the choices they make and the obstacles that they overcome. Good or bad. I read them because I know that someone passed and the world needs to acknowledge this change. Sounds morbid, but it's not to my way of thinking.
"I don't want my kids to remember that I was ever afraid to tackle something," I said to my father one day. "I want them to know that no matter what they want to accomplish they can take it on and do it. No matter how scary." My father sort of shook his head and then quietly said, "you're kids will never think that". Certainly, I've done some things that others would never understand. I've overcome a lot of fears in my life and I fight those fears daily. I was the kid that no one outside my family ever expected much from and yet, I've exceeded even my own expectations. I am thankful for all the things I have and not for the things I don't have. When I go I want people to remember me as someone who was not afraid. How do you want to be remembered?
I am fully aware that there are those that find me intimidating and often too plain-spoken. I always say that if you don't want to know the answer to a question, don't ask me. I don't lie. At least, not well. This creates conflict within me when asked for an opinion that I know will not be the popular one. But I pride myself on honest interactions with people. When I ask questions or interact it's because it's an honest interest. Not because I have some sort of ulterior motive or out of duty.
Today I was watching CSpan and they had an interview with author Brad Meltzer (from DeCoded show fame). During the question and answer he mentioned that at one time he'd hired a reporter to write his obituary for him. He wanted to know what it was that he'd be remembered for... I've included the video of the lecture below. I think you'll find it as inspiring as I did. How will you be remembered?
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