Someone I know who I’ll call Cindy passed away suddenly at forty-one. She was healthy and never expected to be killed in a car accident. I was with some of her friends soon after and they talked about her funeral and her life. What made an impact on me while I listened was how my first thought was when I pass away, I don’t want people to remember me the way they remember Cindy.
They didn’t say anything bad. Cindy was a nice person. She meant well. But the words about her were more polite ways of honoring a nice person who had died than accolades or accomplishments. At her funeral the attributions were similar. I was curious and asked about what dreams she had that she’d made real. I heard about the book she planned to write one day and the charity she was trying to make time to help with. But she’d postponed it all for the future, which now was over.
Cindy had put off doing the things that mattered to her most in the name of being practical. She was waiting for prices to go down before she took the trip to Europe she longed for. Her need to do chores on time meant she chose laundry over helping at a charity event. Cindy was always waiting for the right time to do all the things she wanted to do. She stayed at the job she hated because she was afraid of not being able to get one that interested her and felt she should be grateful for an income where she was.
You never know when your time will come but I’m sure you’d liked to be remembered in a positive way for doing what matters to you.
This triggered memories of my DoorMat years when I jumped to do everyone’s bidding but my own. I remember hating how I saw myself and used to wonder if I disappeared, if anyone would notice or how would they remember me? As the weak insecure go-to person for favors? As the woman who gave to everyone but herself? As the pathetic woman who didn’t value herself? That wasn’t who I wanted to be! So I took charge as I got on the train out of DoorMatville.
I want to be remembered for doing good stuff but also for being a strong confident woman who takes good care of herself. I try to live with integrity so I’m not remembered as a liar or cheater or someone who doesn’t keep her word or uses people. I also want to be remembered for helping people through my writing and speaking. Being conscious of how you want people to see and remember you helps you make better choices. I want to have as many years as I can to solidify the image people have of me in a good way.
So how do you want to be remembered? Are you that person yet? If not, be more aware of how you live so you can be someone you’re proud of!
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