“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.”
—Calvin & Hobbes
The last time you looked in the mirror, what did you see? Gray hair, a couple crow’s feet, maybe a little padding where you didn’t have it before? Join the club. We’re getting older.
The weird thing is, once we hit the stage in our life where we have kids, a mortgage, and really get into the groove of a career—it feels like we hyperspace right through it. And the older you get, the faster life seems to move. I mean, Girl #1 will be in junior high next year—that’s insane.
My days are so jammed packed with stuff that I don’t even have time to think. I get up, help my wife get the kids out the door, rush to work, power through meetings, rush to the gym, rush back to work, shove a sandwich down my throat, rush to more meetings, send tons of email, rush home, grab something to eat, rush to whatever sport I’m coaching at the moment, rush home, put the kids to bed—and then it’s 10 p.m. or so. That’s when I start my second gig—writing. This is pretty much every day. And it’s probably the same day that you have—well, some version of it anyway.
When life is going so fast it’s easy to lose sight of what’s happening, and you also lose perspective of what you’ve accomplished. You look in that mirror, barely recognize the person staring back, and think—shit—I’m 40 (or 45, or 50). When did that happen?
It’s really easy to say, “Crap, I’ve always wanted to own my own sandwich shop or be the guy who brought back California Coolers (or whatever else) and it hasn’t happened yet.” And that’s a legitimate concern, but we sit there and worry about all these things without ever actually thinking about what we’ve already built: our legacy.
Believe me, our legacy isn’t going to be some project where we logged 100 hours in meetings and emails that was ultimately canceled. It’s the people close to us—family and friends—and also our passions. Baby boomers (our worst generation) focused so much on climbing the corporate ladder that they lost sight of what was most important.
Hell, they almost turned divorce into a sport.
I’m writing this because my life has been moving at warp speed and I haven’t stopped to “smell the scotch” (we smell cocktails, not flowers). I have no idea how I got to be this age and how my kids somehow got out of their car seats, cribs, and high chairs (damn I loved high chairs).
So sit back one night this weekend by yourself, grab a cocktail, and just take five minutes to bask in what you’ve built over the past years. When you step back I’ll bet you think it’s pretty damn impressive. And remember this old saying:
“No one on their deathbed ever wished he’d spent more time at the office.”