Live for Eulogy, not Resume

For about the last year, I’ve been receiving a weekly reflection from Holstee. Holstee was started a few years back by two brothers who wanted to build tools for inspiration and living fully.

This morning’s email from Dave was titled: “My eulogy.”

That’s pretty deep for a Monday morning, but after my morning workout, I read the email which brought me to this TED Talk from David Brooks of the New York Times:

In the talk, Brooks talks about the conflict between our “resumé self” and our “eulogy self.”

It’s a fascinating insight into the conflict between our desire for accomplishments that make us more attractive to employers — those things that advance our career — and our desire to be good humans so that our lives leave a legacy of goodness — so our eulogy is worthwhile.

In this time off, I’m kicking myself for not spending more time focusing on my eulogy but it’s difficult when you’re job searching. You’re focusing on those resumé accomplishments because they’re what matter to potential employers.

Dave bravely shared a journal entry in which he shared his own eulogy. I’m going to attempt a draft at mine.

Shane loved life fiercely. More than anything, he loved living it side-by-side with his wife and best friend, Alli. Together, they captured life’s moments for others as photographers, they traveled the world and experienced other cultures, they made each other and others laugh, and they prioritized spending time with the people they loved over all. 

During his life, Shane’s vocation rarely defined him, mostly because he wouldn’t let it. In his work, he made those around him better by expecting excellence and delivering it whenever he could. He was a communicator and a connector and he loved telling stories.

He liked eating food with friends and family, sometimes too much. He read books when he could, though not as much as he should. His dad passed along an obsession with gadgets and music. He always wanted to learn to play guitar like his dad, but struggled to find the diligence to do so.

More than anything, he loved Alli. They loved traveling, going to the movies and spending time with their dogs at home in front of the fireplace. They rarely spent more than a few days at a time apart and they never seemed to get sick of each other. Even to the end, when they Thelma & Louise’d it over the cliff at the age of 100. 

So that’s my first draft of my eulogy. What would yours say?

Heath Ledger is Dead

CNN is reporting that Heath Ledger is dead.

This sucks. First and foremost for his daughter with Michelle Williams, Matilda.

They have not said what the cause of death was yet. I hope for his daughter’s sake it wasn’t suicide or drugs. I imagine that would mess a kid up pretty good. I never saw him as the suicidal/druggie type. He seemed to have a decent head on his shoulders despite the whirlwind romance/marriage/divorce he had with Williams.

He was also a really good actor. More details available in the main news outlets.


My Uncle Larry passed away this morning at 5:30 AM Pacific Time.

Jake has a really good post about Larry here. I just wanted to share my thoughts too.

Larry Beck was one of the best uncles that anyone could ask for. He was fun, quirky, and he loved his family. When I was growing up, my uncle was a magician at Magic Mountain. How cool would it be to have a magician for an uncle. he used to do all sorts of tricks for us and he would always get this wry smile when he saw how impressed we were.

“Wouldn’t it be cool if this was your card? That would be a pretty good trick, wouldn’t it?”

That's a Huge Camera

That’s what I remember him saying when he would put on his magic shows for me, Jake and all of our cousins.

The past 3 years have been increasingly difficult as I have watched his health deteriorate very rapidly. I’m really glad that Alli, Jake and my mom and I were able to go out there two Decembers ago. That was the last time I saw my uncle, and while it was in a hospital (he was laid up in UCLA Med Center at the time), it was a good trip. We laughed (although not as hard as usual because laughing was painful to Larry physically), we cried, and we talked. We spent almost the whole time there in the hospital in Westwood and while I LOATHE hospitals, I never thought about that once. I enjoyed every second of it.

Larry Paula Mom 2

That’s Larry on the left, his wife Paula, and my mom. I’m sad that I don’t have a picture of me and him from that trip. Despite his sickness, he was still the same old Larry.

I’ll miss him a lot. It’s really tough when some of your closest family live many miles away. I wish that we could have seen him more often. If only.

To those of you that read this, I ask you to please pray for my Aunt Paula, Larry’s two daughters, Cindy and Stacey, as well as the rest of the Beck family. Larry was a good man and he’ll be missed by all of us.