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?

Cities as Living Things

I saw this video from Mindrelic (via Cameron) and I just fell in love with it.

Last week, Alli and I saw Woody Allen’s latest film, Midnight in Paris, and I adored it. It was one of those movies that just makes you smile the whole time. During the movie, there is a conversation between two of the characters where they talk about the life of a city that is independent of its inhabitants — that a city lives and breathes like an organism does.

Now, I’m no fan of Woody Allen’s, but this idea was something that I really remembered from the movie. I thoroughly enjoyed the film (by far my favorite of Allen’s 586 films he’s made) and if I took anything away from it, it was this idea that we much like the blood cells of the living organism that is the place that we inhabit…we have a structure and life all our own, but we contribute to the life of something larger.

Writer’s Block

For the past couple hours, I’ve been sitting in front of my computer.

I have a sermon to write for this Sunday. I have work to do for Alli’s art show on Friday and Saturday in Gardner. I have yet to work out today. I have a new blog design that I could code, updates to the church website and A SERMON TO WRITE FOR SUNDAY.

But I’ve been staring at an empty WordPress text box for as long as it would take me to do each of those. Occasionally, I’ll pop over to my Tumblr dashboard and see what’s going on there and I’ve got Tweetie keeping me lathered in tweets. But for the most part, I’ve been sitting here. Staring.

It’s how I tend to get when Alli’s gone. Oh, did I not mention that? Yeah, she’s at dance camp. The one time every year that we’re apart. And I can barely function.

Well, I can function, but I don’t want to. I’d rather just sit here and listen to Glen Hansard.

There are lots of things to write about. I’ve got two really interesting (at least I think so) posts sitting as drafts. I could write about the travesty that is the Big 12 11 6? I could talk about the season finale of Glee (although I did that briefly over on my Tumblr). I could talk about how I went to play with the new Sprint HTC Evo tonight (impressive, but it’s not the iPhone). None of this interests me. Everything is very meh.

Even just writing this out is boring the crap out of me. I know that if I open up Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook, I’ll never stop. So instead, I’ll complain to you, my fine Internet friends. I’ll threaten to move my blog entirely to Tumblr again (the only thing I can’t quite sort out how to do elegantly is archiving all my old WordPress content).

The lesson in all this? Don’t pay any attention to me. I’m just a miserable cur because Alli’s out of town.

So here’s the deal

Every so often, I have to re-evaluate the blog and its purpose. Lately, I haven’t been feeling all that bloggy lately. Perhaps it’s my effort to scale back my responsibilities in life since I tend to take on too much. I’m freelancing less, I’ve been to church 2 times in the last 6 weeks and I’m figuring out that the word ‘No’ can be extremely liberating.

Still, there’s plenty going on in my life so I’ll give a quick rundown…

  • I’ve discovered that I like my oatmeal a lot more if you add some sliced strawberries.
  • Summer means it’s time for So You Think You Can Dance. This group is more talented than any other season, but in my opinion, the contest is Will and everyone else. That guy is amazing.
  • Alli and I are going to a spiritual life workshop at the end of the month. I’m really excited because it’s at our alma mater. I’m kind of excited to spend some time up there (although it will be ridiculously hot).
  • I am officiating over my first marriage a week from this Saturday. I’m so excited to be a part of this union. It’s one I believe in very much and I’m thrilled they chose me to officiate.
  • Alli’s business is going really well. She’s had some great jobs this summer, including one that involved painting all the planets in the atrium of an elementary school. 
  • Speaking of Alli, we bought her her very first bicycle in her life last weekend. I dusted my 10-year-old Raleigh off and we went for about a 4-mile ride the first time out. She’s really doing well for having never owned a bike before.
  • I’m helping my brother build a dog house on Saturday. 
  • I’ve yet to find a coffee you can purchase in a store that is better than Starbucks Pike Place Roast.

So that’s about it. I hope this blog finds you well. Not really, but it’s all I have time for this morning.