When I finish this post, it will be my 37th entry in this blog (Check out my Favorite https://kailynsdad.com/crowded-room/) To be honest, when I started this venture, I didn’t know where it was going to go. I didn’t know if I was going to talk about being a single father, being an entrepreneur, or just about being a human being. It’s interesting how this blog has evolved if you look back on where it started. But I’m glad I get to talk a little bit about this topic because it’s what I think about quite often. In The End, what does it matter?
Tonight, I’m writing this blog from my backyard, smoking a cigar, listening to some good music my friend suggested. I’d say my life is in a pretty good place right now. Inside, Kailyn is cleaning her bedroom and getting ready for our trip to Six Flags tomorrow morning.
I’ve been on a fitness journey this past two months, and it’s left me feeling better than I’ve ever felt before. I won’t lie, the past few months have been rough emotionally, but I can tell you that mentally my mind is clearer than it’s ever been before. I’m not sure if that’s because I have settled into a routine, or because this past month I’ve had a lot of time to think. Either way before I get into this particular topic, I want all of you to know I’m in a really good space mentally and emotionally. I’m all good, I promise. ❤️
There’s a saying that says, “The only sure thing in life is death and taxes”, and ain’t that the truth. When I turned 45 years old last year, there’s no doubt that my mentality about life and its longevity popped into the forefront of my mind. There’s no guarantee of tomorrow and the only sure thing is right now. I have realized that I am on “the back nine”, and that I probably lived more life in my past that I will in my future. That’s a pretty sobering thought. But I’ll tell you what, it’s not a bad thing, and I wanted to talk a little bit about why.
I think that anybody that knows me, would say that I live my life to the fullest. There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t try to maximize my potential. Both my potential as a human being, as a friend, as a father, and as a boss. This doesn’t mean that every day I live is an impactful day in all these areas. It means i’m acutely aware of the fact that I am blessed to be living this day. I am blessed to be surrounded by the people I am, and loved by those who choose to love me. In The End this matters to me.
The reason I think this is important, is because I think in order to try and live a life worth living, you need to be cognizant what in your life you live for. Once you think about that, I think it gives you a good reason to live, and to live a life you love.
You Can’t Take It With You
No matter what you believe, there’s no arguing that you can’t take your earthly possessions with you when you leave. The phrase, “You can’t take it with you” is one you’ll hear me say often. Some would critically say I live my life by this rule way too much. Again, if you know me, you know, I’m not a saver. I choose to spend my money on experiences over things. I choose to spend it on those who I love. Gift giving is definitely one of my love languages. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy nice things, but the majority of things I do spend on are very friend-centric.
I wanna be clear that I’m not advocating for spending your money recklessly, but I am saying I spending it in a directed manor has been very fulfilling in my life. If I have an opportunity to create an experience, take a picture, and laugh with someone I love or a group of people I love, then that’s a dollar well spent. At least that’s what I feel. Everyone knows I love photos.
My Inner Circle
As someone who is divorced, I think if you looked at my inner circle today, compared to my inner circle previous to my divorce, it would look much different. But I don’t wanna focus on the people who are in my inner circle. I wanna focus on the characteristics that make them worthy to be there.
I don’t think it’s a bad idea from time to time to look around you and see who you’re surrounding yourself with. To surround yourself with negative people who bring you down seems like a waste of time and energy. Especially when time is the ONE thing you’re limited on. As you read that last paragraph, I’m sure a few people pop in your mind.
I’ve chosen to surround myself with people who make me feel good about myself, not because they’re trying to benefit from me, but because that’s how they truly feel. Picking who you want to surround yourself with is a tricky task. But I think the important thing to remember is that not everyone belongs in your inner circle. I have thousands of acquaintances that I wouldn’t consider in my inner circle. It’s a special place, and should be a special place for every individual. Just because you’re in their inner circle doesn’t mean they belong in yours, by the way. Value your inner circle and it becomes valuable. It’s that simple.
The best part of your inner circle is that it’s yours. You get to pick who gets inside and who doesn’t. You are in total control of this part of your life.
I used the airplane analogy too much. But it goes something like, if you get on an airplane and never get off, did you say and do everything you wanted to, to those you care about, and did you do everything you wanted to do before that day? Honestly, I try to live every day like that. I try not to leave any emotions on the table. Letting people know you love them and that you care about them is something I’m pretty good at. That doesn’t mean I can’t improve, but if you’re loved by me, I like to believe you know it.
Have you said it everything you need to say, and done everything you need to do, towards those you love? In The End, do people know how you feel about them?
I have a morbid curiosity with posts that people write after someone dies. Whenever I see someone posting it on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter about someone passing away, I enjoy reading the comments about that person. People say the nicest thing about people once they passed. I challenge you to say the same things to the person while they’re alive. That’s when it counts.
I know this is harder to do than it is for me to write about, but I think it’s important for people to know how you feel about them. Especially when they’re alive, because they don’t need it after they passed. This is a tough lesson I learned as a child when I didn’t get to say goodbye to an great uncle. I’ll never make that mistake again. When it comes to people I love, I leave no cards on the table.
When I’m Gone
There’s an entire whole blog about this that I never finished, so I’ll paraphrase. I gave Kailyn strict instructions about what my funeral should be like. My wish is that it’s not people standing around crying (I mean, I don’t mind if you cry, but I don’t want that to be the focus of my funeral). I really want people to tell stories about who I am and what I mean to them. Stories that maybe nobody else has heard. I want my friends to laugh about the stupid things that I did, or the kind things I did. I want people to celebrate a life lived to its fullest. After I’m gone, I want to be remembered for the sum total of good that I did on this earth not just sadness about the fact I’m gone
After just one generation, most of people are forgotten. That’s a hard pill to swallow. We become names in a genealogy tree, and I’m OK with that. But for the peoples lives I touched, I want to live forever in their hearts and minds.
In The End, that is how I want my life to be celebrated.
Composing music and posting it on Spotify and Apple Music is one way I hope my legacy will continue. Nobody will ever play the music the way I played it, and no one will ever write music exactly like I did. Something about that living on forever is something I’ll cherish. define something like that in your life. It makes me smile to think that people will still be listening to something that came from my mind, through my hands, and into their lives.
Here’s a shameless plug to my music. 🙂
In The End
I’m aware this is a bummer of a blog, but it’s definitely something that’s on my mind a lot. I want make sure that the remaining years I spend on earth, I spend surrounded by people I love. In the past I used to think I want to be surrounded by people who loved me, but that’s changed as I’ve gotten older.
I promise you this, if you’re in my life, you are there for a reason. 15 years ago, I don’t think I could’ve said that, but I promise you this is the truth today.
My wise mother (who should be unknowingly credited for who I’ve become) sent me two quotes I want to share, but before I do, I wanted to talk about her. She reads my blog, and for my entire life has been my biggest supporter. She’ll never take credit for it, but she’s my inspiration. She shown me how to fight through hardship, how to love unconditionally, and how to forgive.
She’s amazing, and I hope if we’re friends, you’ve had a chance to have a conversation with her. I promise you this, you’ll leave with a full heart.
The first quote she sent me was about love. It’s a topic I’ve struggled with my whole life. I think I’m capable of giving and spreading nearly endless amounts of love. But when it comes to accepting love, that’s where I struggle. I’m working on that. 🙂
What an amazing quote. I love it because you can’t give love expecting it in return. But just because you can’t expect it in return, you can’t stop giving it. If you’ve ever been the object of my affection, I think you’ll affirm this is true.
You Do You
This quote couldn’t be more true. I try and live my life this way also. Eleanor Roosevelt just put it into words. I spent a good part of my life trying to make other people happy, and it never seems to work out for me. I’m not advocating for being selfish, but what I am saying is that you need to do what’s right in your heart. If you’re a good person, this will be the right decision for you and your life.
An Asterix ahould be put next to this and say that this is as long as nobody else is being hurt. I think it’s a complicated decision if doing what’s right and your heart hurts somebody else. There are too many variables in that equation. But for the most part, you deserve to be happy for all the days you are on this earth. Doesn’t mean you are going to be happy all those days. But that’s what you deserve.
OK, it’s getting late and I need to go to bed, but I appreciate you reading my thoughts and letting me put them into a blog form. I can’t express in words how much my friendships mean to me. I also can’t articulate to those who I love, how much I love them. But I can say that every day I am on this earth for my remaining days, I plan on trying to live my life as I’ve outlined above.
I have several friends going through some hard times in life right now. And I know sometimes you can’t even see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I promise you that all that pain and anguish is worth it if you stay true to yourself and those around you. Life is too short to live on this earth alone, and life is too valuable to live it around people who aren’t enriching your lives.
Love carefully, and love hard. It’s just one of those things that you possess the ability to give, and it’s your gift alone.
Love you guys . . .