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sculpting a legacy

I have been thinking about the Huff Post article about living without regret from the other day, the one I linked to a few days ago. His metaphorical deathbed question of “What is your legacy?” stuck with me. What a fun question! What is my legacy? Fortunately, unless you’re Tiger Woods or Taylor Swift, you probably don’t need to have that question answered by your thirties.

Even so, I spent some time pondering my potential legacies. Will I help fix the broken healthcare system? Change the birth discourse in our country? Photograph something amazing? Eliminate the crisis of street children? Those are cool things. They could work for a great legacy.

But then I thought that those goals, while great, aren’t even necessary to fulfill. Maybe I’ll just go ice skating with my kids and help them with their college applications, and travel with the hubster and eat lots more cheese. And just maybe that will be good enough to pass on as my legacy. The cheese-eating, travel-loving mom.

Today I received more thought-provocation via NPR. This time the story was about Daniel Gilbert, the psychologist who wrote Stumbling on Happiness, talking about his new research that shows we are bad at predicting the people we’ll be in 10 years. I suppose that could mean that there’s no point in me pondering my legacy now, since I will no doubt have changed my mind and course in another 10 years.

I guess you could say this message is for me in 10 years. So, Me, how did we do in judging our legacy?