Last Sunday, over the Christmas break, one of the principals that I work closely with, dropped dead at 38-years old, leaving behind a wife and a four-year old daughter. This principal was a dynamic leader, loved children, but most importantly to me, and for the purposes of this post, so young.
I haven’t been to a funeral in years. And the last person that I buried was my grandfather, a man well into his nineties.
As I watched them close the casket, all I could think about were the suits, Air Jordans, and Timberlands in his office closet that his wife would have to collect before another principal takes his spot. I attended both the wake and funeral. At the funeral, the pastor, a former high school teacher, delivered this principal’s “last lesson plan.”
The essential question of this lesson was, “What are you doing with your time?” I know that we hear this and attend to these words with temporary intent when things like this happen and then quickly return to living without purpose and not fully to our potential, present company included.
It’s been a few emotional days and I have been reflecting on this question. And here are some of my new thoughts, prompted by death:
Wait.. But Not Too Long in Relationships
This is for the good and bad in life. While I would never tell anyone to leave a friendship, relationship, or marriage without exhausting all possibilities, I will say that you don’t know when it will be your time to go, so make sure you are living as close to happiness as you can.
Make a Bucket List
What is it that you want to experience? What do you want your eulogy to say?
Speak Your Mind
Don’t be afraid to tell someone how you feel. If you need to have a difficult conversation, take action to do so. If you haven’t told the people that you value how much they mean to ouy, take the time to do so now.
Make Time for the People and Things that Matter Most
Prior to this principal’s death, I was supposed to visit his school to celebrate a recent accomplishment, but cancelled last minute because I had to do some paperwork. That was a Friday. That Sunday, he stopped breathing on the way to the hospital. The following Thursday, I am looking down on him in the casket. If you are wondering if I got the paperwork done, they answer is no. I still have to work on it.
Spend the Money..Within Reason
I know that I am BMWK’s resident frugalista, so I would never say spend your mortgage, tuition, or retirement money on foolishness. But if you find that you are knuckling and tight-gripping EVERY nickel, I would say live a little and find a balance so you can enjoy your money responsibly.
BMWK Family– What are you reminded of you when you attend funerals? What would you do differently if you knew that you only had so much time to live?
like what you're reading?