Do you ever get those “just toss it” moments? Well this stay in Arizona allowed time in the home office doing just that. As I pulled books and binders off the shelves on the topics of leadership, managing, consulting, service, etc….I had to chuckle as my thoughts went to the NYC studio portion of my bedroom now filled with books on photography, mixed media, and design. Time has brought change and in so many ways it felt so liberating (and perhaps a little bitter sweet) to toss all the books, binders and folders that are no longer a part of my life. (And in full confession it has taken me 10 years into retirement to finally do this!) Which leads me to the topic of my dash binder.
Well the dash binder was put together years and years ago after I came across the following poem…perhaps you’ve come across it too at some point…
I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone,
from the beginning…to the end.
He noted that first came the date of her birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
that she spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her
know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.
So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?
So my thoughts were to save things throughout the years that would contribute to my dash. So into a binder things would go…personal notes from employees during my corporate years thanking me for being such a mentor to them, notable performance evaluations, newspaper clippings on my short lived consulting business, magazine articles on the book I co-wrote with my business partner, notes of thanks for my time on various boards…you know…that kind of stuff.
As I pulled this binder off the shelf…the question I asked myself…”What are you going to do with all of this that you’ve been saving for 30 plus years?” So I’ve decided, after all this time, what’s important is what I know in my heart. For all the people that have come in and out (and stayed!) in my life…I’ve strived for it to always be about feelings of respect, appreciation and deep sharing…not about the material things at all. So after all these years of saving these things, I now realize a binder is no longer needed to remind me…I feel comfortable and proud of the things they may say…yep, tossed it all.
Thanks to everyone for all of your kind comments on my photography from Mexico and New Mexico! Means so much!
Cross-posted over at Vision and Verb
where a collaborative group of like-minded women from all over the world
share their passion for photography and the written word.