In an online community to which I belong, there was a recent discussion where many people fretted about their inability to finish creative projects, break through in their professions, etc. My comment was that I'm not sure I care whether I leave a legacy at this point. I'd really rather just do fun stuff and be happy.
Since then I've been thinking about whether that's really true for me and I believe it is.
There was a time when I worried that I was just being lazy. I'd think, "I should write a book!" or "I should hone my public speaking skills and get more speaker gigs!"
But deep down, it's really not important to me to achieve fame or recognition on either a large or small scale. Even when it comes to music, I'm content learning cover songs and performing them for some extra walking-around money. I have written and performed my own songs in the past, but I don't have any ego tied up in the idea of sharing *my* music versus someone else's songs. Singing cover songs is fun and that's enough for me.
So instead, I spend my time gathering friends and experiences. I love getting together with the friends I already have and I'm always happy to meet new people. I keep my radar tuned for opportunities to do things that sound fun, educational or otherwise intriguing.
If you look at my calendar, you'll see a hodgepodge of activities: board gaming, comedy shows, wine tastings, parties, club meetings, speakers, music performances, plays, movies, volunteer events, lunches, dinners, brunches and breakfasts, workshops, discussion groups and web conferences. Some days, particularly during the weekends, I'll have two or three activities in a row. Some are planned and some develop spontaneously thanks to my ability to tweet, "Who wants pancakes?" and almost always get at least one response from a local friend.
That doesn't even count the time I spend hanging out with my husband. When we can afford it, we love to go out to eat. We have a half-dozen TV shows we watch regularly together. Sometimes we just sit up in his recording studio and watch YouTube videos or listen to songs together for a while.
All that stuff goes in the "fun" column while the "work" column stays pretty strictly 8-6, Monday through Friday. Occasionally I do a little housework and I manage to pay my bills and gather my tax paperwork every year and sometimes I get a wild hare and paint a room or fix something broken around the house or clean out my closet.
And you know what? I like my life this way. I don't feel overwhelmed. I get to spend lots of time with my dog and cats. I get plenty of sleep. I rarely feel lonely. My house is generally in acceptable condition (my definition: not so bad that I can't slap it into shape a few hours before company comes over).
Is everything perfect? Of course not. If I spent more time at home, we'd both probably eat healthier, for starters. The two things I really should focus on are more home-cooked meals and more exercise (although really, the weather is the biggest factor with the latter right now).
But mostly everything is pretty good right now and I feel lucky that I can guide my own life to the extent that I do.
If I'm remembered for anything once I'm gone, I would like it to be for being a good friend who had interesting things to say. When there's a tallying-up of my life's score, the count of the number of people and animals I've helped in large and small ways means more to me than any number of prizes or write-ups or appearances on television.
It's the individual moments that matter. I'm trying to take in as many memorable ones as I can.