Friday, October 7, 2011

Reflections while on the run

The more I run the more I learn about myself.  

Normally when I run I have tunnel vision.  I’m always thinking about form, pace, and doing mental math in my head.  Thoughts about work, family, or life rarely enter into frame.  Today during my 10 miler however, I learned that when the temperatures go down I let my laser focused tunnel vision widen a bit and let my mind wander.  Today I thought about Steve Jobs, life, and mortality.

To be clear, I’m not one of those apple fan-boys that tattoos a picture of a half eaten piece of fruit on their ass.  Nor do I have all things named “i”.  But, as I ran down the road remarking at how cool it had become in such a short time, I thought back to Jobs’ rather expected passing and his 2005 Stanford commencement address.  During the speech, he thought back on life, love, and his own mortality.  One of the lines, often paraphrased, struck a chord with me.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Of course, the reality is that if I knew I had days to live, I sure as hell wouldn’t be at work.  However, the point is still very valid. Life is far too short to not live your passion.  Personally, I feel that I am living my passion right now.  Work is work.  I’m focused, driven, but I don’t let it define who I am.

Thoughts of getting into trouble are running through his head, I am sure

As I continued to run, by this point logging 6 miles, I got to thinking how my obituary would read.  (I then realized that maybe I shouldn’t let my mind wander SO far while I run)  I’ve read a few of Jobs’ obits and each has provided an interesting summary on his life.  That said, I couldn’t help but notice that they were heavily skewed towards his work life.  Sure, there was the mention of his children and wife but 90% was about his time at Apple, Pixar, etc.

I have to think that mine would be different.  Of course, I haven’t done anything that changed the world – yet. I’m just a normal guy, focused on. . . . living.  So, mine would likely be something much more mediocre.  It would likely center around family, friendships, and honestly my running.  It has become a focus of my life that would certainly require mention.  Absent would be things around "Program management for multiple streams of multi-million dollar programs".  Snooze.  Here is likely what someone would end up with:

Adam was a husband, father, and runner.  While he took those three things seriously, he lived his life with a carefree attitude that he carried throughout his life.

If you had 6 months to live, what would you do?  I’d travel, visit family, and create all sorts of videos for key milestones for my kiddo.

What would your one-line obit say?

(Don’t worry about this “that’s what she said” free post.  Tomorrow I’ll be back to my normal antics!  Check out my Funny Foto Friday post below if you need a pick me up!)


undeterrable said...

If I had 6 months to live, I would try everything I could. Everything that ever looked fun, I would do. And I would make my family do it with me.

I WANT it to say - "She never played it safe."

Chad said...

Jobs was a complex character that is largely misunderstood. It's interesting to see people trying to beatify him. He was no saint, and inventing electronics doesn't make you one. It's true.

All that said, hooray for a good touchscreen in my pocket.

If I had 6 months to live I'd quit my job and waste my savings account traveling with my family. I don't think I'd leave my girls' side for a day. least for a few days, and then I'd need a break from their whining.

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

I'd like to say I wouldn't change a thing if I knew I had just 6 months, but in reality I have seven brothers who (I like to think) need me very much. So I'm pretty sure I'd break my back trying to stabilize their futures, then I'd be so exhausted I'd be glad to die.
I guess I'd make sure I kissed my husband more, too ;-)

Mike said...

Like you said, work is work, but we still choose how good our 8+ hours per day turn out both with doing our duties and being positive role models.

If I had 6 months to live, I would get my business in order for my immediate family then visit with my family and close friends to celebrate and reflect. I would also have as many perfect days as possible. Perfect for me is sleep in, work out or fish, lunch date with wife, piddle and figure out what I want to cook for dinner, have a cookout with family and friends, then relax.

One liner for me would be "Mike always worked hard and always played hard."

ltlindian said...

I would travel to all those places I want to go but haven't been yet. With my family, of course. make a video for my kids to watch as they reach certain milestones in their life. I would not waste one moment.

I hope that someone would say that she worked hard and was a good person.

P1t0 said...

If you had 6 months to live, what would you do?.... I would spend it with my family. Every.Single.Day.

What would your one-line obit say?: "Still loving you"

Beth (i run like a girl) said...

I keep thinking and thinking about what I'd do with only 6 months left and... I think it would look a lot like what I did this past week: some travel, some work, some running, reading and writing, going for walks on the beach, and trying new restaurants, plus lots of time with my family. I started to worry that this means I lack imagination, but then I realized it could also mean that I'm living a life I enjoy. That's not such a bad place to be!

As for the one-liner: Her laughter could be heard all over the world.

Chris K said...

I'd drink lots of awesome beer and hang with my kid every day. Hopefully within that six months I'd watch the Chargers win a Super Bowl.

BTW, nice win last week!

I did Boot Camp this morning. Great workout!

Keep up the good work.

Jamoosh said...

Mine would say:

"That's what she said..."

You're welcome.

Niner said...

6 months to live - 6 months of cheap booze and even cheaper women

One line obit. - "I told you bastards I felt sick."