For some odd reason, I am looking forward to summer.
Never has been my top season. Maybe because I spent a few summers in Arizona when it would hit 120 occasionally along with a little humidity. Fun. Maybe it was because I felt out of sorts having no schedule, no commitments, no responsibilities when I was a child. Strange, I know. Perhaps it was because it was in between spring and fall – my two favorite seasons and I wanted to speed summer up and move on to the next season. Baseball is spring. Football is fall. Nuff said.
Why the change in my outlook given all that?
I started looking at Memorial day as an opportunity to remember important moments and sacrifices throughout my life in addition to honoring those that have died in sacrifice for our country. Thinking about the sacrifices made for us to even consider the “unofficial” start to summer, provides context for the holiday as well as the importance of taking a pause to think about the past and matters much more important than what bathing suit to wear.
I’m getting older and with age comes memories. You have more of them because you have lived another day. The math is pretty easy…duh. I have started to pay more attention to my memories. Times in my life when I was happy or sad, but all of them worth thinking about and remembering. They made me who I am. They make up the story of my life.
My vision of the world I want to be a part in creating would mean nothing if I failed to remember the successes, the failures, and the lessons along the path. That makes it rich. That makes it stick. In order to help make it stick, I’ve tried journaling and I’m terrible at it. Have about a dozen journals started with maybe two pages written at the beginning. Pictures have helped. It’s easier to take them, keep them, and share them than ever before. And I find that I have too many of them now. Ugh.
So, I thought about Memorial Day and how we set aside that day to remember those that made sacrifices. Those that showed bravery and courage while probably scared out of their mind. But they did it. Their life was given in service of something bigger than them. Just what we teach about creating a vision at the Institute. Creating something bigger than yourself. Something you are willing to put your life on the line for.
I go into this summer intentionally exploring my memories. My path, my mistakes, my smiles. Life doesn’t necessarily have a smooth ride, but I can take the summer to find some place quiet and think about how I got to where I am…all the while thinking of what memories I cherish and hold dear.
Enjoy your summer. Remember those that have made sacrifices for us in our own lives. Remember that it is our responsibility to make those sorts of memories for others.
Also, remember that beautiful summer day that seemed to last forever because they do.
Paul is the President of LeaderShape and pinches himself everyday for that opportunity. He is a father, son, soon-to-be-husband, athlete, avid reader, eternal optimist, and sucker for the underdog.