Sign Up to be added to my readers' group and receive the first chapter of The Unscripted Life of Lizzy Dillinger!
Last week, I went to my Uncle’s funeral.
He was a great person. He cared about people. People cared about him, but I think he would have cared about others even if they didn’t care back. He enjoyed life and because of that he helped others around him enjoy life. That isn’t a small thing.
You could feel this at his funeral. There was a positive energy as people talked about him that was contagious.
My uncle wasn’t famous. I don’t think he ever went “viral” or had a million followers. He wasn’t an “influencer.”
He simply did his job and loved his family and helped people. Because he loved baseball, he played it. He liked stupid jokes so he told them. Over and over.
Hearing how he helped people simply by telling them they were doing a good job or telling a mom with a colicky baby that what she was doing (walking back and forth in a church foyer while her child cried) was important and would help generations made me realize that maybe I focus on the wrong things.
I’ve had a difficult time staying home with my kids. I’d always wanted a “big” life. I never knew what that meant exactly, but I knew I wanted to help humanity or a cause or something more than myself.
Instead of graduating law school and joining a nonprofit or a large firm, I had a baby. I stayed home with that baby because we were in New York for only two years and that made sense. Then it made sense to stay home when I passed the bar in Montana because I was pregnant again and Kevin was starting a dental practice and for some reason, that takes more than one person. There always seemed to be one more thing or reason that I stay home. It made sense when all of the kids were little, but when they went to school there was an expectation I would do more.
I tried being a substitute but I was asked why I wasn’t a lawyer. I tried focusing on writing more, but that hasn’t made much money. It felt like I was never enough.
My uncle was a successful business owner and he belonged to service clubs, but the stories people told were experiences they had with him, not an organization or business he belonged to.
I thought, “Maybe I should focus on the interactions I have with individuals rather than a group or organization.”
Maybe by helping a neighbor or helping a friend makes my life bigger than I realize. It sure made my uncle seem big in my eyes.
Maybe I should start being more there when I am with my kids and husband. Maybe I should realize I already belong in the life I have instead of trying to find a different one. I may do small things, but supposedly a butterfly in Africa can cause a hurricane. Maybe I need to focus on being a better me and see what hurricanes follow.
I may not have spent a lot of time with my uncle, but I sure did learn a lot from him.