I want to leave a legacy.
Isn't that truly what everyone wants in his/her short time on this earth? Yes, we all want to be loved. But, don't you really want to be remembered??
I hadn't been back to California since I retired 10 months ago. After a week in Joshua Tree, I headed up north to the East Bay, a place me and the pups had called home for almost 4 years. I planned to spend a week in the East Bay catching up with friends and former co-workers. Or, so I thought.
During my tenure at AT&T, when asked my purpose, I always responded with, "I want to make a difference". As I was leaving my career after 26 1/2 years, I truly felt the place I made the most difference was in my last job in network in California. I was anxious to see some of those I had worked so closely with for almost four years. Namely, my staff and direct report team.
Yet, not one of them requested a visit. Not one. Ouch. I was heart broken.
Instead, the few that had remained in touch with me over the past 10 months made a special effort to see me during my trip. My hiking buddies and close friends, Ryan and Shannon, opened their home to me and my very hairy pups for the week. They also took care of reserving us camping spots for the weekend in Monterey, and Ryan went out of his way to ensure all of Gypsy's ills were rectified. Ryan...a heart of gold and god send!
My former assistant, LeKeisha and her newest addition to her family, Jeremiah drove over from Oakland to have lunch with me. My little "cougar" Tommy (as my family knows him) drove an hour or so to have lunch with me. Yes, he is very young. Yes, he is fine to glance upon (as you can see in the pic), and yes, he is very very married with two young children. But, what a good friend he continues to be for me. Then, I have my guys in Monterey. Monterey was my very first field visit when I began the job in California. We have been close ever since. One of the "guys" drove from his home in Sacramento to join us for the weekend.
As good as the visits were for me, I was still a little shell shocked that those I deemed close friends 10 months ago made little to no effort to see me during the visit. As I was leaving the East Bay for Lake Tahoe, I received a text from one of those friends..."but just so you know, our paths don't always have to cross for you to know we miss you - we will see you at some point." Alrighty then...
Having a few days in Tahoe by myself gave me some time to reflect. Were my expectations too high? Did I not make the impact/difference I thought I had made? Then, I realized something.
Jesus did not lead a team of thousands. He led 12 men. And, one of them betrayed him.
How heart broken Jesus must have been when Judas kissed him in the Garden of Gethsemane during his betrayal. Those twelve men knew him better than anyone, and yet one of them still betrayed his friend, our Messiah.
So yes, I led thousands, but it was the special 9 that made my trip back to the East Bay memorable...Ryan, Shannon, LeKeisha, Tommy, Kenny, Rob, Jay, Fred, and Rich.
My learning over a few days of reflection is chasing yesterday is a futile effort because joy is not derived in living in the past, but embracing the now. I am beyond grateful for the nine friends that made a special effort to spend time with me (and make clam chowder for me on the beach near Monterey). I am truly blessed.
Yes, I want to leave a legacy as I want to be remembered...if only by a few...that I made a difference to his/her life.
Living and learning...