Goals Interrupted: Notes from a Funeral
Despite the fact that I had a to-do list a mile-long today, my day was disrupted by a funeral. The brother of a friend, young guy, 3 kids, heart attack – never saw it coming. And the fact that my work day was interrupted by an event I didn’t and couldn’t plan for clearly paled in comparison to a life interrupted. Lives interrupted. Changed forever.
I paid a shiva call this evening, and found myself talking with the eldest daughter of the man who passed away. Despite the fact that it is a small world — and an even smaller Jewish world — we were suprised to find that we had attended the same High School, Stuyvesant, and even the same Junior High, Robert F. Wagner — 10 years apart. New York is not that small — and it felt bashert to have something to talk about that would provide a welcome distraction.
As we mused about teachers we shared, I started to remember the plans I had made for myself so many years ago. I was going to be a doctor (and not just to make my mom kvell). I was a serious science student, a decorated science fair champion, and had an addiction to Trapper John M.D. reruns that set the course for later med-head addictions to E.R. (during the Clooney years only), Grey’s Anatomy, and even Scrubs. I followed those plans up through my freshman pre-med year of college, when I realized that organic chem might only be foreshadowing for future academic horrors to come.
I had had lots of plans, and of all the plans that I made, only one concrete youthful plan actually came to fruition — being a mom. And I can honestly say that I don’t look back on any of the plans that I made and then changed, interrupted or ignored with regret. I do know that the one plan I actually fulfilled is the one that has defined my life the most.
We never, ever know when we will run out of time to fulfill our plans, our dreams, our goals. What goal have you achieved that most defines who you are? What else do you want to achieve? What are you waiting for?
And how can I help?
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