Friday, April 30, 2010

Disappearing Footsteps

By the time you reach the age of sixty, you probably have long ago decided how to live your life. I am not exactly sure in which decade that I found my life plan.

It likely happened before I went to work for Apple Computer in the eighties so I have been mostly on course since then.

I did not sit down one day and decide to start living a certain way, I suspect that I had been living that way for a long time and only managed to put the pieces together over time.

What dawned on me was that if I could leave the places and people that I touched a little better off than they were before I touched them, my life would be richer. It would be even more rewarding if I could do so without leaving a lot of traces.

If my footsteps could disappear and people were better for my having passed their way, it seemed to be a good way to live.

I knew people who were fond of burning bridges, but I have learned that life has enough twists and turns, that it is hard tell what bridge you might have to cross in the future.

Having decided to follow my own golden rule, I have tried to not leave any unhappy relationships in the past. It has turned out to be a noble but impossible goal. Some people it appears are just happier when they are miserable.

Giving them a chance to bury the hatchet is often giving them another chance to bury it in your back. Still I have found it important to make the effort to make peace.

If you have extended the hand of friendship, and it is rejected, there is not much more that you can do except move on with your life.

At a certain point in your life, you look back and take stock of your mistakes. We all make mistakes. Some impact others and are quickly forgotten. Other mistakes fester and cause hard feelings. It is those that are nice to heal.

I sometimes wonder how executives at large companies manage to sleep at night. When you look at the lives they have changed and turned upside down, I am pleased to only have a couple of people whose relationship to me is in need of repair.

Even correcting a few mistakes makes you play the game of what if with your life. It can be an interesting diversion, but the future is happening so fast that it is hard to spend much time in the past.

The older I get the better I get at not stepping on the toes of people around me.

I enjoy it almost as much as I do watching the seasons change.