By Sheryl Pidgeon
I love a great story that unfolds on the big screen. I study the characters and find myself thinking how I’d be portrayed in a movie. Not so much who would play my role, but what is my role? How am I seen? How will I be remembered? Not just by my family, but by friends, work peers, my community, people who do philanthropic work with me, and perhaps by those whose lives I’ve touched by chance.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I’m important enough to be portrayed in a movie. This is about the process of introspection. Am I living my life in accordance with how I want to be remembered? What will be my lasting legacy?
In his book, What Will They Say About You When You’re Gone?: Creating a Life of Legacy, Rabbi Daniel Cohen poignantly shares how the sudden and shocking death of his mother at the age of 44 altered the trajectory of his life. He offers profound wisdom about how to face our mortality by living life with a sense of urgency and with deep passion. Cohen, who is an Orthodox rabbi, says that regardless of our belief system, we all possess a deep-rooted desire for a life of purpose.
Like most parents, there is nothing I find more purpose-filled than being a mom. Indeed, I’m blessed to play a starring role in my kids’ lives. Yet, my story doesn’t end there. I hope I’ve played a supporting role in the lives of other people – as many others have played in mine.
A plethora of people have influenced the screenplay of my life, some without ever knowing to what extent. For example, my childhood friend who died in 7th grade after a battle with leukemia impacted me with her positive attitude and courage; my first grade teacher who helped a painfully shy me build my self-confidence; my high school history teacher who recognized my senior year burnout was not a reflection on my future success and saved me with a passing grade; my first boss, a former runway model, who respected my marketing expertise while teaching me how to dress for success; my Aunt Marilyn, a true second mom, whose complicated life was punctuated by a Joan Rivers-like sense of humor and who showed me that living life with laughter helps us find the silver lining even in difficult times.
I, like you, could go on and on. And, in many ways, through Good Life Family, I do. GLF has allowed me the privilege of telling inspiring stories to educate and motivate readers to find a greater sense of fulfillment, to take a chance, to live their lives with passion.
As you embark on this holiday season, I wish you peace, happiness, good health and laughter. But above all, may your season’s story be shared with your precious cast of characters, and may it be a blockbuster year.