All That Really Matters

 I know I was not born to be great, nor did I ever seek to be.  In school, I was satisfied with mediocre and in later years was happy just achieving some degree of success.  In fact, it was very important to be successful at something, as for the most part, that is how we are judged.  Ironically, in retrospect, I realize now that I learned far more from my failures.  I’m reminded of the little boy that was on a field trip to visit a blacksmith.  Although being warned to stand back and not touch anything, the temptation was too great.  Reaching over, he picked up a hot horseshoe, immediately throwing it across the room.  The blacksmith said “Did ya burn yourself?” to which the boy replied “Nope, it just doesn’t take me long to look at a horseshoe.”

When I reflect on the things I did over the years, I can recall having my own share of horseshoes. It’s kind of like rereading a book.  There are some chapters that are exactly the way I want them to be, and others I’d prefer were written differently. However, the story has already been told and I am left with the unabridged edition.

Sometimes I come away feeling kind of insignificant.  In all the years I have had to make a difference, what have I really done.  What accomplishments can I point to with pride and say “I did that?”   Not surprisingly, none of them have ever been chronicled in history nor will be remembered by anyone but me. And you know what.  I’ve decided that it doesn’t really matter.  When all is said and done, what will be important is “How do I think I did.”

I recently came across something that was written by a lady named Regina Brett upon turning 90.  It was printed in the Cleveland Ohio Plain Dealer.  It was titled “42 lessons life taught me.”  In reading them, one of them stuck out to me and I said “Yes, that’s it.  That is what it is all about.  That is the true meaning of success, and I have done that.  It read:

“All that truly matters in the end is that you have loved”








About oldmainer

I am retired and live in southern Maine with my wife and two dogs of questionable origin. I created this blog as an outlet for my occasional opinions and random observations since my wife is tired of hearing them and, after 50 some odd years, probably with good reason. I appreciate your checking me out and hope that you find something that will encourage a return visit. Thanks for stopping by.
This entry was posted in Aging, Compassion, Life, Reflection and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to All That Really Matters

  1. quiall says:

    True immortality lies in the memories of others.


  2. Charlotte says:

    That struck a nerve with me because now that I am older, my real thoughts about my mortality is how people will remember me. I want my loved ones to be the one who judges whether or not I was a significant person in this world. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.


  3. Gloria says:

    I look so forward to your posts. There is so much of yourself that you share with us. They are thought provoking and sometimes just humorous but always with a message to make me stop and think. As we get older I find myself wondering did I make a mark, what was my life worth. All we can do is hope that at least we made a positive impression on a few people in our life. What people remember about us is really all we have to give to others.


  4. Starralee says:

    So, are we having “birthday introspection and reflection”? What jumped out at me in a bittersweet way was, “I am left with the unabridged edition”…how often I wish I could edit mine.


  5. A great piece here Bob. It would be great to give life a facelift, a nip and tuck but I guess it would still be the same person underneath. To be remembered for being a loving person and a good bloke is all I want.


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