Do you ever find yourself wondering if what you do even matters?

It can be hard to understand what the purpose of your work really is.

If I’m being honest with you I have wasted too much time in the past letting what I do determine my worth. Who I am is more than what I do.

Finding Acceptance

It wasn’t until I got really ill about 6 years ago that I knew I wanted to find acceptance of my limitations and just move on with my life. I really didn’t know how much longer I’d be around and I was not happy. I was wasting time wishing I could run again. I’d spent so many years running and wanted to keep running marathons forever, I guess. I felt alive when I ran and it was my escape. 

Well, my body told me to slow down. I learned meditation and stress reduction at the Davis Behavioral Health’s mindfulness class (MBSR) for 8 weeks and went to silent mediation retreats. I had to find acceptance and peace for the things I just could not change about myself. I needed to find inner peace.

How would my kids remember me? As a mom that complained all the time about not feeling well? A mom who went to acupuncture 3 times a week hoping for something to change (I hate needles, by the way. Did I mention that?) I had to change my perspective.

I wanted to be remembered as someone who helps others, didn’t complain about everything, was forgiving, and really listened to you when you talked to me.

Photography taught me to focus on the good I see in the world and helped change my perspective. Here are some nature photos I took one morning with my Lensbaby and Fuji XT5. (Click to see more about Lensbaby and XT5)

Michelle Deppe Photography Lensbaby image in Kaysville, Utah.
Michelle Deppe Photography landscape image.
Michelle Deppe Photography Lensbaby shot from Davis County Utah.
Lensbaby Omni crystal in utah mountain photo by Michelle Deppe.
Purple filter with lensbaby and Fuji XT5 by Michelle Deppe Photography.
Omni crystal lensbaby image by Michelle Deppe Photography.
Last leaf on the tree in Kaysville, utah by Michelle Deppe Photography.
Snow and ice in Fruit Heights Utah with lensbaby and Michelle Deppe Photography.
Pine tree taken by Fuji XT5 and Lensbaby.
Fuji XT5 image of three and clouds in Kaysville Utah by Michelle Deppe Photography.
Pine tree with Twist Lensbaby and Fuji XT5 by Michelle Deppe Photography.
Purple pattern on cement by Michelle Deppe Photography in Kaysville, Utah.
Purple weeping willow tree by Michelle Deppe Photography in Kaysville, Utah.
A Fuji XT5 image of a Purple sky with tree by Michelle Deppe Photography.

A Legacy List

Every person wants to be remembered as a good parent or sibling or child or community member, or just a good person. But do we put too much effort in things that aren’t as important as the people in our lives? 

A lot of people have a “bucket list” of things they want to see or do before they die. It’s a good idea, but I liked the idea of a “legacy list” even more. How will you be remembered?

A bucket list looks like this:

Climb everest

Travel to Israel and ride a camel

Swim with the dolphins

Run the Wasatch 100 mile race

Go to Italy….

A legacy list looks like this:

Share my faith

Forgive those who've wronged me

Invest in my family

Call instead of text

Pay someone a compliment

Teach someone a skill

Stand up for the truth

Give time rather than just money

A legacy list is how you can contribute. How you can make a difference. It’s about focusing on other people.

What do you want to pay more attention to with your friends and family? How can you make a difference?

I think it’s the little things: a phone call, offering to help, really listening to you kids when you are on the computer trying to finish up something and they want your attention, listening to your child at night when it’s late and you’d rather be sleeping, being patient with our family, etc. There are a million little things we can focus on.

I value kindness and I know I’m not perfect, but I want to be kind to others and treat people how I’d want to be treated. I try to give more than I take.

I have a lot to work on.

What would you have on your “legacy list?” Send me a note. I'd like to know.