Legacy. What does that word mean to you? If you look it up in the old Webster’s it reads: “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from past”
Often times when we think of legacy, we think of things; material possessions.
PeakJoy FACT: Our time here on earth; it is impermanent.
I’m sure, very certain actually, there were more rules than this in the Gant house growing up. BUT, these are the three that are burned in my brain;
1. When your Mom tells you to jump, you ask her “How High?”.
2. The words “I Can’t” are NOT allowed. Anywhere for any reason. I Can’t’s will get you nowhere.
3. If you have nothing nice to say “don’t say it at all.”
And as a kid, every time those phrases were repeated to me, the sigh followed… ugh…. right, whatever. They knew nothing at the time.
So it is Father’s Day again. I was blessed to be able to spend 23 with a guy I consider to be the absolute BEST, hands down. And with time, the reflection and emotions that accompany have evolved from anger, sadness, and emptiness to emotions filled with curiosity, encouragement and fulfillment. Want to know why? Because that is WHO he was and that is what he would want.
He was the “suck it up buttercup” guy. On repeat “Guess what Joy, LIFE isn’t fair” (With love of course) Even at his funeral, he was whispering this in my ear as I sobbed throwing a pack of cigarettes at him. When he coached our sports teams, if you said “ I can’t” you ran laps. And then you repeated “I CAN” and kept trying. My friends laughed and I hung my head in embarrassment at times. “Really, Dad?”
And so, I have a choice as we all do.
CHOICE A: I can sit every Father’s Day and be angry at him for continuing to smoke like a chimney; filled with deep frustration that my birthday wish (the letters I wrote to him on my birthday every year asking for ONE THING “Stop smoking”) never reached his soul (in time). I can wallow in sadness and be jealous of all the others that DO get to spend another Father’s Day with their Dads. I can fill my head with the complete sadness and emptiness and blame God for taking him way too soon. “ It’s not fair, it sucks…”
CHOICE B: I can visit the cemetery, throw him a pack of cigarettes and I can reflect and reminisce on all of the memories he did provide. I can pass on stories and share a piece of who he was. I can dream up the words he would be speaking to me and my boys in both times of pure PeakJoy and those days in ValleyJoy (Thank you Switzers!) I can let the piece of him that occupies both space in the mind and the heart shine with who I am. I can let who he was inspire and take me to new altitudes with the time that I have been given.
See, until I really got started with PeakJoy in the past 6 months, I didn’t realize just how much of an impact he has had on my life. I knew how much I loved him and looked up to him. I knew I shared countless happy memories with him. I can still feel the squeeze of his heart-filled hugs and hear his laughter at the smallest of things; his slap on my butt telling me to “ go get em’.” I find and re-read the notes he wrote to me and he once again builds me up and inspires me. I can close my eyes and create this beautiful vision of him interacting with my boys and all of the Grandkids. It can become surreal at times. (And it may bring tears, tears of Joy and love)
What has happened in the creation of this new business journey is the realization that not only am I just living my life and building a business from ??? (who knows what), but I am leaving a piece of me with my boys (and hopefully others as well) just as he did with me.
Here is where I am on this Fathers Day as I look back at pictures and pull memories from the soul. Here is what I wonder?
When your time is up here - when your journey comes to an end… what will you have left behind? What piece have you left with not only your family but your friends, your community, the world? Who have you inspired? How have you made others feel? The money and the material stuff you leave, sure it will be appreciated and then spent and perhaps create a short-term happiness through a vacation or purchase of something fun and exciting. BUT…Possessions and wealth, my friends, they do not create a true legacy. My Dad is a pure, true example of this. He wasn’t high up on the chain in his company. He was not a millionaire who left us behind a great fortune. He didn’t invent some world known gadget (although Lord knows he created many of our very own Gant inventions) He didn’t write a book or break a world record. So, what DID he leave then you ask? I am calling it the I CAN legacy (but he left oh so much more)
My Dad said this to me, OFTEN “Joy, YOU DO YOU!”
I hadn’t heard that phrase spoken to me since his passing (15 years ago). UNTIL, until about a year and a half ago. And now, within the past year and a half those three words have been spoken to me 4 times, by 4 different individuals. I’m not really sure I have ever really believed in “signs” or “coincidences” but I do know that these three words have re-lit a spark, fueled partially from my Dad in some way, shape or form.
And so here I am, here is Joy with PeakJoy. With a mission and vision ultimately revolving around just that. Above all; kindness, compassion, intentionality and optimism. Helping and inspiring others (as individuals, as families, as teams, as companies) to elevate in some facet of their lives; to search for their passion and live their OWN unique legacy. And the driving force of PeakJoy, deep from the roots, is my Dad “ I CAN and I WILL.”
He left THAT behind for me and I know he left more behind in the hearts and souls of many others’ as well.
You don’t have to write books or create some cool, trendy invention. You don’t have to be the first or the best at something. It’s not about competition. It’s about YOUR purpose and YOUR passion. You CAN do it.
YOU DO YOU. Don’t let your love go to waste. Don’t let your Joy go to waste. Don’t hide the depths to your soul. Share it ALL.
Happy Fathers Day to ALL of you other amazing Dads out there (my two brothers, my Father-in-law and husband especially), making a greater impact than you will ever know; with each word, each smile, your laughter, your time, your actions. IT ALL MATTERS!
The legacy your success depends upon.