What matters most

I was cleaning out some old files from my home office. Some of them were my personal files from a previous employer. It was a company where things had gone well for me for many years, and then I was assigned to another manager who was a source of conflict.

Even though I left the company years ago, and I’ve been successful with my current employer, the scars from leaving that job have never completely healed. Going through those old papers brought back bitter memories.

I was going through a folder from a trade show in Seattle five months before I left the company when I found the picture to the left. It was a picture my daughter drew before I went on the trip. I kept it in the same folder as my copies of the expense report and agendas.

Looking at the picture brought the experience back into perspective. Nearly all of the technology I learned about on that trip is obsolete. Many of the vendors I saw are no longer in business.  Most of the software I looked at is no longer available and won’t even run on Windows 7. But my family is still here. My daughter still draws. My son is much taller. My wife is still beautiful.

Jobs come and go, and careers have high points and low. But family, health, and enjoyment of life — these are what matter most. While most of my old personal files are going through the shredder, my daughter’s pictures and other notes my family left for me are the things I will keep and treasure.