There are many ways to measure the lived life. Many—not all, but a frighteningly large number of people I have met—do it with the amount of money someone made. All their toil and hours are totalled into their literal worth. The other ways, some more popular than others but none as popular as wealth, are happiness, helpfulness, satisfaction (which is often erroneously conflated with happiness), contributions to the world and history, and many others. Naturally, a parallel list exists with measures too heinous and hideous to list down, but I can assure you it is longer than the list of good measures. Since I woke up today, I have had many discussions which have danced around this, and as they often do, they have compelled me to think of my own.
How do I measure my life and my days? I could not care much about money besides the fact that it solely exists to be used, if not at the moment, then eventually. Perhaps the measure of my life will be these words, like some writer read and celebrated posthumously. They might praise these ramblings as some seminal body of work or appreciate the intricate web of connections peppered all over. Perhaps students will study the pieces for their classes, or maybe none of that will happen, and these words will die as I will—known only to few, appreciated by fewer. Perhaps the measure of my life will be the people I affected while I was here. And since I have made my share of mistakes, I assume it would not be all hunky dory. If they talk of my happiness, they will not know much about it, and so they will have to rely on these words once again. And if these are not enough, then the little they would remember from my ill-timed jokes, my confusing approach to most simple things, or my obsessiveness over all the wrong details should suffice.
I am not many things, and I have done annoyingly little for the age I have reached by my estimations, but I like to tell myself it has not all been for nought and that there has been some good here, like seeds sprinkled by the wind on some freshly ploughed plot of land in the most unintentional and disorderly manner.
At least, I like to think so. If nothing else, it will help me sleep tonight.