I have this deeply ingrained and irrational notion that when I’m gone, the entire world will fall apart.

That’s because, in my inflated head, I think I’m a pretty big deal. For a long time, I assumed everyone else saw me in the same way. I thought I was the big cheese, the secret center of the universe. I had this silly expectation that everyone was paying special attention to what I was up to, to what I was doing. They weren’t, of course. It turns out, the world will go on just fine without me.

Reminding myself of this fact helps keep things in perspective. I sometimes try to be in charge of it all, which can get pretty exhausting. So, to combat this hubris, I’ve decided to make a list of things that will still happen when I am no longer around. Here’s a brief sample:

My neighbor Randall will still call the house to complain about my dogs barking (and, just like now, I won’t answer the phone).

My buddies will still gather at the Corner Cafe and argue over the packets of strawberry jam.

My grandkids’ soccer and basketball practices will not be canceled, and they will go and play with a modicum of skill and a ton of enthusiasm.

Stores will stay open at the mall. There will be no flags at half-mast.

My gift package of underwear will stay plastic-wrapped in my second drawer, hidden underneath my comfortable, well-worn, loose-elastic supply.

The door flap on my old mailbox will remain open forever (some unhandy person poorly assembled it years ago).

My Wall Street Journal will be delivered each morning to the office, probably in the middle of a bush.

It’s a freeing feeling to know that I am the only one my life revolves around. Each of us has our own unique circle of love and influence, and, in our own peculiar ways, we are the stunning stars of our own life’s performance.

P.S. Your response to last week’s MM challenge was overwhelming. Your payment is on the way. Meanwhile, I had to sell my home, my car, my classic book collection and several pots and pans in order to make good on my obligations.