I rarely pay close attention to birthdays. It’s how I survive these days. But we all have them, at least if we’re still breathing. Birthdays are a great time to sit down, slow down, and reflect on what kind of life you are living. I will turn 60 this week. Me — 60! Ridiculous. That’s a half century plus a decade of living. I am no longer middle-aged — unless I plan on living to 120, which I would rather pluck out both eyes than accomplish! I went from being cold all the time in my youth to fire in my bones through menopause and now I am in my Afghan stage — cold all the time again. My boss tells me that the final stage is the “gold” shoes phase. (Don’t tell him I already own a pair!)

So what are the important things in life? I am going to suggest that they are the good old-fashioned ones of faith, integrity, justice, and peace. When I measure myself by that plumb line I am storing up treasures that will live beyond me. After all, most of us will not be remembered a few generations past our short lifetimes. It won’t matter that we grossed over $10 million in sales last year. It won’t matter that we have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. It will not matter that we drove the latest and greatest sports car. What will matter is how we measure up against that plumb line. That measurement is eternal.

When we live with integrity, we sow legacy into our children. When we operate our business in excellence and high moral standards, our kids notice and absorb. When we honor our spouses, our children feel safe. When we will not bend to a new moral code; when we will take a hard stand against the current; our children believe in character and justice that can tangibly be lived out. They may not readily see it in their workplaces. They may not be able to sift through all the political rhetoric to find hope. But when we operate in a better way, we leave a mark.

And, it’s not a black one. Kathy Shertzer is office manager at DuKate Fine Remodeling, in Franklin, Ind.