There are things that matter and we think they don’t.
There are things that don’t matter much and we think they do.
It’s not that we purposely set out to ignore important things or elevate unimportant things. We just get busy and busier. Before we know it there’s a skewed sense of priorities.
We forget what we’ll wish we’d done when we’re fifty-three or seventy-two.
In the daily-ness of wiping noses and grocery shopping and genuine exhaustion we somehow lose the vision. We forget what we’ll be glad we did when we’re drawing our last breaths. Or sitting at the bedside of a loved one drawing theirs.
There’s nothing like a crisis to help us sort out which is which. I’m grateful that we’re not in a season of crisis. But watching Facebook acquaintances walk through the valley of the shadow of cancer and the death of children has given me a little shot of perspective lately.
And speaking of perspective, here’s a personal, off-the-top-of-my-head, short list of things that matter:
- Changing diapers with love rather than impatience, even when the diaper wearer is three years old
- Paying attention to my husband and thinking about him during the day
- Speaking well of my children to others, especially when those children can overhear
- Oohing and aahing over Lego creations and stick drawings and dandelions clutched in a sweaty little fist
- Making the effort to make holidays special, even the small ones
- Helping people feel special on their birthday
- Being kind to bedwetters
Things that don’t matter much:
- Watching other people live life on TV and Pinterest instead of living my own
- Impressing other homeschool moms with my children’s accomplishments
- Complaining about how I feel
- Letting how I feel determine how hard I try to treat others well
- Fingerprints on doorframes and refrigerators
- Finishing workbooks and perfecting handwriting at the cost of personal relationships
- Constantly pushing children with what they need to do better rather than encouraging them with what they do well
- Ignoring my husband, figuring he’s a big boy
The lists could go on, of course. If you think of something to add, please do.