I’ve been thinking a lot about what matters. Probably because I’ve spent some time not getting it right.
Actually, getting it so, so wrong that I spent years going back and forth from one place to another place every morning and every evening without realizing that it was bad for me. I thought it mattered, but it turned out not to matter at all.
I once thought that being the last person in the office mattered. And that my hair flipping perfectly on the ends so that it bounced when I went to get a cup of water mattered.
These things don’t matter. Most things don’t matter. I mean, THINGS. Pencil skirt things. And refrigerator magnet things. And receipt things.
“Everything was just a thing, mired completely in its thingness.”
This week I have been thinking a lot about what matters. I have a list. It’s not complete. But it’s a list that I wanted to share because I want to remember it. And maybe it will remind you that you have your own incomplete list of what matters. Don’t forget these things. Tell yourself about them while you drive to work, while you walk to get the mail, while you bite your nails and while your tea bag seeps.
Here’s the top of the list: LOVE. Love matters.
Stars matter. (you knew that was coming.)
The walls of the room where you heard, “we’d like to offer you the position of assistant media planner” matter almost as much as the walls of the tiny room in which you suggested to HR that it was time to leave. The walls of that last one heard you take the first step towards changing everything.
Drinking enough water matters. Smiling at the dog in the car next to yours matters.
The scuff on the wall from the time you and your friends moved that treadmill out of your house in the dark just before eating all those chicken fingers in a car. That one matters.
Silence matters and music matters. So do mountains and little prickly pieces of Colorado grass that make your legs blotchy and red when you roll around in them.
Love matters. Your parents matter. Loving your parents matters.
Doing what’s right for you even when all those people say things that make you wonder if you really have any idea what’s best. Reminding yourself that everyone is just trying to get through the day. Giving people some wiggle room matters. Speaking of which, wiggling matters. Dancing matters. Wiggle dancing matters.
Bees matter because they make delicious honey. The babies of your friends matter because they might end up being tiny carbon copies of your friends, which means you have double friends!
The handwriting of other people in unexpected places matters. Noses matter! Giraffe noses and, most importantly, piggy noses. Our noses matter because they sometimes remind us of moments and places. And delicious curries. Oh! Curry matters.
The boatman from Tiwi Beach in Kenya matters because thinking of his face and gentleness makes you feel warm. People matter.
Ignoring signs with un-fun rules matters.
Long, deserted roads at dusk matter.
And so do wide open salty waters.
That first hazy sunset you watch in the most special place wearing the dirty clothes you’ve traveled in for 36 hours matters a whole bunch. Right this minute, it feels like it matters the most.
And you know what doesn’t matter? All those little things that make you wonder if everything is okay.
Because everything is okay.