What Really Matters

All too often I find myself getting upset about little things that maybe ought to just roll off my back. Instead, they get under my skin and set me on the path of creating a rather negative day for myself. Please tell me I'm not the only one here. One morning last week, I was running late trying to get out the door for work. My sister and I carpool, and we had plans after work, so I had to take more stuff than usual with me. I was flustered, trying to remember to pack everything I needed, feeling like I was forgetting something but unable to figure out what it was.

Knowing we were crunched for time, I grabbed my things (with the help of my sister, because I truly had a lot to carry out to the car), and we headed out. A couple seconds after backing out of the driveway, I realized I had forgotten some of my food inside. I threw the car in park and literally ran back into the house to retrieve my apple and Goldfish crackers (yes, I'm four years old). Then, knowing we were leaving even later than we already had been, I quickly pulled out and headed to work-- irritated, still feeling like I forgot something, and just all-around grumpy.

I got to work, where I was surprised to see my supervisor's almost-two-year-old son. He was getting picked up by his grandparents, but I got to chat with him for a few minutes first. He was so adorable, going on about his shoes and toys, especially his back hoe. It was so precious!

And then I remembered what day it was-- the birthday of two of my friends. So I took a moment to message them both and wish them a happy birthday. They both replied, thanking me for thinking of them.

And in that moment, I was reminded of what really mattered. Getting all my ducks in a row wasn't the most important thing. Celebrating people was. Taking the time to get down to the level of a toddler and ask him about his favorite toys. Sending a quick birthday message to my friends to let them know I was thinking about them.

I have spent a considerable amount of time planning parties for my family members in the last two months, and even more time getting together with friends and family to celebrate various occasions (fiftieth birthdays, new babies, fall, reuniting with long-distance friends, adventuring, and more birthdays). I've cooked and baked up a storm, driven all over creation (or so it seems), and made more trips to the store than I want to admit. But I've also gotten to have many good conversations, form new memories, celebrate milestones, and I've laughed harder than I have for a long, long time.

It's been a very full season, but it has been SO GOOD. Normally so much time spent surrounded by other people would drain me, but I've loved just about every minute of it (you know, except for carrying in huge grocery hauls and rushing around frantically, but what are you going to do?).


Sure, some house projects that I've been meaning to do are still not done. I would have loved to check more things off my to-do list. But at the end of the day, I'm happy knowing I invested in my people. Because that's what really matters.