What matters

I think I’ve been under a false impression for quite some time. I think I allow myself to believe what I need to believe just to get by sometimes. We have to live with ourselves somehow.  But then there are moments where you stare in the face of something: something big, or ugly, or troublesome, or scary. Just something. And you ask yourself “where did THAT come from?” And because we have to have answers, we trace that thing, whatever it is, backwards. We try to figure it out. Sometimes we can. Sometimes we can’t. But that’s when I realize, again, the thing I always knew: everything matters. Everything leads to something. Good or bad. Everything counts.  Think about it. Don’t you think this is true?

Minutes wasted lead to hours wasted or days wasted. The Golden Oreo (why did they have to come out with THESE?) leads to the Twinkies which leads to the bigger size jeans and to not feeling so great.  Every thought I have, every word I say, every half hour I spend, every bite I put in my mouth…every choice I make is propelling me in a certain direction. The problem I have is that I can’t see the end. I can’t see goal; the destination. The thing I’m working toward seems so far away that I can’t in my mind link the Oreo to it. The end of my life seems years away so what I do today doesn’t matter. I can get it right tomorrow. Or not. It feels out there. Ethereal. Intangible.  So I just roll along. In these jeans. With the TV on in the background. With things in my kids that I need to work with them to change. Things in my own life I need to change.

But the real problem is that I’m waiting for some big opportunity. Some BIG something. And it probably won’t happen that way. You don’t make these changes in fell swoops (I am SO happy I got to type that!). You make them 5 minutes at a time. One choice at a time. What I’m doing right this minute may completely impact what happens with my kids at 4 p.m., good or bad.

A year from now, I’ll be able to see clearly which direction my small choices moved me. I’ll be able to trace it back like I’m watching a movie. Looking forward, it’s a whole lot harder to do.

I have to do this. I see it. I have to do it. I need to identify what’s important and throw out what doesn’t help me achieve that. Along that line, I’m turning off the TV. Before I do, though, I have to ask: What is with all the hugging on Price is Right? Do they bond on Contestants Row? High fives would be a whole lot less awkward…