Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Things that matter...Part 1

The title should read, "Things that matter to me-Part 1" but who really cares what matters to me, right?

When my job becomes mostly focused on hospice care, things that matter simmer to the top and things that don't go away.  I notice that I have trouble completing tasks that don't matter to me because "Life is too short and who cares...we are not going to care when we are gone"...  This summer is going to be this way, I can tell already.  

My son graduated, the queen left for camp, and my youngest is playing baseball.  What mattered to me when the Queen was home was simple...check up and teeth cleaned.  That's it.  Other than that, I wanted to enjoy my time with her at home, and understand who she is now that she has been out of my house for two years.

For my "college-freshman to be", I have similar things that matter.  Of course, teeth...and a check up but he needs to begin to take care of his college things himself.  "Sign up for orientation", I remind him no less than 6000 times..."OK mom" and it doesn't get done.  In my head, I take stock about if it really matters....my voices tell me "yes, he needs to move out and he can't if he doesn't do orientation!"  OK, voices, that does matter. 

As for the youngest,  I am taking him this morning to have his teeth cleaned and will get him a check up ASAP.  Then he is done for the summer...I guess since he doesn't drive, I don't really care what he does.  (Actually I do but it doesn't really matter too much.)

Here are a few things that used to matter that have fallen by the wayside recently...

*clean anything...house, car, pets, kitchen floors and even my children.  I have begun to look through the "life is too short to worry about that glasses" and it makes it okay.

*saving money...I have been on a pretty flower bender.  If I see pretty flowers that I want to look at daily, I buy them.  I plant them, put my fingers in the dirt and enjoy watching them grow.  I don't care what they cost.

*trying to figure out things too far into the future...I have had the honor of caring for a lot of younger people that have been hit with cancer in the prime of their life (say early 50's) and have spent the time before raising kids, fighting the system and putting things off that they want to do for the future, "when there is time"...well guess what?  No guaranteed time...so I am going back to Hawaii this summer for a week...Yes, sir, I am not gonna put that off because I enjoyed that trip so much.

Listen, I am one of the luckiest people on the face of the earth...I am and I know it.  I also know that time is not a given, even if you eat right, don't smoke, go to church, help people and do everything right.  

Death comes to all of us...at some point and for some easier than others.  But it comes.  I use the saying, "None of us are getting out of here alive" and I have the front row seat...

So for "Things that matter-part one"  I am going to recap:  Use your time, find the joy, live right now and do the best you can to feel content.  It's that hard and it's that simple...

Because when I sit at the table with someone dying or sit by the bed in a chair specifically for spending time, and we talk about what kind of life they had, I generally don't hear about all the things they acquired and how wonderful it made their life.  I don't hear about how clean the house was and and how much money they paid to be cured and how it worked.  No, nope.

 I generally hear them say what a "good" life they had because of the time spent loving the family, working out the issues and becoming stronger, and how they feel so lucky to be able to die at home...

So that's my first installment of  "Things that matter", and now I am headed to the dentist.  Let's hope the teeth are able to be saved...I haven't seen a whole lot to dental hygiene going on around here but...they can always give him wooden teeth, right?  Like George Washington or Abe Lincoln...

We'll tawk tomorrow,
I love you all,

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I love the spirit of this piece, and for the record, I do care what you say! I remember reading somewhere that you should ask yourself three questions when faced with a "difficult dilemma or decision:" 1)Will this matter next year? 2)Will this matter in five years? 3)Will this matter in twenty?

Or something to that effect. You've said it much better here!