The Stuff That Matters (part 1 of a 3-part series)

TSTM – Part 1: This blog had to be broken into three parts clarifying the different components of what really is important – other wise known as “the stuff that matters” and part one is about the things that I do…whether it matters or not, well, that is up to you.

Full disclosure: I was just away for four days and whenever my husband or I return from a business trip it’s an experience or a mode that I like to refer to as “reentry shock.” You notice every. little. thing. Even if it doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things.

You know what I mean… imagine you’re in a hotel room.  You can leave your towel on the floor (not that I do.) The soap gets filled. The toilet paper roll gets changed. The bed gets made. Nothing is on the counter. No papers to be filed. No mail to open. Nothing to recycle. No trash to be taken out.

I’m not saying that when I got home that the bed wasn’t made – or the toilet paper roll wasn’t replaced and the trash wasn’t taken out; however, as I rushed out the door on Sunday at 5AM, I placed  the refill for the soap on the counter. Yet – here I was Wednesday evening washing my hands – it was still there and the soap was empty.  Not one of the kids had added it to the container. Instead they opened the container and they filled it with water…

I’m not throwing anyone under the bus (especially not my spouse – he drove me to the airport early that morning.) At least they were, let’s say “creative” even if the water doesn’t clean your hands any better because it has a bit of soapy bits in it.

I’m not upset or mad, just kind of amazed, and somehow happy that they need me. Yes. This is what I believe.

I am also, recognizing and completely aware of the fact that these things are really not that important – not to not to them – maybe to me, but when you have to do everything, the little things do fall off.

Laundry was washed and cleaned, but, four different containers of vegetables in the refrigerator went bad. Perhaps I over purchased? Yes, that must be it.

Admittedly, there’s a lot going on with us personally and things are not – let’s say “normal” – at home. I’m sure that they ordered out – this would have been fairly likely to happen even if I’d been home – but there would have been vegetables or at least a salad…

I think it is fair that they ordered out since of course, I didn’t cook a meal in four days either…and I’m sure they did cook, but they would not choose vegetables over – well, most other foods. Not without mom there to encourage (force) them to be eaten…

…and, I do. I tell them to eat veggies, because I love them.

On my trip I even said to the food court guy something to the effect of “Can I choose half chicken and half vegetables? Yes? Great! Yes please…and thank you – that’s what mom would tell us to do, right?” He (the food court guy) said “yes…” and then looked away, a little bit guilty, he knew he hadn’t eaten his veggies that day either…or, maybe he just thought I was crazy.

I guess where I’m going is that certain things are important to me and I notice them when they’re not done – even more so when I am the one who doesn’t do them.  Couldn’t I have taken 30 seconds to fill that soap before I left? I could have done it. It wouldn’t have been that hard and I certainly wouldn’t have been late to the airport.

I feel bad if I don’t “perform my best” and “do what is right for my family” so I stress about doing those little things.

I wondered (last night) if they notice.

Then, after cleaning out the veggies from the fridge earlier today, my son came home from school and announced – to no one in particular – but into the fridge: “Wow, mom’s home.”

Yes. They do notice. It is just that the really little things don’t register, nor maybe matter in the grand scheme of things.

All of this rambling and my random thoughts make me admit to myself that there is a balance and it happens when we have the right assistant – living life is a group effort. With five people at home you need to have help.

For those of you out there who do “everything” all on their own, I commend you because I know I would have a hard time running a household without assistance. I would focus on the wrong things. I would quite likely forget about the stuff that matters; how do I know this? Well, because those are the things that my husband does. (Stay tuned.)

~ Dawn aka Hat Girl

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