What Matters




One thing is for certain in this life (besides death and taxes). When you go from living in a house to a 980 square foot apartment, major culling of possessions must take place. This has been both sad, and somehow, easy. When compared with all the other changes and adjustments Jane and I have made, getting rid of “stuff” isn’t that difficult. I try to remind myself this is a new start, a fresh start, and that always involves starting from scratch in a lot of ways.
Life changes of this magnitude remind me that it doesn’t matter what you live in. It doesn’t matter how much stuff you own. It doesn’t matter if you’ve published a book. It doesn’t matter what you look like. It doesn’t matter if your home is decorated nicely. It doesn’t matter what people think, or say.
Last night Jane and I went through the whole “go to bed please” routine with her princess nightgown and brushing of teeth. We settled into bed together and watched Little Einsteins on my computer (I am now officially one of those cable-less people). She patted my face and did her best to involve me in the show. She likes for people to be involved.
“Look Mommy! A red train.”
“You like red trains?”
“We ride on a red train to school tomorrow?”
“Mmmmhmm… wait. No.”
She’s tricky like that.
After it was over I tucked her in and she said her prayers. I turned out the light and was just about to close the door when she said, “You lay down with me more?”
I had dishes to do, and bills to sort. I needed to return emails. But like all those possessions I’d parted with, I realized all my chores and obligations were the same. They really didn’t matter. They came second.
So we lay in bed together and sang songs. She kept sticking her finger in my mouth and laughing, “Bite me!” I tried to explain that irregardless of what her friends were doing at daycare, that was not the smartest game to play with other people. She didn’t agree and in turn tried to bite my finger.
It was a good night. She stayed up a little later. I didn’t get the bills sorted. And it didn’t matter.
I have far fewer possessions. I live in an apartment. But most of the things I have spent my life wound up about, I’m coming to learn, don’t matter at all.
What matters is Jane trying to teach me the hilarity of having my finger bitten. What matters is the overwhelming peace that fills up my heart every time I go to bed at night and know I’ve made the right decision.
That matters.

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