Blogging didn’t matter to me yesterday.
We got home late on Sunday night, I have a nasty cold, and what mattered to me yesterday was unpacking our suitcases and going to the grocery store. So I did those two things and then I took a nap.
A tiny decision, but this was a large leap in my head. On another day, I would have pushed myself to write a blog post instead of getting rest, just because it was Monday and this is what I do. I would have added “take down all the Christmas decorations” to the most important To Dos. I would have stayed up an extra 30 minutes writing down weekly goals and meal plans and then when one or all of these things didn’t manifest, I would berate myself.
Now you’ve been introduced to my busy self critic. She’s a beast.
There is something to be said for structure and discipline, but after a year of monthly challenges and Doing the Work, I've tipped into a place that is outside of that healthy paradigm. I need a more simple message to tell myself. One that doesn't involve daily checklists or achievement. There is a refrain that has been floating through my head for weeks now. It marches and sings. It has brought me clarity and time. It shouts, whispers, and hums Only What Matters. Those are the literal words: Only What Matters.
I’m trying to strip everything down in my world. Possessions, lists, obligations, relationships, joys. There is too much all the time. We’ve YES’D ourselves into this little corner of life’s room where we can see our children playing in the middle, we can even smile and appreciate in our head that they are so beautiful, but we can’t feel anything. There’s too much stuff between our corner and their designated play space. But by golly, we’ve got control of the room, you might even call the corner where we’re trapped the “command center.” It’s an abundance of riches, really. So many choices! We’re at the helm!
Yet. It’s too much. We’re choking the life out of ourselves with the much-ness. And the control is an illusion anyway.
I wasted a lot of time last year on things that did not matter. I fretted over what people thought of me. I stressed over clothes and my home, and while I want both of those things to be presentable and to my taste, they’re meant to be enjoyed and they do not actually matter. I got confused about that.
I poured a lot of energy into this blog (because it’s comfortable) and scared myself off of chasing other dreams (because they’re not). I got irrationally upset with someone else's life choices, something that had absolutely nothing to do with me. I decided against writing about a certain topic because I thought another person's feelings mattered more than mine. Maybe they did. I’m still confused about that.
Some of these things are just life, the regular missteps of a regular woman. But when I look back on the last few years as a whole, I know that I’ve come a little off track because I cared about the wrong things. Many times, a future Laura should have held me by the shoulders firmly and said THIS THING DOES NOT MATTER.
So I don’t want to be a cautionary tale. I want to re-route as soon as I realize I've missed the turn. I’m starting to say no. I’m reminding myself that spinning out emotionally is futile. I want only a handful of priorities, TOTAL.
I’ve cleaned out my clothes closet. I’m relaxing my blog schedule. I’ll eat healthy for lunch and have dessert after dinner. Or vice versa. I’m putting my phone away and pulling out my journal. Or vice versa. If it isn’t on my very small list of Things That Matter, then I have to think long and hard before I give it one more breath. It’s time to get back to my core.
This is my 4th year to have a mantra for the year. Each time it has come to me making the most perfect sense for that season. Adopt any or all of them as we start a new calendar.
**photo by Darwin Bell via flickr