The Little Things

I was just sitting here looking at my to do list and thinking, what do I do that really matters. What in this to do list really makes a difference. Having just started my blog back up this morning, I was thinking about how I could sum up the last two years and where have I really gone, what have I done, and how have I changed.

There were job changes – I went from working as a writer from home, to working at Gabe’s, to finding a job that I really love working with troubled kids. There was the move – we moved from a house that we shared with my daughter to an apartment. It’s a great apartment and room enough for us at a rent we can afford. My husband got a good paying job that is making it possible to get ahead. We have started making headway in the way of getting our life “on track” to where we want to be. All big things.

But day to day, it seems the same – laundry, dishes, cleaning, making beds. It seems like all I do, every day, is the same things that don’t make a difference in the world. Even the job I love, that I went into thinking I was making a difference, seems to be not making a huge difference.

Now, I realize that not everything I do has to make a radical difference to the world. I don’t have to save the world EVERY day. But looking back over the last two years, do I see a difference? Did I make changes that really changed things? Did I lose weight? Did I quit smoking? Did I reach ANY of the goals I had set? Well, maybe a little. But I was prepared to be disappointed by the fact that many of these goals are not reached after two years. Many things have not changed. Much of it is still the same grind of going to work. cooking meals, and sleeping.

Then, I read an amazing article. It reminded me that it’s not always the big things that matter. Sometimes it’s the little things, the things that we don’t think make a difference. It’s A Mom That Shows Up that is important. It’s the time spent doing homework with my son. It’s the video chats with my other son. It’s the daily texts with my daughter about nothing important. It’s the singing of our nightly song. It’s the hugs before school. It’s taking the time to fold and sort laundry so they have clean clothes. It’s all the little things that make a difference.

When someone walks into my apartment and says “something smells good” or tells me they love my knick knacks that I’ve collected over the years. Nothing big. Nothing world changing. But it’s the important things. When you see a brightly colored quilt, you often see the pretty pattern on it, but never notice the warm, plain fabric it’s sewn onto. You don’t see the filler that makes it so strong and comfortable. It’s not pretty, it’s not noticed, you never see it. But without it, it wouldn’t be a quilt. Without the nitty gritty of day to day life, what would your life really be? Just a series of events with nothing to hold them together.

So, instead of looking at my to do list today and sighing that there is so much to do, I’m going to try and look at each item and see how important it is to my family and my life. Because honestly, mopping the floor doesn’t thrill me all that much and will probably go without notice. But I’ll know that my family will have a clean, happy home. And that’s what’s important.

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