What Matters Most

Hmmm, as I shut down the computer in my office at work I noticed a missed call from the wife.  Seeing the text icon glowing a circle “1” I opened it up to find the following message:

we have water in the basement

Shaking my head I gathered my things and called home.  A couple of brief exchanges later I was trying to keep my patience and remain calm.  All I can think of is how I seriously can not get ahead in this god forsaken f*ck of a game that is our house.  I mean what the f*ck, can I just not get a break one freaking time.  Seriously.

But I remained calm.

Yesterday I did not remain calm when the rain barrel inexplicably emptied itself and I cast my shovel aside in a childish snit.  Nor did I remain morning-sea-dead-calm when the wheel barrow tire expelled its atmospheric contents three times in a matter of an hour the same day as the rain barrel performed its exorcism.  But today, yes I remained calm.  For life just wants to f*ck with me and frankly I’m better than that, I have not the need to stoop to such foolishness.  Would be unbecoming of someone with my general demeanor, attitude and grace.

Best I can tell is that water is somehow now coming in through the conduit that pierces the basement walls where the water supply comes into the house.  This never happened before so I can only suspect that something went accidentally amiss when they finished off the porch steps.  Near the area is a three-foot post that was dug so maybe something got cracked.  Only other thing that looked strange outside was water around the downspout connection.  I have calls into the stair builder / excavator as well as my water supply guy to come out and take a look.  I don’t think it’s a huge deal but I think we need to excavate the site and see what’s up.

We got some water inside but it’s not a lot and it forced my hand in cleaning up that corner of the basement anyway.  It’s just frustrating that I had to delay what I was supposed to get accomplished tonight and deal with yet another surprise.  Now in all fairness some things have worked out well.  The shower curtain rod install and my desk install for two examples.  But man, it seems like all these little constant issues wear me out.  I know a lot of it has to do with my OCD, virgo, INTJ like personality.  I really need to get shit off my “to do” list for the world to be really happy.

What I need to do though, instead of worrying about all this crap, is to drill back down to the core of what really means the most in this world.  If we didn’t have water coming in the basement today, then it’d just mean something else would be amiss.  Like the wheelbarrow tire still wouldn’t hold air (incidentally it still doesn’t) which negates my ability to spread the rest of the mulch in preparation for Thursday’s playset delivery.  And if the tire had air some other bullshit thing would be wrong.  Point is it’s never right, and never will be.

Not surprisingly all it takes is a three-year old to show a mixed up, emotionally worn out old man how to prioritize what’s important in life.

Really, water in the basement doesn’t matter.  The cluttered garage and unfinished garden beds don’t matter.  Watching the news, updating Facebook (or this blog), debating politics or sports, does not matter.  And really there’s a lot of “big stuff” that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things either.  I am neither a brain surgeon or rocket scientist – stressing out about my career and work does not matter. The stock market doesn’t matter, what shade of brown is hot right now doesn’t matter, the fact that I like drinking Bud Light Limes and watching Million Dollar Listing LA doesn’t matter.  Whether I worship in the quiet of god’s nature beneath a tree or in some fancy church….does not matter in the grand scheme of things. Biologically speaking fresh clean water, nutritious food, and clean air DO matter.

Beyond that not much does matter frankly.

Except there are other things that do matter.  Happiness matters.  And memories matter too.  Freedom, nature and creativity?  Yep.  Optimism is really important so add it to the list.

As I sat down to write this post, (on this no plot blog (with like two regular readers…. (killing baby seals would be more socially productive but I digress))), my boy gleefully hopped over to me, and, in his stuttering mind-thinking-faster-than-his-mouth-can-move way blurted out a long dissertation on how he thought his daddy was in the bathroom brushing his teeth and instead he found said daddy to be agreeably seated at the desk working on the computer and he was so surprised.  He then proceeded to talk about how he was going to bed and I asked him for a real big hug and he even gave me an unsolicited smooch on the cheek.  He then proposed that mommy really needed a kiss and at least two hugs.  So he hopped over, only as a three-year old is capable, and proceeded to attack her with hugs and kisses as she tried to close up windows.

I know very little but I freaking guarantee that this scenario has played itself out in one form or another over a hundred billion times and really it’s the only thing that matters.  One little kid, for one little moment possesses all that is right in the world, all that is perfect and optimistic and rewarding.  He holds that in the charm and fire that only a little kid posses.  In that gleam of the eye, it’s like looking at a super nova of what matters condensed onto the head of a pin.  Are freaking kidding me that you could conjure one god damned thing that trumps that?  Look there are no absolutes in life and very little is black and white.  On the scale of what matters most, in the simplest of terms, that essence ranks near the top of the list.  If you’re a good parent, or even a misguided decent one I’m pretty sure you get it.

But you don’t have to be a parent to understand.  My guess is you already know deep down inside what matters.  What is right and wrong.  What is really is important.

Look I’m not saying shirk your responsibilities under the guise of “it’s not important.  Chris told me so, so I’m going to buy a twelve pack of Bud Light Limes and watch cable all day in my underwear with a stuffed animal….”  (oops).

But do me a favor.  Do us all a favor.  Take the time to think about what really matters.  Life is way to god damned finite and short.  We only get one shot this side of the horizon.

For me I’ll spend the next few years of it in futility trying to bottle the antics and smiles of a couple little blonde kids as they turn my house into a home (and my brown hair grey).  And I’ll continue to work on wearing many hats in support of my wife, from being a cheerleader, to a shoulder to cry on, to the conjurer of smiles; but most importantly I will work on not being dismal and overbearing (twelve years into her training program and I’m showing very little progress). Beyond that I’ll pet my cat in the morning when she asks, for someday when she is gone I know I’d gladly pay a king’s ransom to have her underfoot again. There are other things that fundamentally matter, at least to me…….Saturday mornings are up on the list…….as well as a handful of other stuff.  You get the point I suppose.

Regardless you won’t find sharing my ideology (other than the afore-written dissertation above), theology, politics, or work philosophy on my list of what matters.  Sure I’ll freely give them but they don’t matter in the end.  They only provide thought-provoking conversation when we’ve run out of people to talk about.

Think about what matters most for you.  Dream. Live. Remember. Share. Treat others kindly.

Listen.

The other stuff?  Well its just water in the basement or a flat wheelbarrow tire.  No big deal.

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