Learning What’s Important

As I was going for my morning walk the other day, I saw this really nice stone wall that was about 10 feet tall that someone had built behind their house in order to make the ground level with the house. It also had a nice black wrought iron fence on top of it. As I was passing by, I was wondering if the people who built it got to enjoy it or if it passed on to someone else before they got the chance.

Last summer, after living in our house in Alabama for six years, Jeff painted the outside of the house, then we moved. He worked hard to fix things up and then someone else enjoyed the fruit of his labor, but as I drove by our old house when I went back for a visit recently, I was hoping that the people that live there now were enjoying Jeff’s hard work (this was before I learned how to get my hands dirty:) )

We’re in the beginning stages of remodeling our kitchen…carpet in the kitchen and kids do not go well together. As I was talking to my sister-in-law one night on the phone, she said that maybe after we get our house fixed up, we could sell it and make a really good profit. My response was, “I don’t want to move. I never want to move again.” But eventually we will move, if not now, maybe 30 years from now, so the kitchen we’re redoing now is either going to be enjoyed by someone else eventually, or it’s going to be torn out and done again. That being said, I need to either enjoy the remodeling process or not spend too much time and energy obsessing over my kitchen issues. I have found that after painting many of the rooms in my house, I now enjoy painting…so maybe it’s possible to enjoy remodeling..??

There was a large family that lived in our house before us, and the wife Carolyn, who died a couple years ago, put a lot of labor and love into this house. She also spent many hours in the yard, and we have some really great flowers and a very pretty yard as a result of her work. Her husband, Mike has enjoyed telling us about her and her creativity. There is even a mailbox in the backyard near the arbor where she would keep her gardening tools so that they were always handy. I look around at the things she labored over…the flowers, the arbor in the yard, the planted Christmas trees, and I’m just grateful that I’m able to enjoy them. Jeff’s talked a couple of times about cutting some of those Christmas trees down, but I really have a hard time even thinking about it.

There are many things in the house that we’ve already updated, but there are these stamped leaves on my kitchen ceiling that are very unusual, but I plan on keeping them. Carolyn made stamps out of actual leaves that came from our yard, which I happen to think is very cool. For me, the leaves symbolize a love that this woman had for her family in wanting to make this house into a home. Even though I didn’t know the woman whose house I “inherited,” the leaves are a good reminder to me that there was someone here before me and that there will be someone here after me.

I will probably not be doing a lot of the things that Carolyn used to do, but I’m doing the things right now that I consider valuable. So in realizing that “I’m a flower quickly fading, here today and gone tomorrow,” I want to spend my time doing things that I consider worthwhile, and I’m beginning to realize that that will be different for each person…I have no list here of the 10 most important things to do for your family or with your family…life and people just don’t work like that…I’m realizing I either need to enjoy the things I’m doing or do the things I enjoy…and right now, I’m enjoying the things I’m doing without the guilt of feeling like I should be doing something else, and that alone is huge for me.


2 Responses to “Learning What’s Important”

  1. 1 LeeAnne
    June 15, 2008 at 6:24 pm

    One sentence in particular I just really agree with loudly: “I’m realizing I either need to enjoy the things I’m doing or do the things I enjoy…and right now, I’m enjoying the things I’m doing without the guilt of feeling like I should be doing something else, and that alone is huge for me.” Me too girl! HUGE! It’s like we have to give ourselves permission to be content and happy. I think we also realize that what’s important right now, this instant, might not be tomorrow when there’s something even more important or just different! We just have to enjoy the ride, huh?

  2. June 16, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    absolutely! I’m just trying to find 100 ways to say enjoy the ride!

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