I have given some thought to What Matters...?... based on the quote by Jonathan Kozol, "Pick battles big enough to matter and small enough to win."
Sleep On It
I don't know about you, but each day is a complete and different surprise for me, at least in some small way. Waking up with the best of intentions, any number of both positive and negative factors can influence the outcome of your day.
I remember Mom who was ever wise. There are many phrases and sayings in my toolbox of life skills that are straight out of her mouth. The following are a few of the many expressions I learned from Miss Sammie:
To me, everyone has priorities. In my professional experience as a nurse, I have seen a wide range of judgment, wisdom and insight where these priorities are concerned.I may not assume that what matters to me, actually matters to someone else.
I am getting better at asserting that what matters to someone else, does not have to become my pressing cause or priority. Ahhh, the back burner again... now we're cooking, Miss Sammie!
Let It Go
Through years of deep soul searching and honest acknowledgement of my feelings, I realize that self - forgiveness is within our power.Whether an action is deliberate or accidental, I do not wish to be burdened with the job of registering wrongs. I believe what matters is moving on from the past and making things as right as you can. I am grateful that I do not have to be the judge in any situation, unless it has to do with me or my personal actions.
I worked with a manager who taught me that ... communication, at best, is difficult.There can be misunderstandings with the best of intentions. Therefore, in daily interactions with those I care about, work with or even casually encounter, a prompt, honest and direct approach works best for me.
When Tomorrow Comes
None of us knows what tomorrow will bring. Although I try to be organized to a fault, I know I cannot plan the timing or nature of my death.So much of life is a crap shoot.
Despite having a deep faith and base of spitituality, I recognize that very little of life is truly within our control.So why would death be any different...? Death is a part of life.
None of us tend to imagine in our childhood years: "One day (maybe now), I will have cancer, heart disease or be a fatality in a criminal act."Mom had a way of being both cut and dry and comfortingly tender about life and death issues.
Some of her expressions that I think of to this day are:
In our family, this maternal attitude translated to stepping up when family and friends need us. An individual approach is needed for everyone. Some welcome closeness in illness, deriving support from frequent visits. Still others prefer privacy, especially during times of serious illness.I have learned that what matters is respecting the wishes of those you love.
I prefer to say my goodbyes on my terms. When you treat every conversation as though it may be your last, it is so much easier to 'keep your house in order' and settle petty misunderstandings promptly.
And when things are out of your control, take as much control as you can, even if it is by planting/sending a tree, bush or flower in honor of someone you love.
Pick the Hill You Die On
In the tapestry of my professional nursing career, I was blessed to have worked with a compassionate, rational and wise Labor Relations Coordinator for about four years.
In my role as a Nursing Administrator, we sat together at many a Union negotiation table, for many an issue. Ralph had a way of making these potentially volatile meetings tolerable. In fact, with our combined personalities, we were able to cut much tension with a relaxed and respectful atmosphere.
What made Ralph so wise was the application of his life philosophy throughout his work ethic. I continue to utilize two of his kernels of wisdom throughout most every decision / action in my life:
If any person helped me decide what truly matters, besides my Momma, I would give this distinction to Ralph.
This song helps me keep perspective on what really matters, Johnny Cash’s The Gambler
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