What Matters

I’ve been doing a lot of woodworking lately. In the midst it a couple weeks ago, I thought ‘hey, when I go home I should take some pictures of these projects to show my grandfather.’

Because after being a husband and father, church minister, and tirelessly generous community member, he’s really been a lifelong woodworker. One of my earlier memories is of me and him building shelves together. After an hour of work, he lobbed a few compliments my way about my work. I’ll always remember that afternoon.

Two days later I got a tearful call from my mother. He’d died.

The last little while has been a lot like this. Both up and down. Several important friends are having serious relationship crises, and hopefully are emerging in whatever form should be. Mine has had smaller hiccups, and also new highs. Many conversations with new and old friends have flowed deeper than normal. Professional failures and successes. Life changes. Life decisions.

All of this has contributed, event by event and conversation by conversation, to one of the strongest convictions I’ve ever had:

Fuck the bullshit, and focus on what matters.

That means a lot of things to different people. Everyone has their own interpretation. For me, it means tuning my own sensor to filter out both my bullshit and the bullshit of others. And to invest in what matters. To me that means drawing incredible people closer to me all the time, and investing in them as much as possible. It means pushing through fears and anxieties and being vulnerable, personally and professionally. It means taking risks.

Life is a work in progress for all of us. And it’s shockingly short. Maybe we can make the most of it by being less compromising about what truly matters.

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