do what matters

This week Steve (not his real name) and I went to our local theatre to see the Tedeschi Trucks Band—our favorite. Derek Trucks is the best guitar player ever and that is no overstatement.


Simply stated, his playing makes me happy. It's gorgeous and lush and euphoric.

After the show, we went out back and hung around the tour bus just to see what would happen. One by one the band members began to filter out of the theatre. I was given a set list by one of the brass players! I got a kiss on the cheek from the really cute back-up singer! Then from around the side of the building, I saw him. Now I am not that easily star-struck, but I have been dying to meet Derek Trucks for a long, long time. And he was so sweet! He signed my set list and I touched his shoulder (!) and then he posed for a photo with Steve (not his real name) and me. He disappeared into his tour bus and just as we were about to head home, I spied him walking down the street with one of his bandmates.

"Steve (not his real name)," I hissed. "Let's go!" I began to follow them.

"We can't!" said Steve (not his real name).

"Yes we can! When is this ever going to happen again?"

And with some reluctance, Steve (not his real name) agreed to stalk Derek Trucks with me. Stalk is such a strong, yet thoroughly accurate, word to describe our actions. But that is how we found ourselves in a hole of a bar in our hometown with the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Until we had to go home because our sitter is under 21 and cannot legally drive past 12:30.

We will—mark my words!—be part of the inner circle within 3 years. Then when the band sees us at shows, they’ll be all like, “Melissa and Steve (not your real name), how’ve you been? Please tell us you’re coming out after the show to hang? Pleeeease?” And we’ll be like, “Well, we’ve got a sitter and she can’t legally drive past 12:30, buuuuuut... okay! You know we can’t say no to you guys!”

An actual photo Steve (not his real name) took at the actual show. We were in the 3rd row. It was AWESOME. And slightly more focused.

An actual photo Steve (not his real name) took at the actual show. We were in the 3rd row. It was AWESOME. And slightly more focused.

When I watch someone like Derek Trucks do the work about which they are obviously and deeply passionate, it makes me reflect on my own work—the work of my heart.

So, we all get an eyeful of the Pinterest and Facebook lives of everyone else. Some people keep chickens or bees and have big summer gardens. Some build stuff and do lots of crafts with their kids. Some have super tidy homes. Some are always somewhere. And I know you know where I am going with this, because I am not the first person to talk about it, but it’s very easy to compare and criticize your own life against that backdrop.

But there are only so many hours in the day and the way you use them should matter.

What you will do matters. All you need is to do it. Judy Grahn

One day I was feeling a little badly that I don’t grow my own arugula and do 27 crafts every week and I don’t even really know what Instagram is. Suddenly I asked myself: what are your passions? When my son feels badly that he doesn’t want to do art projects while his sisters are endlessly enthusiastic about them, I tell him it makes no sense to do anything that doesn’t bring you joy. Don’t do the art project if doing so doesn’t make you happy—do the things that make you happy. I swear I tell my kids things like this and wholeheartedly believe them except when I totally forget to apply them to myself. All those things everyone else is doing are not MY passions! You may be saying yeah no kidding, Melissa but this was a blindingly beautiful revelation! I had another one a few blog posts back, however I can’t remember what it was. I hope I’ve internalized it and now it’s an established part of me making my life better every moment. I can’t be sure. But this is also a really good blindingly beautiful revelation!

So, these are my biggest passions: writing and homeschooling. They take up the majority of my time and mind-space. They give me joy. They are important to me. They are where my time and energy and effort should and does go. So there is no time left over for a big garden or scrap-booking or a perfectly tidy house. Or a marginally tidy house. But that’s okay.

You can't do everything but you can do what matters.

Do what matters.

Now I think you should take a moment to watch this because it will simply make you happy. (And I hope you have a lovely Friday!)


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