Over the past 3 or 4 years, I’ve been experiencing a strange phenomenon. It’s as if any importance I’d attached to certain things, events, and people just… falls away. I’ve noticed myself filing such things into a mental list that just seemed to pop up out of nowhere, entitled “Things That Don’t Matter.” I find the phrase resounding in my head every time I encounter something else that doesn’t matter, as if my mind is cataloguing everything it encounters into drawers marked “Yes” or “Nope!” Is this what getting older and wiser means?
For example, here are just a few of the things on my list of Things That Don’t Matter:
- High heeled shoes. For years I used to wear these, and my feet hurt terribly and I just bit my lip by day and soaked my feet by night. No longer. I didn’t even wear high heels when I got married — *gasp*. Also, have you ever stopped and wondered why we think these shoes are so great? And why are heels only considered hot if they’re on women? Why does crippling a person’s natural gait make her seem more sexy? Now whenever I see people wearing stilettos, I just think, “Bless your heart.”
- Thong underwear. Why do other people need to think that maybe I’m not wearing undies? I don’t care to keep them guessing.
- Trendy clothes. Jeans with holes in the knees, for example… knees are just not sexy.
- Lots of makeup. Why does the female face need to appear absolutely flawless? Men’s faces don’t have to. Plus, my sweetheart likes how I look naturally, and so do I.
- Limitations and fears that other people have about choices I have made or might make.
- Mistakes and failures. Any mistake that I made or was made unto me in the past is, for the most part, no longer relevant to me today. This goes for terrible past romances, missed opportunities, etc. These don’t matter any more, because we don’t live in the past. The lesson learned from these mistakes does matter if it helped us move forward and grow – otherwise, count that lesson as a thing that doesn’t matter, either.
- Being good at a job that you don’t like. It isn’t necessary to be the best at a job you don’t like. No need to agonize if errors occur from time to time.
- Relationships that don’t work. That goes for all types of relationships. Anyone you’re resisting staying in touch with? Maybe it’s time to rethink their importance in your life. Even if the person is related to you.
- Haters. People that don’t really know you, could never possibly understand you, and yet who love to send bad vibes your way? Nah they don’t matter.
- Resentment. This is a big one. Attaching significance to resentment and using it to shape your perspective will literally ruin your life. Let it go. It is a parasite that will consume its host. There are some situations which will never, ever be resolved, on which you will never have closure, other than an apology – if you’re lucky. To use an acronym I remember my aunt telling me once, FIPO: Fuck it and press on.
So, there I’ve shared with you a few big things (resentment!) and some little things (thong underwear), none of which matter to me any longer. I’ll leave you today with this last thought. All around you, countless people are urging you to do things and bombarding you with their opinions. “Buy this!” “You really need this!” “This is the only way to do something!” “Read on for how to avoid having your next meal/party/vacation turn out to be an ‘epic fail!'” If this kind of stuff irritates you, maybe you might try creating that Things That Don’t Matter category in your head too, as a reminder to mentally wave away whatever it is like it’s a pesky gnat. Go ahead and say the phrase out loud: “Things That Don’t Matter.” Once you say it, you’ll realize it’s true.