“Not to sink under being man and wife,
But get some color and music out of life?”
There’s an odd thing that has happened to our society. Maybe it’s caused by laziness or maybe it’s caused by apathy, I’m not sure. Maybe it isn’t even something that is new or particular to our society. Maybe it has happened for all of time. Maybe it is a struggle that every man and woman has gone through since the first dawn. Maybe. I’m not sure. I am certain of one thing, however. Whether or not it is something that has been around for ages, it is certainly prevalent in our world today.
And I have to admit; I’m tired of it.
The two greatest assets that any of us have are our ability to love and our time. Everything else that is important comes from these two things. Yet, for some reason, we continually fail to put time into the things that we claim really matter. For some reason, we never place our love into the things we desire. Again, I’m not sure if this is a byproduct of apathy, or laziness, or something else altogether. I am sure, however, that it happens in epidemic-like proportions. For whatever reason, we cannot decide on the things we love individually; and when we do realize what we care about, we fail to invest our time and energy into those things.
You want to move ahead in your career? Then spend the extra hours at work to become an expert in your field. Take time to do more than simply what is asked of you.
You want to have the ideal family? Then put down the remote and spend some time with your wife. Set aside your work and play catch with your boy.
You want to be devout to your religion or your beliefs? Take the time to meditate, reflect and ponder. It won’t just magically happen.
You wish you ate healthier foods and your body was more in shape? Research what foods are unhealthy for you. Learn how to prepare healthy meals. Start taking long walks, going for runs or working out.
Of course, all these things are easier said then done, especially the first part. Knowing what you want, understanding what you truly love is something with which everyone struggles. Passions change and what’s important in your life can seem like a moving target. 10 years ago it may have been career and now it’s family. That’s fine. Your interests are bound to change. What I don’t understand is not spending time on the things that matter to you, whatever they may be.
There is a folk rock band from West London, England called Mumford & Sons. In the last year and a half, they rocketed from relative obscurity into common musical parlance. They rose to such success that recently they were nominated for two Grammy Awards, when less than two years ago they didn’t even have a single album. One of Mumford & Sons’ songs repeats the following lyrics:
“In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die. Where you invest your love, you invest your life.”
Such simple but beautiful lyrics, yet they seem to be far more difficult to grasp than the simplicity of the words. People continually trip over the concept. They have a hard time investing their time and their love into the things that sincerely matter to them. Not to mention everything in our culture points to contradictory sentiments. We’re constantly told to do what feels right. We’re fed the idea that life is short, so have fun. We’re forced to accept that I need to look out for myself, because no one else will. After awhile, we forget that this isn’t who we are at all. We lose sight of what matters to each of us and we fail to invest our time and energy into it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for taking chances. I’m a huge proponent of taking risks. But only risks that are important to you. Don’t take risks you think someone else would be taking. Take your own risks. Decide what you think is important and start investing your love and your time in those things. If you like to volunteer, then do it. If you like your career path, work hard for it. If you care about food, then cook and eat away. If you love your family, sacrifice for them.
Just know that when you do, that’s where your life will take you. Don’t be surprised that if you spend time and care at work, work is what becomes important to you. Or if you put your heart into your kids, your kids are what become important to you. Or if you spend time chasing women, womanizing is what becomes important to you. The things you spend time thinking about will become the things that are important to you. The things you spend your money on will be the things that you want to work towards. The things you place your care into will be the things that you care about. So invest your time wisely.
“Awake my soul. You were meant to meet your maker.”
You might be surprised to know, I have a blankey. It’s something one might normally be ashamed of still keeping so close to the age of 30. Not me. I love it. In fact, I can’t sleep without it. Every night it resides soundly inside my pillow case underneath my sleepy head.
How in the world does she sleep with a blankey in her pillow case, bunched beneath her head? Well, it’s not so much an entire blanket. In fact, it’s about 1/5th of the soft silky fabric that is traditionally sewn around the edge of baby blanket. The rest of it literally dissipated over time, right into thin air. (I would actually imagine most of it was shredded by the lint trap of my mother’s dryer all considering she used to wash everything incessantly, but that’s neither here nor there).
The point of me disclosing that I still keep what’s left of my baby blanket under my pillow is because it honestly is the one thing that has been with me my entire life. This blankey is 30 years old. It’s been drug through the dirt. It’s been spilled on. It’s been washed, dried, and washed and dried again. It’s even been barfed on during a horrendous trip to our family beach house when I got car sick on the three hour ride there. This blankey’s been through a lot. But it’s still around, honestly, because I believe I’ve loved it.
Now call me silly, but when we decided the topic of this blog, blankey was the first thing I thought of when considering the fact that one should put their love and energy into the things they care about most. Why? Because where we invest the best of ourselves is where we get the most reward. Because the people and things we take care of can stay with us for the entirety of our lives if cared for properly.
That being said, I plan to pay special attention to things that I want to be with me for the rest of my life. My friends deserve special attention. My home deserves to be well cared for. My family deserves to be a priority. My husband deserves the most love I have to give. And my blankey deserves to gently reside in my soft pillow each and every day.
And maybe, just maybe, if I care for each right, each of the things that mean the most to me will be with me for another 30 years.