This was written on June 11, 2011. And I have no memory of what had hurt my feelings on the day I was given this advice by Kathy Foxworth, a dear and awesome friend. It is now ten years later:
The other day some trivial thing took place, and I got my feelings hurt. So, I went to a friend to discuss the issue and asked her if she would have gotten her feelings hurt about it. She was quick to tell me that she would, but then she took it a step farther.
She said she had heard this the other day and it stuck in her brain. She asked me if this situation was really going to matter to me in ten years. I said, "Well, if I even remember it in ten years, I will probably laugh about it." And that sparked a very great conversation.
She asked me if in ten years my husband would be important. I told her he would. She asked me if in ten years my sons would be important. I said, "Absolutely!" And right then I realized that it is a waste of time and energy to get so caught up in the trivial things of life when once time passes and people continue to evolve into different stages in their lives what we find to be so important at that time really means nothing at all.
We talked about how it applied not only to situations like what I had experienced, but it also worked with our jobs. Those every day frustrations at work, will they matter in ten years? Those silly embarrassments that happen to us in life that we think are just going to put us under become laughable in time.
When Clay and I lived in Baton Rouge we had a very small home. We were just starting out. One night Clay brought home a black lab puppy to surprise me. The dog was precious like most puppies are until they begin to make their mess. I happened to have two couples from back home who were stopping at our house to change clothes before the LSU football game.
I was so excited about this. Even though we had a very humble abode, I worked diligently to clean it to the best of my ability. Little did I know that our precious puppy had slipped into our extra bedroom on numerous occasions throughout the day to do his business.
It was one thing that I was already intimidated because we did not have a very nice home, but when I showed the girls into the room and saw the piles of dog remains everywhere I was mortified. Of course, they laughed. But as soon as they left, I called my mother crying. I had never been more embarrassed in my life.
My mom laughed too and said, "Callie, trust me, you will laugh about this one day." Nope not me! I was upset.
So what will matter to me in ten years aside from my family? Not my students identifying a prepositional phrase, but my students remembering me as a loving and kind teacher. Not the tiny hurts that we inflict on one another sometimes without even realizing, but the great memories shared with good friends.
It's something to think about. Try to list five things that will truly matter to you in ten years. And when life gets hectic and frustrating see if they fit on that list. I think if we do this we might all be a little more relaxed.