Thursday, July 10, 2014

What Matters

I purchased this "What You're Doing Matters" ribbon by artist Kelly Rae Roberts awhile back and pinned it on the cork wall in my art studio:

Kelly Rae Roberts Prize Ribbon

I just love it and most of the time it serves as a very positive reminder for me.  However, one morning last week, when I was feeling a little cranky, I carelessly let my inner critic - aka the Anti-Muse - get a hold of it.

"What you're doing matters, huh?" I heard her voice whisper doubtfully when she saw it.  "What are you doing?  Redecorating your deck?  How much does that really matter?"

"It matters to me." I told her firmly and then mentally drop kicked her out the window.

That should have been the end of that but the little seed of doubt she planted didn't go away easily.  Instead I found myself wondering if maybe she had a point.  Was there something more important that I should be focusing on? Should I be painting more or trying to save the world instead of spending so much time on my house? Was I sliding back to the superficial standards that preoccupied me in the past?

I really didn't think that was the case.  In fact I have never felt more certain in my life that I was on the right path.  So I decided that if I needed to make any changes or corrections that life would let me know but until then I would just keep doing what I was doing.

Shortly after reaching that decision, I was in my yard taking pictures when I heard someone call out to me, "excuse me?"

I looked over to see a woman had pulled her car over to the other side of my fence.  Thinking she was probably lost I walked over to her but instead of asking for directions she said, "I just had to stop and tell you how beautiful your deck is."

She explained that she had been driving by the night before and saw the string lights on our pergola and thought it was, in her words, "just like a gift from heaven."

She also told me she enjoyed the flowers in our front yard and then barely gave me the chance to thank her before driving away again.

I immediately turned to my Anti-Muse (who like my Muse is never very far away) and said, "How do you like that?"

This time I didn't have to drop kick her. This time she just quietly faded away.

I am so grateful for that kind stranger and her timely compliments.  I think it's wonderful how life always finds a way to remind me that when I do what makes me happy, it often makes people around me happier too.  And yes, that matters.