“I used to be afraid of failing at something that really mattered to me, but now I’m more afraid of succeeding at things that don’t matter.”
- Bob Goff, Love Does
I walked past this building recently and wondered how long it had been since someone had painted their bedroom (or living room?) wall purple. I asked myself if the green room was a kitchen, if the white brick brightened up the space, and if the orange stairwell made the residents happy.
I wondered if they taped the baseboards to keep the paint lines clean and whether they bought matching linens for their rooms.
I doubt any of the people from these apartments anticipated how their weekend paint project would remain long after they moved out. These residents were selecting colors and making choices in the privacy of their own home. If they couldn’t tell grape from eggplant purple, who would ever know the difference?
How could they possibly know that they were leaving a mark that would outlast even the building?
The image made me put life under a similar lens.
So much of the time I’m tempted to minimize the routine nature of my life and dismiss my activities as trivial. I love my husband, raise a couple of kids, keep the dog from chewing up the toys, sleep, eat, and work. I cook, clean, and dabble on the computer. I have a long “to do” list to keep all of those things operational.
Can my humble “to do” list ever leave a mark?
Whether I like it or not, how I spend my days and what’s on my list eventually add up to how I spend my life.
That begs the question, what story am I telling ?
This apartment building, for some reason reminds me that my activities, while not usually seen by the world at large, still leave an impression. While the tasks themselves aren’t a big deal, what IS important is what I’m LIKE when I’m doing the activities.
Am I making connections or just serving myself? Am I more concerned about getting or about giving? Am I succeeding at something that matters?
Do you ever ask yourself these questions?