Monday, August 17, 2009

What's important?

As I was checking Facebook this morning, I saw a link to a blog post and clicked on it, thinking it was about how to increase readership on your blog. Author Jonathan Fields began,

There’s been a lot of focus on follower counts, friend counts, subscriber counts, viewer counts and readers as of late. And, those are important metrics from the standpoint of expanding your impact on the world…and potentially, your income.

But, sometimes I wonder if we’re spending too much time on the wrong metric…

Then he proceeded to talk about the things that really matter to him. The writing is absolutely beautiful and I don't want to paraphrase it for you, so check it out for yourself.

His post really got me thinking about how blessed I am and what's important to me, so here's my list:

I love beautiful flowers, simply because they make me smile.

I love food that makes me close my eyes and sigh, food that begs to be eaten slowly, savored, and enjoyed; food that comes from soil that has been treated with respect; food that comes from animals that have been treated with love.

I love newborn baby animals. I don't think I will ever cease to smile and squeal with joy as a new baby animal is born, or as it takes its first wobbly steps, or as it figures out where to find its first meal. I love their motivation to live, to walk, to bounce, and to simply be themselves.

I love the soft wool that comes from my flock of Shetland sheep and llamas, not only because it feels heavenly, but also because I know where my scarf or hat or afghan has spent its entire life. I am working on an afghan from wool that was grown by Teddy and Latte, washed by Mike, carded by Jamie, spun by Katherine, and knitted by me. As it keeps me warm on these cold Illinois nights, I'll have no worries about what animals were mistreated for the wool or what workers were exploited in its spinning or knitting.

I love my house because it was built with love and care. Every bit of flooring, paint, and wallpaper, every bathroom fixture, door and window, everything was chosen by me. Every nail was pounded into the two-by-sixes and two-by-fours by Mike. Walls were lifted into place by all of us. Margaret screwed the drywall into place. It's more than just a shelter for our family. It represents the ultimate family project.

I love my children for making me the person that I am today; for teaching me patience; for making me smile and laugh; for being thoughtful; for being supportive.

And I love my husband for being the ultimate partner; for being an attentive father; for attempting to do all the crazy things I ask; for making the world's best homemade croissants; for bringing me coffee in bed every morning; for providing our family with the most wonderful home anyone could ever want.

When I see this list and know that it does not even represent half of my blessings in life, I ask how I could want anything more. But I do. I want to empower people to create their own little Eden, to help them learn to be self-sufficient, and to experience the joy that can be found in nature. I want everyone to have access to fresh food and to have the knowledge to prepare it. That's why I blog. I want to share my enthusiasm for all the things I love, and I don't mind sharing my mistakes if it will give people a little more courage to risk success!

It's vital to know what's important in your life so you can make sure you're heading in the right direction. For example, I know a woman who bought four sheep and got rid of them a year later when she realized she didn't want their wool. If you look at my list, you might come to the conclusion that while I love flowers, they're not the most important thing in my life, and I act accordingly. They are the last living things on this farm to get my attention ... after my animals and the herb and vegetable gardens and my family ... and my blog ... and I guess I'm just lucky that daylilies are so hardy.

So, what's important to you? What do you love?


Michelle said...

I love blogs like yours. :-)

J. M. Strother said...

Lovely way to start my day. Thanks.

Nancy K. said...

What a wonderful ~ and thought provoking ~ post!

Mom L said...

What an absolutely beautiful and heart-warming post! Thank you.

Nancy in Iowa

MaskedMan said...

You are blessed.
Not so much in the wonderful gifts that are yours to treasure, but in your awareness that you have been given gifts, and in your appreciation for what has been granted you.

Truthfully, we are almost all of us similarly blessed, if only we had the wit and eyes to see it. No, we don't all get the same gifts, but we all do recieve gifts, if only we open our hearts to percieve them.

Rare is the soul without gifts; It should be our joy help raise others up, that we may share our gifts with them, and give them eyes to see and a heart to treasure their own gifts.

Carolina Trekker said...

This is so beautifully written. In 2005 we bought hand-held GPS's and became Geocachers. Geocaching was started by someone's love of hiking and discovering unusually beautiful or intersting places or objects by using a GPS and hiking to a set of coordinates. My sister has created one near her creek where alot of birds come on her farm in Iowa. Groundspeak is a volunteer organization that built and manages an online site for Geocachers so they can keep track of Geocaches they have been on and find new ones to go on. Most Geocacher's Logs are full of adventure & descriptions of what they have seen on that hike. They are fun to read. Any Geocacher can put together coordinates & hide a box near something they want the hiker(s) to visit. In the box there's a Log you sign & fun trade items. It is like going on a long or short mystery hike. They are hidden all over the world & we have gone places and seen things we wouldn't have known were there. Then Groundspeak unwittingly added on a "counter." Now we could keep track of how many geocaches we found & how many we didn't. Young geocachers are now running a race to see who can get the highest number of finds. They race around all day in a car in teams & don't even get to enjoy the nature around them. It's find & hurry to the next one. Their logs are short & to the point.."they did or didn't find it." It's sad that something so innocent as keeping count can change the whole essense of a beautiful experience. Geocaching is a wonderful (free) activity for families or individuals. It gets you out of the house & off to an Adventure in the Great Outdoors. Thank you for posting this today.

I LOVE YOU said...
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