There's this song by Linkin Park with a lyric that goes, "In the end, it doesn't even matter." Given the fact that the lead singer died by suicide, I'm going to guess that the lyrics to that particular song were meant to convey that life is pointless, or perhaps that the pain we experience doesn't have some greater meaning. I never spent a lot of time thinking about that song, so to be honest-- I don't really know.
What I do know is this:
There is a lot of shit, like massively gigantic loads of stuff in life, that doesn't fucking matter at all.
Including, but not limited to, the following:
I don't think my child has eaten anything green yet today, and it's already 2 p.m. Fuck.
I swear too much.
The fucking doorknob finish clashes with the metal on the fucking ceiling fans.
Do I watch the news enough? Like, do I know what's actually happening in the world right now, or am I just fucking around on Pinterest every time I sit still?
I swear to Christ, if I get an email that the science fair is happening this year, I will shit a frisbee. I do not have the time or sanity to deal with petri-dishes or a tri-panel poster board.
Is the paint color in the game room is too dark?
Did I send those thank you notes to the kids who went to my son's birthday party? Oh, who am I kidding. I don't even know how envelopes work anymore.
The registration on the minivan went out again. Shit, I need to get better about doing that before it expires.
I forgot to compost those coffee grounds.
The shrubs in front of the house look janky and they should probably be trimmed, or better yet, completely ripped out and replaced with something that doesn't require pruning.
My cats are bored. Do I entertain them properly? Are they getting enough stimulation? Do cats rage-vomit just because they're angry at people for not buying them enough crinkle balls, or does one of them have a hairball issue?
How many times can one toilet possibly require having its insides completely replaced? Was this a thing my dad did for my entire childhood, once per quarter, and I just never noticed? Like, what exactly is a normal amount of times to be elbow-deep in a toilet tank each year?
The dog rolled around in something weird, and I'm pretty sure if anyone comes to visit right now, they'll think we bathe her in hot dumpster fluid.
Did I floss this morning?
Do you see what I'm talking about, here? It's relentless. Life, adulting, being a parent-- everything feels like a crushing, overwhelming stream of worry that we're inadequate, that we're not enough, that whoever or whatever isn't existing correctly, and somehow, we need to try to make it better.
And none of that-- NONE OF IT-- matters at all. Not one single bit of it.
What people think. Whether you're following the "rules." How it looks from the outside. Why it's not going the way you thought it should.
None of that matters.
In that sense, I think Linkin Park got something right.
The thing is, there's a handful of stuff that does matter.
Like, the stuff you can't find words for.
I know it's heavy. The things you worry about that are so complicated, you can't even muster the vocabulary you need to answer honestly when someone asks how it's going. That stuff is big, and you can't just look away from it when it's too much. But there's so, so much that matters even more than that.
Like the moments between moments where you look around, and they're all still here. Your people. They're here, they're safe, and they're in it with you. And you're in it with them. And maybe everything is a mess, but it's your mess, together. You've got them for this exact second, right where they should be. And you look back and realize how goddamned lucky you are that you've had them for every moment before this.
When you love someone with your entire soul, and you make eye contact for a brief moment, knowing that neither of you can fix any of the fucking awful things you wish you could. But damn if you aren't a couple of lucky idiots anyway, because you've got each other to hold on to. When life throws the things at you that force you to confront all of your worst fears, and you get to be scared to death while you hold each other's hands. Those moments where both of you know that it isn't necessarily gonna be alright for awhile, but for some reason, you get to be un-alright together.
What matters is those feelings you can't name. But you can feel them, between your fingers and toes. You can breathe them into your belly, when you're almost done with it all, and save yourself from what scares you most. The things between the things, that hold you up, and hold you together, even when you don't think you have anything left.
In the end, those things actually do matter. They actually matter a whole lot.