As the New Year unfolds I’m sure many of us have set into play a ton of resolutions we intend to keep.  Unfortunately and sad to say, by all indications, the resolutions we strive to maintain rarely, if ever, manifest themselves into our lives no matter how hard we try.

Perhaps, it would be wiser to set a list of priorities and strive to focus on those.  What really matters in our lives is a question we should all be pondering.  What sets us on edge?  What pushes our buttons and makes us crazy?  What is important and what isn’t? 

I recently sat down and tried to figure out what really matters and why.  This New Year I want to be able say, “Right now this matters. This is what I can embrace and or change.”

I don’t like resolutions.  I do try, on most occasions, to have some sense of priority with things that are important.  And yet, I get in a stew. My emotions get in the way and I have to ask myself if those things that stress me the most really count for anything.

Dirty dishes stacked in the sink doesn’t matter; hugs matter. Toys all over the living room don’t really matter; Let’s sit in the floor and play matters.  Flat tires and dented fenders don’t matter; are you okay matters.  Dirty clothes don’t matter; here let me help you matters. Question after question after question doesn’t matter; Sit down and I will explain it to you matters. Clutter on the kitchen table doesn’t matter but helping find another place to put it matters.  Busted fuel tanks and leaking oil doesn’t matter; I’ll help you fix it matters. 

Up all night at the hospital doesn’t matter; the tests came back all clear matters.  Walking the floor until they finally come walking through the door doesn’t matter; I’m glad you are home matters.  Mud from a wet puppy all over the carpet doesn’t matter; that makes me laugh, too, matters.  Failing grades and missed classes don’t matter; I’ll help you catch up and figure it out matters.  Bills paid late doesn’t matter; here is some extra to tide you over matters. 

Burned biscuits don’t matter but this tastes really good matters.  Jeans that are way too tight doesn’t matter; you look beautiful matters.  A messy bathroom doesn’t matter; wow, you smell good matters.  Leaky faucets don’t matter; it’s okay when you have time matters.  Scraped elbows and knees don’t matter but let me kiss it and make it feel better matters. Spilled coke on the front seat of the Suburban doesn’t matter; we’ll clean it up when we get home matters. Messy rooms and cluttered closets don’t matter but screaming and having a melt down because it is that way matters.  Ask yourself, “What’s important here?”

Spilled milk and an empty container in the refrigerator do not matter.  I’m glad you are here and I still love you matters.  An open car door and a run down battery don’t matter.  An extra set of jumper cables matter.

I have to work late at the office doesn’t matter but broken promises matter.  A heated opinionated discussion doesn’t matter but words spoken in anger and to hurt others matters. 

As my list continued to grow I suddenly realized that I didn’t need resolutions.  I needed an attitude adjustment.  What I’m stressed and overwrought about today will not  matter this time next week.  It’s wasted energy to spend time worrying about things that may or may not have happened.  More importantly, when I’m upset about something of such little significance as mud on the carpet or coke in the suburban there will come a time when I will remember and wish for those things.

2018 is a New Year and a new beginning.  Perhaps, it's time to pause long enough to be thankful, positive, loving, kind and caring.  Those are the things that matter.  We all need to overlook a lot of things because in the big picture they don’t matter. We need to let a lot of things slide!

It isn’t about what we don’t have it is about the things we do have.   Certainly, we can all try harder and make every effort to change and do all the right things but until we humble ourselves and look around will we see and embrace the things that truly matter.  It’s about a smile, wiping tears, saying thank you and being grateful.  Those are not resolutions those are blessings for everyone involved. Those are the things that matter.  Focus on the things that matter and make 2018 the best year ever!

Melinda Clements is an E-T community columnist. She can be reached at