good life with paige shockley
Part of cultivating a good life is to consistently keep your life in check by asking yourself, “Will this matter in 10 years?”
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind, to go through the motions mindlessly without really thinking about what you’re doing. Packing lunches and schlepping kids to and from, my life as a mom can pull me to the edges of sanity many days. I have caught myself saying “hurry up” to my kids more than “I love you.” At some point, I started thinking about this and that’s why the phrase “will this matter in 10 years?” really strikes a chord with me.
Whether I’m thinking about a parenting moment, memory keeping, a time I find myself getting frustrated at something, or just trying to decide if I should take on one more project, I keep returning to this question. Will this matter in 10 years? What do I want for my life today and what do I want to remember in years to come? What do I want my kids to remember from their childhood? This question helps me navigate my every day to make the best of the present and also to keep my long-term priorities in focus.
Much like kids everywhere, my children are fascinated with slime. It’s not my favorite thing and my husband despises it, but I have a whole shelf in my pantry dedicated to slime ingredients and the finished products. My kitchen counter is home to gooey items labeled “strawberry explosion slime” and “flower field slime.” I have lost all my storage containers and my contact solution has gone missing, but my kids are having fun. There are bigger battles to be fought, so before I get upset about the massive slime factory in my kitchen, I ask myself, ”Will this matter in 10 years?” So what if we have to clean all the mixing bowls daily? So what if they are using all my containers? In ten years I will remember how happy they were making a big slime mess. In ten years, I will wish they were sitting at my counter making slime. This is not worth the worry.
Before I had kids, I was a great memory keeper. I had 12×12 paper coming out of my ears, stickers of everything under the sun, and every type of scissor you could imagine. My supply stash was something to envy. It was so fun to spend time working on a scrapbook page, as I had time, leaving my mess all over the table until I could finish. Then I had babies. Leaving my memory-keeping mess on the counter wasn’t going to fly anymore. I put away all my supplies and never seemed to be able to find the time to get it out and make my memory keeping happen. So I asked myself, “Will this matter in 10 years?” YES!
If I don’t reevaluate my system to make it work in my current life, in ten years I won’t have anything documented. This reevaluation is how I ended up doing my memory keeping digitally using Photoshop and then moving into physical Project Life and eventually digital Project Life. Because in 10 years, I want to have those memories together to look back on. So yes, this will matter in 10 years! Glad I thought to ask myself to find a better system for my life.
I am happy to be a mom and not only do I work hard at home, but I also take on a lot of volunteer projects and positions at the school and elsewhere. As I see an opportunity where I can help, I have to ask myself if this will this matter in 10 years. Why is this important to me? Is this something that sets a good example for my children? Will I look back 10 years from now and be happy I took on this project or will I regret dedicating time to this? What kind of sacrifice will I have to make to work on this project? If it fits into our family’s long term goals, then I should make it happen. If it doesn’t, I have no problem saying no.
I encourage everyone to use this line: Will this matter in 10 years? It will change the way you look at all things, big and small.
Paige Shockley is a part of the Creative Team using the digital products. Paige currently resides in Connecticut with her husband and two girls, one grumpy old cat, and two energetic dogs.
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