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A Moment to Measure What Matters

I have an unofficial morning routine before I even get out of bed.

I wake up. I grab my phone. I open Instagram and scroll for a while. I open Facebook and scroll a little while. I open Tik Tok and spend a considerably shameful amount of time there. I switch back and forth between these platforms before I can even persuade myself to get my day started.

While on each platform, I check for notifications. Any new likes? New friend requests? Nothing? Okay. I check for updates on others’ lives. He has a new job. She just got married. They moved into a new house. “How nice!”, I almost convincingly think to myself. 

There are times I take away inspiration and motivation from social media to achieve my goals or think about something differently. And other times, more often than not, I’m only taking away an unhealthy amount of comparison and ungratefulness. I recently noticed that I use moments in the morning to measure what I don’t have and what’s missing, instead of measuring what matters. I begin to measure my life based on what’s happening in someone else’s. And the truth of the matter is, some things that matter to others may not actually matter as much to me. 

We live in a world where the material things and achievements seem to outweigh things that are not tangible and can’t be bought. We are oversaturated with commercialism, especially during a time of year when we should really focus on what matters most. 

When the pandemic came in 2020, everyone’s lives were shaken. We had to identify things that were essential. For a time, only essential things could be purchased. Only essential workers could go to work. We could only go outside for essential needs. As inconvenient and even traumatic as that time was, it opened many people’s eyes to what mattered. Who mattered. 

When I was in the hospital and couldn’t be with my family during part of the Holidays, it made me appreciate those moments with them all that much more. I would cling to the hope that I had in my heart simply by remembering how much I still had to be grateful for. 

But somewhere along the way, I began to go back to my regular routine. That unofficial morning routine where I measure what “matters”. I found myself looped back into ungratefulness when comparing my life to others. And I know that social media isn’t the only culprit that will steal your memory of what matters the most in life. Sometimes it’s your busy schedule. Sometimes it’s your bank account.  It’s stolen so easily that we don’t always recognize it’s missing. 

I for one have plenty to be grateful for. Even if it’s only one thing, I’m sure you have something to be grateful for too. 

Let’s take more moments to measure what actually matters, not just this time of the year, but everyday.

Kayla Warren