Day 656: What matters to you?

What matters to you?

What matters to me often includes giving some context and history to my writing. For example, over a year and a half ago, I wrote a post with a somewhat similar title to today’s.

Day 133: Maybe anxiety means that something really matters to you.

As a matter of fact, I was anxious yesterday, because I was doing something that really mattered to me (and to other people, too).  Yesterday, I attended a work retreat, where over one hundred doctors, nurses, social workers, medical assistants, and other dedicated employees at a major Boston teaching hospital spent the whole day together off-site, brainstorming and identifying specific ways to make patient care better.

Here’s one of the slides from the excellent opening speech at the retreat, about how much it matters to have a true patient-focus in practice.


That slide is inviting providers to shift from a focus on problems and complaints  to what really and truly matters to those they serve.

Because of my life-long experiences as a patient in the medical system,  moving this way — from a focus on the weaknesses of patients and the needs of providers, to a focus on the strengths and needs of those who require health care — all matters to me, very deeply.

It matters to me so much,  that I overcame anxiety about speaking my mind in front of over one hundred doctors, nurses, social workers, medical assistants, and other dedicated employees, several times throughout the day.

As a matter of fact, when one of the facilitators at the retreat asked us the first audience-directed question:

What matters to you, to help us start working together today?

I was the first one, in that enormous, packed room, to raise my hand and answer:


Throughout the day,  I continued to ask myself the question “What matters to you?” and I maintained the courage to voice those answers out loud. What gave me the courage?  Realizing that my experience, thoughts, and feelings mattered

  • to me and
  • to others.

As I was driving home at the end of the day, thinking about all I had witnessed and learned at the retreat, I stopped the car and walked back a ways, to take this photo:


Apparently, that mattered to me, too.

Somebody who matters a great deal to me — my 16-year-old son, Aaron — is taking the PSATs  at his school this morning. I think it matters that he eat some friggin’ thing before that test, so it matters to me that he just agreed to eat some of this:


Music also matters to me, so I’m wondering if it matters which song I include in this post.

Because your feedback matters to me, I was going to ask for requests, but then I posted some videos of “Money Don’t Matter 2 Night” by Prince (which were then removed from YouTube).  Does it matter if I have music in this post?

Thanks to all those who matter to each other, including you, of course!

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , | 30 Comments

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30 thoughts on “Day 656: What matters to you?

  1. As a former college instructor, what mattered to me was my students. What mattered to me was their success. At times, that put me at odds with the administration, the powers that be. But that mattered less.
    Today I am retired. What matters to me is decent health, travel, writing, and cooking and eating good food. And excellent coffee.
    I love that you stopped to take a photo of the lion statues dressed for Haloween! it matters to me, too.

  2. An important question for us to ask others to facilitate better understanding, and equally important to ask it of ourselves too. We’ve wasted time, I’ve wasted time “playing games”.
    Love the photo of the entrance to that home 🙂 In another life, I was so into Prince! Thanks for sharing.

  3. it matters that we enjoy
    wonders of life present
    and keep from drowning
    in despair from the darkness 🙂

  4. Sounds like the workshop went well; I’m glad! Have a great Saturday!

    • The retreat went very well, Kate. Feel free to keep sending me warm wishes about my big presentation a week from tomorrow. As always, it matters to me that you have a great weekend, too!

  5. Love the Zorro lions, also that slide – very good shift of focus.

  6. Respect, you have it from your peers there and here, Ann. You relate to people, here and there, as in work and WP, not in the standard definition of once-in-a-while of that colloquialism. And anybody who’d spot those lions while driving, stop the car, and walk back to take the picture, I get.

  7. One line that Hot Lips once said on M*A*S*H* that I have never, ever forgotten was, “Respect, I expect nothing more and I’ll accept nothing less…”

    Love this post Ann. In the context of a doctor’s office, compassion and taking the time to answer questions in a way that I can understand and also reassurance, a hand on the shoulder, etc., matters to me.
    Diana xo

  8. Nice piece as always. And those zorro lions are brilliant!

  9. R-e-s-p-e-c-t …. to you Ann.
    Zorro lives 🙂

  10. In this cynical world it’s easy to believe those in the medical field are just out for the money with little care and concern for their patients. It’s nice to be reminded that you all are human too and that care and concern for other human beings does matter. Thank you.

  11. kellie@writingmoment

    It matters to me that you overcame your anxiety to speak at the work retreat. Good on you and good luck to your son 🙂

    • Thank you for bringing many things that matter to me, including kindness, acceptance, recognition, validation, hope, goodness, and luck!

  12. As a patient I am looked after by 3 specialists. Each is superb but their personalities are wildly different. One avuncular, one eccentric, forthright, sharp, the third like a good chum giving me good advice. All are humorous. I consider myself extremely fortunate even if 2 of them charge me a lot. The third gives me a retiree’s discount! So health matters to me today more than ever. Keeping my mind active is essential. My photography matters. And finally, I coach people from my old employer. I take a lot of satisfaction from helping others through the trials and tribulations of corporate life. Mostly they just need someone to bounce ideas off, maybe even a shoulder to moan on. They are all important to me. I want them to do better than I did. And in return I get……. respect.

  13. Pingback: Day 657: What Counts | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  14. Everything matters to me… It’s just a matter of prioritizing…

  15. Pingback: Day 659: Undone | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  16. Pingback: Money Don’t Matter Tonight | litebeing chronicles

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