Mattering to Yourself…


Dear Reader:

The garden is teaching me valuable lessons in humility and just “being”…mattering to myself and not depending on others to define me.

Take this beautiful lily, it has just completed one full cycle of life… from blooming (back in early spring) to producing new buds once again and re-emerging in hot July… and its blooms are just as beautiful as in May.

Flowers don’t bloom to leave a lasting impact about their very existence on others…they simply live their life activity versus the outcome, their existence versus their impact.

Haven’t we known people, friends, who were terrified of retiring from their careers, because, in their opinion, it meant losing their relevancy and impact in their carefully constructed world? Some of the retirement blues stem from the thought that  extra time might actually force them to stop and re-introduce themselves to themselves…

Every day I walk over to the passion flower vine, filled with buds about to burst open, to hopefully see them all blooming at the same time. To date it hasn’t happened…perhaps it will or perhaps the buds will just fall from the stem… the vine doesn’t know that its potential blooms are having such an impact of anticipation on me….it is simply being what it is. And regardless of future blooms or not…it is beautiful just the way it is…at this very moment.

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Aren’t we all guilty of living our lives, at some point or another, for the impact we wish to establish/and/ leave in order to justify our very existence?

We hear retirees say things like “I just want to stay relevant.” The problem is “relevant to what…to whom?” Shouldn’t our mere existence be enough to be relevant to those we love and who love us back….to God our Creator?

Irrelevancy can bring with it the opportunity to finally be free to be who we really are. We can discover that adjusting to not being that important (as defined by our jobs and society)   matters more than mattering.

We need to get to the point that we can listen to a problem and not feel like we have to jump right in and solve it…alongside the understanding that we, perhaps, could spend our time better connecting to a stranger, sitting across from us on a subway, while he tells his story and we simply listen and give him our precious gift of time.

Yesterday…Cindy sent me an interesting article on the lives of Jeremiah Dixon and Charles Mason, British astronomers and surveyors, who produced the famous survey line…today known, as the Mason-Dixon line. (* Monday was Jeremiah Dixon’s birthday…July 27, 1733….thus the impetus for the article.)

I erroneously thought (at one time) that perhaps the two surveyors who drew this famous line separating (what is today) four U.S.  states….Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and West Virginia… consisted of a northerner and southerner.

Instead…both men were British and they left England to perform this task for the Royal Crown…(since this famous survey line was completed a decade before the cry for independence was even heard in America.)

Thus…there was no way either man could possibly know the future impact that this famous Mason-Dixon line would come to symbolize by the time of the Civil War….becoming a cultural boundary between the U.S. North and the South.


Like Mason and Dixon…we should simply live our lives to the best that we can and not worry about future impacts concerning ourselves and/or uncontrollable situations we find ourselves in.

I am sure both Jeremiah Dixon and Charles Mason, if given the opportunity, would rather have been remembered for their astrological interests than a surveying project. They were both “star gazers” who preferred the vastness of the universe over restrictive boundaries and lines here on planet Earth.

So until tomorrow let us write a memo/ reminder to ourselves to live each day of our lives fully…without worrying about future impacts we wish or hope to leave…life is intended to be lived in the “now“…not the “perhaps.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

download* “And we’re off!” The “groupie” Ya’s are off to see the Wonderful Wizard-James Taylor in concert tonight in Columbia! We are having lunch today at the Palmetto Club….thanks to Brooke’s beautiful sweetheart of a stepdaughter’s generosity…Thank you Cara!

And then everyone is meeting at Jackson’s for a pre-concert gathering with food/drink/fun…even brother Ben is bravely going where no man has gone before …with the Ya’s to the concert!

We’re spending the night at Jackson’s and will head back later Thursday…will share some of the antics surrounding this nostalgic two day get-away with you in Friday’s blog.




About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to Mattering to Yourself…

  1. Johnny Johnson says:

    Have fun and be safe! Should be a good concert. I hope it’s at the Township Auditorium because the acoustics are really good there. You will be very close to where my Son lives too and he majored in Music at Carolina but went back to dchool and is now a Dental assistant for a pediatric Dentistry practice in Columbia. James Taylor normally does a concert with just he and his guitar. So you get him at his best without anything or anyone’s assistance. Purely James and that to me shows off his artistry the best! ENJOY!


  2. Becky Dingle says:

    I certainly plan on it….my nephew Lee who plays jazz guitar…and writes music for movies majored in music/jazz at Carolina.


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