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Things matter to me.

Like that first sentence. It’s incorrect. It’s incomplete. Things matter *too much* to me.

Now it is correct.

I have had my bouts with milk. I have lost all of them. And cried when they spilled. The only positive that has come from milk containers is the printout of the expiration date.

“Mar10”, it once said. “That’s my name!” I replied to the container that would most likely end up in the pantry. Or on the floor.

Since then, I have celebrated “Mario day” each year. Every time, I try to do something memorable for myself. Past years have included opening a Twitter account and announcing when Tina was pregnant two years ago. Both events were life-changing.

More importantly, both things mattered. As does everything, with me.

This year was going to be perfect. Mar10, 2014 was going to line up perfectly with my 1,000th tweet as well as some things I have been writing for a long time. Planets aligned, tweets were counted, calculated, and held back.

And nothing life-changing occurred.

Work swallowed me for the past week. Deadlines I wanted to hit for my own personal goals were all missed. Pile after pile piled onto my piles until I was left under one pile. I don’t even think an archaeologist could verify the age of each pile, as the lines between layers are all blurred now.

This bothered me. It still bothers me. It makes me angry and upset to write this because it bothers me. It makes me upset that things matter so much to me.

Unfortunately, even that is a lie. It doesn’t make me upset that I care so much. It may be an extreme annoyance and disappointment at times, but it doesn’t bother me. In fact, it is what I consider my best quality.

I care.

I really really care.

I care that I don’t have something important to say on a Monday in March. I care that things I have worked towards personally had to put on hold. I care that I might lose Billy Hamilton in my fantasy draft. I care that I might have to take Jeter out of gratitude.

I’ve had this conversation with Tina hundreds of times, and she phrases it more poetic than I. Where I call it “unnaturally and unhealthy level of caring,” she calls it “passion”. We both have it.

And so does Hayley.

That is my biggest accomplishment. The single greatest flaw in my personality is also the thing about which I am most proud, and I see it every day in my little legacy. She is determined beyond comprehension, a level of stubborn that borders on conviction. She is strong-willed. She is tough.

She is passionate.

She will cry when she spills her milk. She will laugh when daddy slips on it and falls. She will care way too much about things that don’t really matter. But she will always love hard.

In fact, she won’t cry at the milk, because she laughs about how she spills it on her own accord. She won’t laugh at daddy, because she will come over and ask if I need a “Kees?”, because she cares about me. She will do what she pleases because she works hard for the outcome.

She will do great things.

Hopefully, I will too. I just need to learn from her and meet my next deadline.

As always, thank you for reading.

And thank you for caring.