“No human thing is of serious importance.” -Plato “The Republic”
It is the small things in our days that open us to both the breakthroughs and breakdowns in positivity. I love lazy Saturday mornings when I can wake up when my body is ready and leisurely choose among the activities that I know make me feel good. This morning was easy and as I moved from exercise to meditation, gratitude and contentment about my home and life wasn’t something I had to look for, it just stayed with me.
Then as the house and its many teenagers started to come to life, the peace of my morning routine and the demands of the day interrupted the feeling of ease. There weren’t any big issues, just a long line of little ones. The clean uniforms found, the bagels toasted, dogs fed, driving negotiations, and still everything seemed good. I didn’t have to move my positivity wristband once.
Just as I often forget to notice and relish the little things in life that make it so wonderful, I am often surprised by the little things that turn into huge arguments without me seeing them coming. Today, even as all the little details came together, it was my daughter’s oversight in her purchasing her textbooks that sent me over the edge.
It is a small thing, double copies of textbooks, just more details to attend to but in this case, it was a small thing that I encumbered with bigger meaning. My response involved much more than the book problem, which quickly escalated into an argument about carelessness and responsibility. So many arguments start with small things that have nothing to do with the actual conversation that needs to happen.
I did need to have a conversation with her about developing boundaries and fiscal responsibility , but unfortunately the argument about the book sidetracked the real things I wanted to say and just created unnecessary bad feelings. I took a perfectly good Saturday morning and created a stressful mess, while losing the opportunity to actually work out a problem.
What we do with the small things, whether they are the little pleasures that make life positive or the small inconveniences that can easily become a big annoyance, is all in our head. In the end, most of life is made up of small things. Learning to savor and appreciate the comfort and revel in the pleasure of some and not attach the emotion and storyline to the tedious is the ground work for having positivity last all day long. Lesson learned.