Saturday, January 10, 2009

Sweating the Small Stuff

     I have always tried to live by the simple idea of not sweating the small stuff. I mean, I am a little tubby so I sweat a lot, but that is not what we are talking about here. We are talking about not getting all hot and bothered over small, insignificant happenings in life. You are supposed to let that stuff slide because in the end the small events are rather insignificant. Like, the fact that your dog jumps up on your Boss Hogg Halloween costume with muddy paws isn't going to create a major life event. Or the fact that you drop one of your plates on the floor and it breaks isn't going to mean that your existence is going to be worse off when it all comes to it. But you know what? There is another saying. It goes like this: The straw that breaks the camel's back. That one means that small and seemingly insignificant things when piled up can cause great impacts. Like super light pieces of straw piled on the back of a camel. Or like raindrops. Or like a million billion locusts that cruise in and all the sudden your sorghum crop is all gone. That is the idea behind the straw that breaks the camel's back. So sometimes, if you don't sweat the small stuff it leads to something bigger. So lately I have been stuck in between these two simple sayings. Because I am doing my best as usual to not sweat the small stuff, but lately I think that the back of the proverbial camel is about to break. I am definitely sweating the small stuff lately.
     This bothers me. It bothers me that I am getting all worked up over such small events. I could sprout off the list here for you but I think that I would be ashamed, because they are all such small and petty things that have happened that I just couldn't face myself to actually whine about them in public. Expecially because I know so many people who have had it so much worst. Like Mom-Away-From-Mom, with all the illness and passings on that she has had to deal with in the last three years or so. When I compare my trifling little issues with that it's nothing whatsoever. I've got it really good. But it's all a matter of perspective, isn't it? And the only perspective that you see once you start sweating the small stuff if the very narrow perspective that takes in everything from your head to your feet. And that's it. You don't notice the massive floods ripping through the valley down below because you are too focused on the slight drip that is coming down from the roof into the attic. Would you like another quaint saying? You can't see the forest for the trees. How do you feel about that?
     I feel pretty bad. And not bad for myself, just bad overall. Because there really are a lot of other people that are constantly going through worse things that I will ever have to, God willing. And when it comes right down to it my life isn't going to be any worse off because my crappy bike was stolen, or because my ancient dresser that was mine since I was but a little boy and was my dad's when he was but a little boy broke when I tried to mut my underroos away yesterday morning, or because I broke one dish out of the set of four that I got when I first got out of college and just started using finally and now I don't have complete service for four anymore so I have to use my old plates when I have company, or that some girl put an eight-inch dent in the fender of my DykeSedan. Because none of that stuff really matter. I am healthy. I am not broke, yet. I have a job. I have the means to serve four people at one time in my apartment that is kind of crappy by modern American standards yet is still remarkably comfortable compared to what I could be living in if I were in Tajikistan or on a Pacific island after a typhoon went through. So I shouldn't complain. Nay, I can't complain. Because I've got it good. So let the sweat dry and evaporate and let the truth of the matter cleanse my soul. No longer shall I sweat the small stuff. Until the camel's back breaks, that is.

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