How many times have you heard the saying “Don’t sweat the small stuff?”
In theory, I get it. There are big problems in the world. HUGE problems in the world. And by comparison, my life is a cakewalk.
The problem is that my life is mostly made of small stuff.
I don’t worry about food, clothing, shelter, or survival. My family and friends are healthy and the tragedies in my life have been few and far between. For all of that, I am beyond thankful. But sometimes, when your life is nothing is nothing but small stuff, the small stuff can drive you mad.
My husband has been out of town for the past two weeks, except for two days. That means I get to play single parent. For the most part, it’s somewhat enjoyable. The house is quiet during the day and I feel like I can get ahead of dishes and laundry. BUT…
Mornings have been rough. I’m not a morning person. At all. So I struggle with making myself functional, getting my son up and ready for school, and get ready when I have a day of meetings.
Oh, and I have to walk the dogs.
I have two high maintenance dogs that require long walks several times a day during the bitter cold and wind. More than once, I’ve caught myself swearing and cursing and wondering why we couldn’t have highly trainable dogs. Or a fenced in yard.
My husband is home for a while which certainly eases some of the burden of household management but then other small stuff creeps in.
About three weeks ago, I had scheduled my son’s 9th birthday party at a nearby laser tag place. Unfortunately, it was scheduled for the same weekend as the storm of the century. They cancelled yet refused to refund my deposit instead that I had to reschedule even though no weekend dates were available for over a month.
That’s how I came to prepare for a 9 year old birthday party on President’s Day. The kids are off school and most people don’t plan a party in the middle of a Monday, so the date was wide open. No worries. I just needed to get a new cake and all would go forward as planned.
Here’s comes more small stuff.
I went to a grocery store a few weeks ago and asked them about ordering a birthday cake with a Star Wars theme. No worries, the baker assured me, we only need about 24 hours notice to get something made. I reminded her that Star Wars is pretty popular so I didn’t want them to run out of the theme. No worries, again. We always have plenty of them in stock!
So I went to the same grocery store on Saturday to order the cake and (mock surprise!) they were OUT of the Star War decorations! I was more than a little mad. But trying to keep my composure, I called another grocery store that made our last Star Wars cake.
I told them I wanted to place an order for pickup on Monday morning. During the storm? this baker said in a panicked voice. What storm? I asked. I had heard a forecast for some snow but it felt like people were preparing for another snowpocalypse. I agreed to an earlier pickup time only to find out they, too, were out of the Star Wars decorations.
With the threat of more weather and the lack of a simple cake to satisfy a 9 year old crowd, I was wondering if this party was not meant to happen.
But there was one more thing that made me sweat. And it didn’t feel like small stuff.
I was gathering my son’s laundry (the one chore I HATE – this should teach me not to do laundry) and set my phone on top of the laundry while I carried the basket downstairs. A short while later, I was searching for my phone and when I couldn’t hear it anywhere, I knew something was wrong.
Yes, my iPhone 6 was placed in the washing machine and endured 30 minutes of the wash cycle which, as you may have guessed, has rendered it useless. I have insurance so after $75 and two days I should be back in business. It still doesn’t help that pit in my stomach.
Some days are better than others. Some days, the lady at the bakery makes me upset. Some days, I destroy a $600 phone. Some days, I feel like I can’t handle it all and I watch military reunion videos because I just need an emotional release and can’t make myself cry otherwise.
And then I stop and give thanks for everything good in my life. Warm puppies to cuddle with me at night. A son who’s still happy and healthy after 9 years. And a little piece of technology that’s easily replaced. I guess it is small stuff and I shouldn’t let it make me sweat.