(Originally written March 23, 2012, but not posted)
I am alternately amused, annoyed and perplexed at how much I, and others around me, can fuss about the most insignificant things. I remember a discussion not too long ago about what color to paint a room in our home. That decision was preceded by high-level negotiations about the necessity of a wall border, and ultimately which border to choose since he had to have his way about having one – oops, “someone” apparently still has some energy on that! The scene entertained the staff at the wallpaper store (they actually asked us to come back the following week), though I considered seeking a peace accord from NATO.
My standard comment to someone who bumps me with their grocery cart or walks in front of me is, “No worries. Compared to world peace, how important is it?” But when it came to that room, the color of the paint and that darn wall border, I had to at least have my way in something. Or perhaps it would be more correct to say my ego needed it.
Life is about perspective. I can assure you that as I sat in my father’s hospital room this week the last thing on my mind was the weeding and cleanup I need to do on what will become our meditation shade garden. I was focused on my father’s issues, not mine. Though the chores still need doing (Pennsylvania Dutch grammar for those of you not here locally), I’m not going to get a pimple over it.
That saying comes from a friend of mine years ago who would listen quietly as I ranted and raved about the “issue du jour” and, when I was done, draw slowly on her cigarette and say, in her raspy voice while shaking her cigarette and ashes in my direction, “You’re gonna get a pimple. Uh-huh….you are.” Then she’d go back to drinking her Tuaca* (straight up, of course, no ice) and smoking while nodding her head knowingly. I hated it when she did that. It also annoyed me that she was right. My issues were normally pretty stupid to be all hot and bothered about. But I was 25 years old, and everything was an issue!
The next time you are faced with a situation that annoys you, whether it’s the actions of someone else, a world event or your own foibles, stop and ask yourself one question: “How important will this be in five years?” Our egos will insist on us being right and getting our way, but at what cost? Is it really all that important? Will worrying, fretting and getting angry solve anything?
Stop, take a deep breath and take stock of what is really important in your life. We’ve all heard the counsel “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” Here’s a news flash: In the grand scheme of things, it’s all small stuff.
In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,
*Tuaca – I know someone will ask…It’s a citrus, vanilla liqueur that looks a little like old motor oil and tastes a lot like battery acid. It’s to be sipped, not slammed. Trust me on this.