Pesky Little Things

Things went a little crazier than anticipated last night and I ended up working late again. The good news is that I didn’t panic or stress at all about my todo list that was being completely neglected. I told myself that I would wake up tomorrow (today) and get a bunch of stuff done and feel better. I managed to not stress even a tiny bit and I was so proud of myself.

This morning I woke up and exercised and then I sat down to journal. Just as I began, I received an email about something technical that was suddenly going to require my attention. Something I really didn’t want to have to deal with but I was already stressing about it before I even finished reading the email. I sighed. Here I was ready for a calm, quiet day and this one was already going downhill and it wasn’t even 6:30AM.

Since it happened right as I was journaling, I decided it would be a good time to see if I could journal this new problem out of my system. I don’t understand how these things happen daily, I wrote down.

And then I realized the truth. I wrote, Then again maybe it’s just a sign that small annoying things do indeed happen daily and I need to find a way to let it go. Because if I let all the little things get to me then I will surely stress every single day.

We all know that’s not sustainable.

So I then told myself that I had to find a way out. A way to let all these little things go. I needed to find a way to allow these small incidents to flow in and out of my life without letting them disturb and stress me to the extent they seem to.

I journaled some more about specific ideas on how I could resolve this particular problem. It came with a lot of unknowns – which I am not a fan of. And it also depended on other people’s choices which meant there was little I could do to fix it – another situation I dislike. But alas, that’s life. Many things happen all the time that I cannot control, know, or fix. The more I grow up, the more these occur. I have kids, a husband, a home, a job. I am surrounded by things outside of me and bigger than I can conquer alone. I will need to find a peaceful way to deal with the fact that things will not always go exactly my way.

Indeed, I am now convinced, we will have small things go wrong every single day. It’s just life.

And such, I’ve decided to let them go. I will do what I can to resolve them, move them forward, eliminate what I can and then I will just accept the rest with grace and patience. I will not let it determine the quality and content of my day.

I have faith that the rate at which these things resolve themselves will not change with my new attitude. What will change is my personal happiness and sense of peace.

And I certainly would never turn away peace.

So after journaling some ideas and implementing a few of them, I just let this little problem go. Later in the day, I got a response and I did a few more things to resolve it and then I let it go again. I am hoping and planning to do that again and again until the issue is resolved one way or another.

In the meantime, I am pretty sure something new will come up tomorrow and I hope I will have the grace to handle that the same way. Letting the little stuff go has never been my strong suit. But I am realizing that the amount of stress these little things can add up to is considerable and that investing in learning how to let them go is very worthwhile.

So I am officially working on it. Time to walk more firmly and consistently in the direction of peace.

12 comments to Pesky Little Things

  • That’s a great perspective to have!

  • Indeed! That’s the truth -we have to just allow these little things to permeate our days – I don’t make my days completely full because I know that there will always be the curved balls…they are still annoying though…

  • Cheryl

    I’m not sure where I heard this so my apologies for plagiarizing….life should be equated with “chaos”.

  • Lezlee

    Just wanted to say – “YAY, YOU!” 😉

  • Thanks for the little reminder on this. January has been sort of hectic around here and everyday I feel like I’m sort of losing my grip on getting everything done AND staying somewhat serene. I just have to remember to CHOOSE light, choose staying above it, choose just doing what I can and sort of being okay with handing the rest over. Thanks so much for your perspective.

  • Ann

    My friends and I call this living within our hula hoops. There’s not much outside the diameter of a hula hoop that I can control, despite any delusions to the contrary. It gets easier with practice to just do the footwork and let go of the outcomes. And as another of my friends says when other people’s chaos seems so urgent, “don’t just do something, sit there!” It’s amazing how often crazy-making people will move on to the next person on their emergency list if they don’t get an immediate drama-gratification from me. Of course, that means I don’t get to be their hero; instead I have to be my own hero. That’s substantially harder.

  • Mel

    Inspiring. Thannk you for taking time to write this down. You make me think I can let go of little things too. I shall try.

  • Angie Menegay

    Good job Karen. I know it’s not easy. My personality is similar where I get very anxious, frustrated, and outright depressed (sometimes) when there are things that I have little control over and cannot change. And often they’re just the little things. As you said, the best thing to do is to let them come and go without disturbing your inner peace. It’s an ongoing practice, and it will get better with time.
    Take care! I truly enjoy your writing on these subjects!

  • PatP

    Hi Karen,

    You’re doing great just by recognizing it and reminding yourself to let go! One of the best things about getting older is that this does get easier. And I loved that you said “The more I grow up”. I think that’s when you’re truly a grown up, when you realize that you’re always a work in progress, always growing up. (I’ve been discussing maturity and being a grown up with my 13 year old grand daughter lately, and at that age you definitely have a different perspective on that!)

    Have a wonderful low stress weekend!


  • Allie.Duckienz

    Just a question for you to ponder. Do you start work before 6.30am? Were you on call? If the answer is no then what about not looking at work email until the time you start work? You need to have the freedom to journal without interruption. If you went into an office you wouldn’t have seen that email until you started. Perhaps you could allow yourself that same respect from your home office?

    • karenika

      thank you for the kind suggestion 🙂 Actually i do start work early some of the time. i am responsible for builds on a rotation so when it’s my turn i am pretty much on all the time. otherwise I don’t look at my work email until I am done with my morning routine. back when i worked “at work” I still checked my mail at home 🙂 having said all of that, this was actually a technical matter about my blog. Alas, it is, of course, resolved now! 🙂 thank you again for looking out for me, i deeply appreciate it.

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