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Life is too short.

I have a book in my library entitled “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” by Kristine and Richard Carlson and the title pretty much sums up the five words in the English language that have the power to make every-one’s lives better. If you don’t have the money to buy the book and can’t find it in the library – give me a call I will be happy to lend it too you – it is well worth the effort.

I don’t know if it is my job or something about me but I tend to attract the type of person who feels the need to unload in my presence. It isn’t a huge burden to me – my shoulders are broad and my back is strong – I don’t adopt their sorrow as my own and can usually give a great deal of empathy and perspective on a problem but… yes, there is always a but…

Often while listening to people’s problems, their anxieties, fears and stresses I can’t help but think of that little book in my library and wonder what life must be like for those people who can’t help but sweat the small stuff. There are people out there who get upset easily by minuscule issues and perceived slights that most would not even notice. These are people who if they are me are quick to anger and women who are quick to tear and sometimes women who are quick to anger and men who are quick to tear but usually the gender stereotypes are correct. They take every comment, every look, every action of another as a personal commentary towards them and it affects who they are, what they do and how they feel every single day. It can often be very painful to watch and very difficult to live with.

Can you imagine how much more enjoyable life would be if you never had to sweat over small stuff again? If you didn’t have to get upset about something someone else said or did or about what you thought they may have said or done? It can be done and usually this type of peace can be found through conciously remembering one small thing – not everything is about you. Seriously. People can be rude to you or do something thoughtless or inconsiderate and it doesn’t have to be a judgement call about you. Most of the time it has nothing at all to do with you and they don’t even realize what they have done. So while we are stewing over their action and why they did it, what it means and what they think of us, they are going on with there lives like nothing ever happened because to them – nothing did.

How many times have you been cut off in traffic and by the time you got to work you were in such a foul mood it ruins your whole day and perhaps even the day of everyone around you? Maybe the girl at the checkout counter was going too slow and you let your impatience start to show, snapping at her and stomping out of the store – maybe you even complaint to management. What about the server at the restaurant you went to for lunch? Did he screw up your order? Did you get onions on your burger when you specifically asked for none – did you get your food way later than the couple at the table next to you – the ones who came in after you already ordered? How did you react?

These examples are well – small stuff. They have nothing to do with you – maybe the guy in traffic was speeding to the hospital because his wife is in labour – maybe the cashier has a learning disability or just found out she is getting laid off and is wondering how she is going to pay her rent. Perhaps the server’s wife just left him for the mailman. You don’t know what other people’s motivations are, you don’t know what is going on in their lives but what I do know is that only you have the power to decide how you will let them affect you.

You can bitch, grumble and gripe about the small stuff all day – making mountains out of molehills and being miserable to yourself and others or you could choose to offer a smile and ignore it because what they do, say or feel has absolutely nothing to do with you. Even if they are trying to intentionally screw you over or ruin your day – do you really want to give them the satisfaction of succeeding? If they are that kind of person – wouldn’t it be more fun to NOT let them get to you?

Living well is always the best revenge and one of the greatest lesson I have learned in this tumultuous life I have led is that well – Life is just too damn short. With all of the major events and challenges we need to face – is it really worth wasting our precious time on the things that just don’t matter n the long run? Think of all of the great we can accomplish if we took all of the energy we spent complaining and put it to good use…

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 at 6:40 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

4 Responses to “Life is too short.”

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  2. excellent article,but i have some trouble in understanding the final paragraph, could you please describe a little bit indepth?

  3. Malik Bresse says:

    This post is great.

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