I, like many people, have a tendency to overreact sometimes. Maybe more than the average person. I have screamed bloody murder upon stubbing my toe, not because that’s how badly it hurt, but simply out of frustration of what seemed like a multitude of things going wrong in one day. I admit, sometimes, I let my emotions drive me and consume me, making little frustrations a bigger deal than they really need to be.
But I have been reading a book called “Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff (And It’s All Small Stuff)” by Richard Carlson, and it’s been helping me a lot. Each chapter is a short few paragraphs about exercises we can practice in order to gain a little perspective on our problems and learn to deal with life as it comes and live in the moment. I’m almost done with it, and a common theme I’m seeing is “present-day living,” the concept that if you are not thinking about past events or possible future events, you are more able to enjoy the moment where you are, everyday. At the same time, it’s important to think, “Will this matter in 100 years?” Once you think this, it’s hard to get too upset about nearly everything that happens to us.
I would even go as far as to say, “Will this matter next week?” Too often, I find myself freaking out over things I literally will not remember 5 days from now. I do have an extraordinarily bad memory, but I guess that helps me, because imagine all the past hurts and anxieties I would dwell on if I remembered more! If I just took the time to think before I react, I could save a ton of energy and the feelings of the people around me. Kurt asking me nicely to sweep the floor because he had a super rough day at work even though it’s his turn does not warrant an argument. If I want to be more peaceful, I need to recognize that I have the power to react to things positively or negatively, then use that power for good. And yes, mom, I know that you tried to teach me this my entire childhood. You have succeeded. This book has not replaced you. I’m glad you taught me this. It just never sunk in before because I was an ornery teenager. I think it’s just now clicking because I am becoming more of an adult. I think the first step to maturity is recognizing you have a problem. Sorry it took so long.