It’s the little things that add up

This week has been ‘one of those weeks’. It’s felt like what could go wrong, has gone wrong. Sickness, teenage dramas, accidents, computer failure, it’s had it all.

Do you ever find yourself feeling overwhelmed by the ‘little’ things? Sometimes, I think we are better handling the big things, rather than a lot of little things in a row.

The old adage about a slow drip making a hole in stone comes to mind. The relentless, constant dripping of the small things can undo us in the end.

The little things seem insignificant on their own. And they are. It’s the sum of them we have trouble with.

Anyone in counselling will tell you it’s not usually the ‘big’ issues that break up a marriage, turn people to drugs or alcohol, it’s the myriad of little things that have piled up over time.

And when it’s ‘little’ things, we look at others around us who may be experiencing ‘big’ things and we tell ourselves to ‘get over it’, ‘harden up’, ‘get it in perspective’ – none of which makes us feel better, in fact, usually we feel worse! (And here I must make a public apology to a person in my house – sorry for trying to give you a ‘reality check’ when you really just needed a hug.) We feel guilty and ungrateful and then we feel cross with ourselves! Doesn’t seem productive to me!

I wonder if, instead of ignoring it, and telling ourselves there are much bigger problems we could be having, we could just accept them and acknowledge they are real and affecting us. If we don’t take the time to either process it, or recognise that it had an impact, albeit small compared to the big issues of life, it’s easy to see how the small things add up.

Taking time out each day (which I’ve struggled to do this week!) can allow us the space to clear our mind and thoughts of those little things, and yes, gain some perspective on them, so they don’t add up and cause us to be stressed, overwhelmed and wishing the world would just go away for awhile (like me this week!).

Anyone else feel the strain of the little things?

5 thoughts on “It’s the little things that add up

  1. Interesting post, interesting timing for me to see it.

    I’m in a survival situation – the little things don’t matter. The little things are off the radar. Taking the next step, writing the next line is a challenge. Everything’s become an effort, mired in pain that I never thought I could deal with. Having no choice makes dealing with it possible.

    Puking blood, though…that’s a bit beyond the pale. I’ll never get used to that. I think.

    But my wife’s in the ‘normal world’. She tries to be empathetic, but it’s hard, and it’s unfair for me to expect her to fully walk this dark passage with me. Just as it’s unfair for me to be irritated when she is bothered by things that seem trivial to me.

    It’s different perspective, but there’s more. It’s also a call to mutual compassion, to realizing that being overwhelmed is a part of life, that there’s no situation that’s ‘more worthy’ of complaint, or ‘more noble’.

    It’s all just life.

    Does this make sense?

    Like

    • Makes perfect sense.

      When I came home from Thailand, where I was faced with the harsh reality for these girls, I had to keep reminding myself, that the small things were important because they were important to that person who it concerned. Whether I agreed it was a big deal or not didn’t matter. It’s all about mutual compassion, as you rightly say.

      Like

  2. Oh, brother, yes! Some weeks are like that. Sometimes it gets me so down, I need to have a cry. Other times, I laugh out loud at the ridiculousness of it. And I agree, it’s a series of little things, rather than one big honkin’ thing, that can get to you.

    Like

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