Reflecting on the Bigger Things

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John visits us every couple of months for lawn maintenance services. In his late sixties, he always has that aura of sunshine around him, perennially wearing a smile on his face. Usually, he does the yard treatment, sticks on the receipt to the door knob, and leaves. Sometimes when I am out, we have a little chit-chat about the weather, how our families are doing, or about the football games he loves to watch.

One May morning, I was not in the best of moods and was almost racing into the driveway, not noticing that John was around. He read my mind really fast, exclaiming, “Good morning Ma’am! Doesn’t seem to be a good day for you!” Sure it was not.

I complained to John about the multiple trips I had to make to the hardware store that morning. First, I had gotten a light fixture that was not of the right type for the kitchen ceiling. I made a second trip to get it exchanged, only to come back home and discover upon opening the box that it was broken! So it was the third time that I was out. I was totally exasperated! John smiled and asked, “I know it’s not been an easy day, but will this incident of the bad morning bother you a year from today? If not, just relax.”

It was a simple question, but it made me go into a deep thought process. So true! We often fret and complain about little incidents that over a few days are completely erased from our minds. Why do we scream our heads off, and why can’t we let go of those simple things that go wrong: having to drive the child to school because he missed the bus, the burned food on the stove that tasted awful, the microwave breaking down, the juice spilling on the couch! There could be worse incidents with much larger ramifications!

I know it is easier said than done. In this busy 21st century carousel of human existence, where every day seems like a competitive race with a plethora of worries weighing on the mind, it is natural to lose patience and break the calm. But we will certainly be in a happier and more peaceful state of mind if we looked at the bigger canvas of life and didn’t sweat over the small stuff! Now should I take a deep breath and relax? Probably I should!


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