I have a relatively new computer; it should be working fine. But several weeks ago the touch pad weirded out, and I’ve lost control of my cursor. It’s maddening to watch helplessly as it slowly scoots past whatever I’m trying to click, and wanders off the screen.
I discovered that if I shut down, it functions normally for a few minutes. So for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been rebooting at least twice an hour. I intended to take it in to have it fixed, but with the passing of time, I’ve grown complacent. Sitting down to work this morning, I realized I’ve begun to ignore the problem, even to accept it as normal and work around it. And I’m struck by a surprising thought swirling around in my head telling me this is how it goes – things will break in my life, I need to just get used to it and make the best of what’s broken.
WHAT?! That’s crazy! I’ve been lulled by repetition into accepting a situation I could easily remedy if I’d just take action to fix it. And I can’t help but wonder – where else is that showing up in my life? How many other things have I gotten used to in their broken state? What else am I excusing, overlooking or compensating for?
Immediately, my mind leaps to the pile of family photos waiting to be framed and hung in our entryway. And the clothes sitting in my closet that need altering. And my car stereo that hasn’t worked properly for a long while. There are certainly bigger problems in the world – even in my own life. But for me, that’s what makes this dangerous.
The little stuff doesn’t get fixed, but it can still do plenty of damage. In this moment, I’m keenly aware of how much time and energy I’ve wasted on these gnatty ‘little’ things – and how much space I’ve allowed them to take up in my mind.
What could I accomplish with the extra time and energy I waste thinking about this stuff? Plus, wouldn’t life be more enjoyable with pictures hanging in my entry, pants that fit me, and a cursor that lets me click the thing I want to click?
These little things that seemingly don’t matter DO matter when they distract us from what we should be focused on instead. In fact, some of these things keep us from taking on the bigger things that are attached to our dreams. We say, “Yes, I want to do that, but first, I really need to _____.” But we don’t get to them, do we? We blink and another month has gone by – our complacency growing, while everything else stands still.
So we must absolutely sweat the small stuff! We’ve got to confront the things that derail our day, steal our peace and minimize our effectiveness. Beyond lingering projects – let’s confront our little worries and small offenses. Let’s deal with them swiftly and get on with our lives.
What’s keeping you from moving on to more important things? What have you grown complacent to? Because it’s not just a keyboard that doesn’t work or some pictures that you want to frame. It’s your time, energy, disposition and effectiveness. It’s your life!
Sometimes, to get to the big stuff, you gotta sweat the small stuff.