So Small

So, there is a Carrie Underwood song that I have never really been in love with, called "So Small," which discusses how sometimes we make a really big deal of really small things and we fail to see what's really important.

Despite not loving the song (and I really can't say why, it's not a bad song), I was thinking about it this week.  How we have those moments of clarity in life where we see the things that truly matter and that the rest of everything else is the noise that distracts us from it.

My husband is going through this to an extent right now.  Some health issues in his family have created cause for alarm, and have suddenly made some of the other things we have been facing seem insignificant in comparison.

I remember reading in the Anne of Green Gables series as a child a scene where, Anne as an adult in college in the third book, is torn about a decision and asks herself what she will wish she had done when she was 80 years old.  It gave her perspective.  I have often since, throughout my teenage years and adulthood, used that same thinking when facing a "crisis."  Will this matter when I am 80?  Will it even matter next year?  If not, then let's keep it in perspective.

Carrie Underwood sings, "Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing is just a grain of sand."  How often do we overlook the truly important things because we are blinded by a grain of sand?

I use this for myself even today.  I am carrying a heavy load.  I am in school full time right now trying to power through the next 9 weeks until graduation.  I just accepted a promotion at work, requiring me to learn an entirely new process and take on new responsibilities.  My husband has been laid off and I am currently the single income in my household.  I sometimes even have a hard time thinking beyond the current week or I become overwhelmed.  But then I realize, these things, even if they all fall apart, are small things.  My family is healthy.  I am healthy.  Mistakes made today can be corrected tomorrow.  Failures that I encounter are not an end result but rather part of the process.  Many of my largest problems can be resolved by direct communication or a few hours of focusing on a problem, or even a night of solid sleep.

Choosing this healthy sense of perspective gives me a high threshold for stress.  The day to day burdens, even when heavy, become less overwhelming when you realize in the larger scheme of things it's not what matters.  Even if I failed grad school or dropped out today, the world would go on, my life would go on, and everything would be okay.  It doesn't make it less important, it just lends it the perspective that it needs.

When you start to see what really matters, brushing aside all of the noise, as Carrie says, "it sure makes everything else seem so small."

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