In my book, I wrote that many of the things that happen to us seem like catastrophes at the time, but end up as funny stories later. When I say this, I’m not talking about the big stuff; I’m talking about the inconveniences like traffic, canceled flights, and the like.
I received this note from a reader, “Saturday night, my husband and I hosted three couples for movies & milkshakes. I had just been recommending your book to them and as I held down the lid to keep the milkshake in the blender, my elbow accidentally knocked over an entire cup of milkshake I had poured just before. I laughed and related your story about your honeymoon fiasco and your lesson about laughing now instead of just later — and my own story about how we almost showed up at the wrong airport for our honeymoon!”
I thanked her and pointed out the irresistible pun, that in addition to laughing, she was also not crying over spilled milkshake. I also realized she was also showing the way not to sweat the small stuff. The oft forgotten subtitle of the wonderful book, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” is “and it’s all small stuff.” Author Richard Carlson knew there were some big things that we deal with, but he wanted us to realize that almost everything that comes our way is small stuff.
We had a good laugh recently when Marcie and I were in our kitchen. Someone had left the almond milk on the counter and Marcie wanted some. She grabbed the container and shook it only to find the cap hadn’t been properly secured. The result was a face full of almond milk for Marcie. After a moment of hesitation, she and I both laughed. I was happy to be laughing because laughing feels good, but also because it beats the alternative.
I’m not suggesting perfection. If I had a dollar for every time I sweated the small stuff, every time I cried over something like spilled milk, every time I let frustrations get the better of me, I would have a large pile of dollars. There are plenty of things that are frustrating, but Carlson was right when he said they are all small stuff, and if we can slow down enough to recognize when they occur, life will be better for us and everyone around us.
How do you deal with your “spilled milk” situations? Join the conversation with your comments…