Monday, May 18, 2009

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff



Bug season is right around the corner. Yes, it's true - here in the American midatlantic, we deal with bugs from the beginning of June until just before Thanksgiving, depending on the weather. Right before the launch of bug season, it's hard to remember that in a matter of a couple of weeks, there will be buzzing, biting, stinging little annoyances nipping at my ankles every time I walk through the park. (There will also be the ethereal beauty of fireflies, butterflies, and the noble work of the honeybees. It's not like I am bothered by all insects.)

Winter, too, has its petty annoyances. The dry air, made drier by the way we heat our houses, means that almost every time I touch something from Thankgiving to Memorial Day, I'm likely to receive a nasty shock. Not so nasty that the memory sticks with me for very long, just enough to make me jump.

Bugs and shocks are such small things. Even during the earnest thrashings of youth, it's more or less easy to ignore them. What I'm finding as I advance through middle age is that the older I get, the less interested I am in sweating even the big stuff. People make mistakes (not just "them" - I do, too.) It's important to make amends, but after that? Let it go.

Don't sweat the small stuff and really, if possible, don't sweat the big stuff either, eh? Even just five years ago I would never have believed that middle age would find me almost mellow. Wow. Life is short. Enjoy.


Park police on their magnificent horses, just east of the Vietnam Memorial. See the geese behind them?

30 comments:

James Antonio Mittelnsteiger said...

hey you have a really interesting blog i like reading it sometimes. :)

SafariB said...

I so so needed that reminder not to sweat... i cant tell you Reya :) Its going on my little noticeboard right now!

Hugs

Bridget

John Hayes said...

The big stuff-- this too shall pass; less difficult to remember when the big stuff comes than it used to be, for sure. Lovely roses!

Joanne said...

So true, Reya. Amazing the changes in our thinking as the years pass and we go about our days. Have a nice pre-bug week!

René Wing said...

I always love the feeling I get when I click on to your blog... it's like rounding a corner and suddenly seeing-- those roses! I think what you said is so important to remember-- it isn't just "them" who make mistakes. We all do. We're all the same really.

Sandra Leigh said...

Hey, those are Canadian tourists behind the horses. Be nice to them. ;>)

Congratulations on your new award, Reya.

Merle Sneed said...

I second that emotion!

Reya Mellicker said...

Rene - We're definitely more alike than not alike. I think it's important to learn from things that go awry, but that thing about holding grudges or staying angry, that thing in me that was always outraged?

Who needs it?

Steve said...

A great reminder to keep things in perspective! Thanks!

K. said...

It's all small stuff.

K. said...

The Karnow history of Vietnam is essential reading. If you haven't already read them, I recommend

Our Vietnam (Langguth)
A Bright Shining Lie (Sheehan)
The Best And The Brightest (Halberstam)

The Langguth book is especially noteworthy as he was the first American historian allowed access to the Viet Cong war archives.

Meri Arnett-Kremian said...

So interesting -- I lived in the Maryland burbs for almost ten years and though I remember a few lightning bugs, I don't remember pesky bugs. Selective memory keeping, I guess.

ellen abbott said...

We saw some fireflies this weekend at the country house.

As usual Reya, I agree with you completely. As K. said, it's all small stuff.

Ronda Laveen said...

I am very much being tested in that arena of letting it go in the last 4-6 weeks. Let's see. First, the computer died and getting the new one up and running has been challenging with lots of small probs. The cars have had issues. Not huge, but still needed to be worked out. The cable box died...B.B. fur killed it. Air conditioner went down yesterday...our first 103 degree day. This morning washer quit spinning. Nothing apocalyptic just lots of annoying dits. Is something going into retrograde?

AquaSass said...

I am in my twenties, and though as a teen I saw this as the most glamorous, beautiful time of my life. Now, at 26, Im an Oprah addict in following all the glorious woman she has on her program. Though I am getting the most out of my twenties, enjoying the freedom of no children, traveling, eating crappy food on occation, drinking too much and smokin when I do....I am assured that the insecurity and obcessivness about things I cannot change will go away. Im looking forward to the body in my 30s, the self approval of my 40s and the wisdom of my 50s.

K. said...

I'm very happy to discover that I'm wise!

Lover of Life said...

Iknow - who knew? I would never have thought myself "mellow" but I didn't even react today with a, shall we say, hmmmmm "rude" driver? Ordinarily I would have called him much worse. :-)

Reya Mellicker said...

Aquasass - You're heading into your Saturn return. Everything is SO much better once you turn 30. The 30's are GREAT! In the meantime, though, live it up! I burned the candle at both ends and in the middle during my 20's. I do not regret all my experimentation. It'll make for a great chapter in my memoirs!

Ronda this is a frickin' hell of a Mercury retrograde. It'll all be over in two weeks. Keep breathing, sister!

Meri? Definitely selective memory!

K - Nice to "meet" you and thanks so much for the suggestions. The Vietnam war was like no other war this country has ever been involved in. No wonder it was such a mess. The Karnow book is incredible! When I get interested in something, I tend to dive deep. Thanks so much for the book ideas.

Reya Mellicker said...

Ellen and Joanne, yes all of it is small, though some of it is smaller than other bits, yes?

willow said...

Wow, those are gorgeous horses. You know, I don't like to sweat at all. Nice post.

willow said...

And, hey, what a fabulous new avatar! wow-eee!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

like the new reya pic...

no sweat!

Lisa said...

yes, the small stuff, i know all about it- Have been almost in depression land of late but have stopped it before it got too close, which explains why i haven't been around the blogs recently- but i have missed you and your images and your 'mellowness'- and i have some reading to do xx

Ladybug said...

20s, 30s, 40s, 50s and now 60s; hey all great, all different, filled with learning and you always come out the other side, small stuff or large. So yeah, don't sweat!

Love it - and your new pic is great, even full size! LBx

Alyson and Ford said...

Yes, the older we are the more we can forgive and relax (well, except having a 2 year around! Then giggles are in order constantly!). Making mistakes is my problem! But it is not our lot to worry, so you are right; no sweating, enjoy life!

Alyzabeth's Mommy for Eight Months

Natalie said...

Ladies do not sweat,they GLOW. :D

Reya Mellicker said...

Natalie you made me laugh.

hele said...

eeesh can't i rather run around the small stuff until i am way too sweaty and tired to care about the big stuff?

i am trying to imagine a world without an existential crisis...and its makes me feel slightly damp under the armpits.

karen said...

I don't want to tell you about our bugs we get here! I wish I could stop sweating the any-stuff... good to be reminded sometimes x

janis said...

I need that reminder today about , "dont sweat the small stuff" I have let it overwhelm me laterly!