Don't sweat the small stuff.
I think all of us have someone we view as immortal. That person is incapable of being taken from us. He or she always has been and always will be around. Then all of the sudden he or she is not there.
This year marks the third year my family has spent without my dad's mom, Nita. She was one of my best friends. Every year around this time I find myself getting moody and grouchy, but I can never immediately place my hand on why.
Three years ago, my grandmother was taken from our family very suddenly. I distinctly remember her making a comment in passing after my graduation that her back had been bothering her. Not long after, she was scheduled to have back surgery for a disc problem. The morning of her surgery, her doctor mentioned something about a medicine swap he was going to make that would not cause additional complications to her lung cancer. Everyone in the room was speechless. The cat was out of the bag.
My grandmother had neglected to inform anyone of her diagnosis with Mesothelioma, a rare form of lunch cancer that has no known cure. She passed away a week and a half before I started my freshman year of college.
She had been diagnosed more than three years prior but had decided to keep it a secret since she did not want to undergo any form of treatment. She wanted to let nature take its course and the last thing she wanted was a pity party while it happened. She was a strong woman who was always strong for her family. She didn't want us to worry. She didn't want to spend her last years treating a disease without a cure.
Nita chose to live out her last years doing just that - living. My grandmother was always a risk taker who never backed down from a challenge. She met life face-on and was up for anything that might come her way.
The most beautiful thing about her strength was how quietly it entered a room, never begging for some loud introduction. Even though she was one of the strongest women I have every known, she was not aggressive and forceful. She didn't have to flex her power to prove to those around her that she was a strong and capable woman. She never talked about how strong she was. She just did stuff that showed her strength in ways words never could accurately communicate.
She didn't just talk about ways to help people. She met needs as she saw them.
She didn't just talk about all of her goals and aspirations. She went out and tried her hardest knowing that God's plan was a little better than hers in the end and that everything was going to work out.
But the one thing that I think she nailed on the head better than most of us do is how she dealt with failure, worry and setbacks etc.
Her motto was, "Don't sweat the small stuff."
Mind you, all things in her mind, unless they were going to prevent the sun from rising the next day, counted as small stuff. She was always quick to put things in perspective for me when I was upset or in trouble for doing something wrong.
She constantly reminded me that my worry and doubt were futile in the grand scheme of things. I am naturally a worrier, so this was a point she had to drive home often.
No matter was thrown her way, she would simply say, "Don't sweat the small stuff."
Even things such as a grand daughter, who was always scheming something, flooding the bathtub after creating an in-house wave pool full of bubbles counted as small stuff her mind.
Her ability to face adversity with collected strength still baffles me to this day.
Did she get scared? Of course.
Did she have doubts? You betcha' she did.
She acknowledged those thoughts openly and immediately dismissed them knowing they were nothing more than a scare tactic to make her lose sight of the bigger picture. That bigger picture being that maybe this world is a little grander than what she was facing in that moment.
She lived her life knowing that each of our days are a gift not to be taken for granted. She refused to let futile things steal those small gifts from her. She was present with those around her, giving them her undivided attention.
To put it simply, she lived.
In today's world I fear we spend a grand chunk of our time worrying about stuff that really doesn't matter that much now and really won't matter at all in five years, five months or even five minutes from now. Then we spend another chunk of our time distracted by everything that is grabbing for our attention. I wonder what would happen if we all just took a moment to stop "sweating the small stuff," put down our phones/ipads/computers/tablets/whateverothercoolgadgetyoucanthinkof and just lived a bit.
As I think back on why I have been a grumposaur for the last few weeks, I would like to say I am sorry if you have come in contact with me, and I have been unpleasant or rude to you. ( I probably have been )
I miss my grandmother more than I can put into words. She was one of my best friends and taught me more about life and how to live to the fullest potential than she probably ever knew.
But while I miss her dearly, I know that what she would really want is to see me not sitting around wondering and worrying about every little thing that comes my way. She would want me to live and grab challenges as they come.
Awesome stuff can get done when we trade in our worry energy with innovation. Stop giving worry the right to hang out without paying rent.
Don't sweat the small stuff. And go do stuff.
Have a blessed week, friends.