Divorce is one huge, full-blown-life-altering meltdown of everything we thought was solid ground. But divorce is something else: it’s an overwhelming mess of thousands of frustrating petty annoyances. …. like when your ex is late on his support payment every month or when he keeps texting you about stupid stuff, or when he seems to somehow shove his wonderful life in your face all the time.
Here’s something I read not long ago that might help us with this problem of the little stuff that drives us crazy in the course of everyday life …. divorce or not. Alexandra Stoddard writes about living the beautiful life… in fact she has a book by that title. Here’s a statement she makes that’s worth thinking about: “When something small is right, you can then forget about it and think about more lofty ideas. I pay attention to the little things; when they’re right, they shore us up; when they’re wrong, they are a burden.”
How many of us have a drawer that sticks or a shelf of spices that is an aggravation every time we try to find the oregano? If we fix the little things that cause us irritation, our minds are free to think about the bigger issues. We feel more content and peaceful. Alexandra Stoddard’s book about “adding Elegance, Order, Beauty and Joy to Every Day of Your Life” is a big believer in creating pleasure for all of your senses in even the smallest things we do every day.
She contends that our simple daily tasks are so much more fulfilling and actually bring comfort and joy if we make them meaningful and pleasureable. “Towels that absorb well, face creams that soothe, napkins that are soft to the touch, garbage bags that hold, can openers that open … effective small things that are reassuring …”
Today, let’s stop thinking about the giant changes and challenges in our life. Just today, let’s take care of one small thing in our life that is an annoyance. Go get a new can opener if you need it. Replace that trash can that is held together with duct tape. Buy some hand cream that smells good and feels good when you put it on in the morning. Little things. But so important.
When we deal with the small things of life effectively and with joy and calm, we have more energy to deal with the big stuff. Making the daily things we do easy and pleasant and even rewarding in themselves gives us confidence and power to get the big things we face in divorce in order, too.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much …. ” Luke 16:10-11 (NIV)