- the dishwasher isn’t working
- my computer is twitchy
- my medicine has this gross metallic taste
- there are no pecans in my honey roasted mixed nuts
- I can’t properly mount shelves on the wall
- my pen sort of sucks
- there is cat hair on the floor
- also: they meow a lot
- my fitted sheet won’t stay on the bed
…and the list could continue…
There are so many small frustrations we bitch and moan about. To us, this is our world. When these things happen, it’s damn near catastrophic. But honestly, I’d like to believe that deep down we know that these things are trivial. That it really isn’t the end of the world. That really, our complaints are well… dumb. I mean. I’m not saying we should stop. It is our little world, these are our little walls that are crumbling… But we all know in the grand scheme of things it really doesn’t matter that I can’t currently use my dishwasher or that there’s cat fur on the floor.
I’m nearing the 5-year anniversary of when I boarded a plane with 22 of my college friends and embarked on temporary move to China. Which has me thinking about it. A lot. China isn’t the most glamorous country. There’s a decent amount of dirt roads, and just dirty roads. People spit, pretty much everywhere. Little dogs, and yes, little kids pop a squat and just shit. I’ve found bugs in my (roommate’s) bed, bugs under the toilet lid, and yes, only once, a bug in my fried rice. The world didn’t end. My walls didn’t crumble.
I wasn’t concerned about if the floor was dirty or my laundry was perfect or… or… a lot of truly trivial things… I let go. I don’t know if it’s my Quaker upbringing that’s centered me. Or the few life changing big things that have happened. Or maybe my life just fell into place while in China, that there was some sort of magic about my time there. I just, well, I guess I don’t sweat (most of) the small stuff. Well, not for long. I am human. And I’m so far from perfect.
These things that get us riled up. Those little things. Breathe. Realize that in your isolated world, yes, these things do indeed matter. Acknowledge that, and make peace with that. Don’t let them clog up and flood your world.
It’s funny how these small things come and go and break. And I just laugh. Because really, they make me homesick for China. And for some reason I find that amusing.