They say ‘don’t stress the small stuff’, but have you ever stressed yourself out trying to figure out what’s small? I guess the dirty socks left where they shouldn’t count for small even if the assault on my nose was big. When you’re stressed out, it’s nearly impossible to measure anymore. Everything feels big. Everything IS big and one more “small” thing sends you into a tail spin. Some of us feel that way on a daily basis. I sure do sometimes.
So this morning I faced another sink full of dishes (dishwasher on the blink, as is the washing machine) and I thought to myself, instead of ignoring the small stuff – why not redefine “small”. Instead of annoyances, why not focus on the small stuff that makes me feel good. Like my big, muscular dog Rosie, with a chest the size of a small barrel, who is gently rolling the kitten-cat (Phoebe) over to play with her. Phoebe, thrilled with the attention, pats Rosie’s face with her little paws, no claws extended. Rosie’s tail is wagging. I chuckle and she turns, the kitten-cat taking that opportunity to take off across the room in a ‘chase me!’ gallop. I turn away from them and, peeking through clouds stained a light mauve and blue, the sun is rising over my neighbour’s field.
Then there’s my first cup of tea. I could write a sonnet about tea! I used to be a coffee drinker but lived in India for a few years where it wasn’t easy to find coffee. The tea is delicious there and I quickly switched allegiances, learning an easy recipe for Masala tea that I’ll share as follows: a few slices of fresh ginger boiled in water, add crushed cardamom seeds (a sprinkle), and let steep for awhile, then add a handful of tea leaves, some milk and sugar (to taste) and let the entire mixture sit for a few minutes until all the flavors blend. Voila!
Cup of tea steeping I write down my dreams from the night before. I am a believer in the wisdom of our unconscious, that it can give us glimpses into problems and even offer solutions if we’re self-aware enough to interpret their symbols accurately. My dream is about my mother who passed away two years ago. I have inherited an aloe vera plant in the dream and my mother’s best friend tells me that Mom used it for healing. I see the leaves are getting brown and realize I’ve been neglecting it. I won’t bore you with my interpretation but I’m sure you can see that there is a simple and powerful message in the dream that I’m going to sit with awhile. With my cup of tea!
Another small thing I must describe because, when I finish writing this, I’m heading that way. It’s a chair (also inherited from Mom) by a large window in the kitchen. Outside the window, just a few feet away I’ve mounted several bird feeders. A half dozen bossy blue jays tussle this morning with at least two pairs of cardinals, dozens of white and red breasted Nuthatches as well as a few winter finches – looking like someone has dipped a brush in pale rose colored water paint and softly dabbed their little heads and breasts. No, this morning anyway, I won’t sweat the small stuff. I’m heading over to that lovely brown velvet chair of my mother’s, sink in with my cup of tea, and let the birds entertain.
Do you remember to savour the small stuff? What kind of things do you savour?