Sweat the small stuff

It’s often said not to sweat the small stuff in life.

On the surface, it’s a pretty easy philosophy to get down with, but it seems the small stuff too often adds up and lands me in the most trouble.

Case in point, I give you a little story titled, “The importance of the letter ‘R.'”

Around the time I was in the fifth grade, I received a present from my grandma, a pair of shorts and t-shirt. As all good fifth graders should, I was instructed by my parents to write my grandma a thank you letter. So, I sat down and hammered out this gem.

Dear Grandma,

How’s the weather? (For some reason at this age I thought you were required to ask any and all people you wrote how their weather was. No doubt Santa thought this was ridiculous. “Just get to the begging, kid!”)

I got the present you sent me. Thank you very much for the shorts and shirt.



I penned it, stuck it in an envelope, and off it went. Seems simple enough, right?

Except, the title of this story is the importance of the letter ‘R.’

That last line, probably the most important of the entire document, is the kicker. Somewhere in the editing process the letter ‘R’ went missing from the word, “shirt,” and produced the following:

“Thank you very much for the shorts and s#%*.”

When grandma received the letter, I’m pretty sure I received a nice “talk” on the amount of street slang appropriate for a thank you letter.

Because I didn’t sweat that one little detail, I gave my grandma the impression I thought that t-shirt featuring a cartoon bear watching football and eating pizza sucked. Nothing could have been farther from the truth.

It’s nice to say that we shouldn’t sweat the small stuff, but when we ignore the details in life, they can often add up and land us in some bad situations.

I mean, even the bigger mistakes in life often start out with letting the little things slide. I seriously doubt anyone struggling with a gambling or drug addiction kicked off their habit by putting their car keys on the blackjack table or buying a kilo of heroin. They likely started with just letting themselves go a little too far, and not sweating it.

And even if the little things don’t lead you somewhere awful, lord knows there nothing more frustrating when facing a large problem in life, than at the same time having to deal with a bunch of little things you’ve been letting let slide.

So maybe we should sweat the small stuff. Maybe we should take care of the little details in life to avoid having them pile up and give us future troubles.

— @TravisKWilliams




About travman44

I work as a reporter for a newspaper in southwest Virginia. I play as a writer specializing in deep thoughts on shallow, and occasionally not so shallow, subjects. I'm also a former history teacher, bible college alum, and lover of the NBA and kids' breakfast cereals. It's a delicate blend. -- @TravisKWilliams on Twitter
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