When I was younger, I was once grounded for brushing crayon shavings to the floor while coloring in a coloring book. My mother epitomizes the classic overly-stressed out workaholic. To this day, her stress level becomes so overwhelming that it spills over in to other areas in her life, causing her to “sweat the small stuff.”
Flash forward to present day- I was in the kitchen with my dog, giving her non-shedding coat a gentle brushing. To this, my mother scolded me as if I were tossing around fistfuls of hair from the furriest Himalayan, aiming for her dinner plate. I calmly continued to brush Biscuit, all her fur staying rooted to her. I looked up at my mother’s tightly pursed lips, her head shaking in disappointment. She asked why I deliberately stress her out, to which I honestly answered that it was not my intention to do so, whatsoever. As I picked at the tiniest bit of fur that had collected on the brush and placed it into the trash, I said, “Some things really aren’t worth stressing out over…” to which she stressed out over.
Don’t get me wrong, my mother is a lovely woman that actually has a wonderful sense of humor, once she allows herself to use it. But, she has a high-pressured job and takes her role as matriarch of the household with utmost seriousness; relaxation has always been a rarity in her life. To put a positive spin on the situation, seeing my high-strung mother snap over the tiniest things that hold little true importance, reminds me that to stress about every little thing really does no good. Her tendency to snap over menial things has NEVER resulted in a positive outcome and always would have worked out better had she handled it with a lighter heart.
Stress is an inevitable part of life and learning to manage and handle it is an important skill. Just as I pick and choose my battles with other people so as to not be in a constant state of fight, I pick and choose inner battles, learning the art of how to let go of the things that don’t matter as much as they initially seem. To me, hearing news of a loved one in a horrific car accident merits stress… but, a few stray crayon shavings or brushing my dog as she lies comfortably in the kitchen floor? I’m pretty certain I can let those slide with a smile.