Tuesday, March 6, 2012

No Sweat, Mom!

My mom gave me the best birthday present ever. (In addition to the Mama Mia, tickets which were pretty fabulous, I must say.) The second gift was even better. She gave me...a break.

Her exact words were, "Don't sweat the small stuff." Doesn't sound particularly amazing, does it? Ironically, it's the advice I give to people all the time. It's very interesting and freeing when it comes back at you. Especially in the sentiment of a very articulate Mom.

You see,I had offered to do a favor for her, and then I messed it up. Twice. Then, I tried to avoid her while I attempted to fix it. It only took a couple of weeks for it to dawn on me that I was behaving very much like my own teenage children. Another week passed before I relented to my own voice that was banging around in my head along with the many memories of the several well-worded nags I'd delivered over the years.

Don't try to cover up a shortcoming. Deal with others directly, not in a round about way. Admit to mistakes. People would rather hear sincere apologies than lame excuses. Don't sweat the small stuff.

On the way to work this morning (while trying not to stress over the fact that I would be arriving almost 10 minutes late...again) I heard a Lightning Bolt Story. A Lightning Bolt Story is one that hits you out of the blue and shocks you like a bolt of lightning into a new and sudden understanding. In the midst of all the devastating tornadoes last week, a story came to light of a Super Mom who threw her body on top of her children to save their lives. In doing so, her legs were crushed and part of each had to be amputated.

ZAP! Illumination. A fumbled favor is not worth sweating over. Slow mornings are not worth sweating over. The overflowing laundry table, cluttered dining room table, the trash heap bedrooms are not worth sweating over. They make me nuts! They offer ample opportunity to for the composure of well-worded, perfectly punctuated nags! These things should be handled directly with sincere apologies, if necessary instead of lame excuses. But they should not be sweated over.

Thanks, Mom. You just made my life a whole lot easier. And you cut down on the deodorant allowance, as well.

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