I have, for the majority of my life, been known as a variety of things. Looking back, I’ve started to notice a pattern:
…you see my point. In fact, my fourth grade teacher gave me the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff” for an end-of-the-year gift. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an insane stress-case who doesn’t know how to loosen up and have a good time- I just save my stressing for afterwards in situations like that.
I have never been good at letting things go, putting things out of my mind, or redirecting my thoughts when they are hell-bent on worrying about how I’ll be able to [fill in the blank here with problem that is at least three years away]. I’ve never had the ability to change that. Then, this past weekend, the universe stepped in and made it abundantly clear that I must, must, change my ways.
1. Saturday morning, I awake at 7:00 AM, on my day off, to go to breakfast with my sister and her friend. And, due to a series of random and unfortunate events, end up paying. This is fine, I don’t mind footing the bill at all. A minor thing, truly.
2. Go downstairs to take care of my 16-year old cat, who has decided to mark, vomit, or otherwise make himself known on every inch of my basement floor during the night. Surrender myself to an hour of clean-up. Psh, oh well. You can’t really blame the cat. I mean he’s sixteen years old. The fact that he’s still traversing this earth should be enough.
3. Decide to clean my car out. Finally. Start sorting through all of the random junk, and find the Valentine’s Day CD I made for my ex (Don’t judge me. It’s a thoughtful, budget-friendly gift. And it has awesome music on it.) Ooookay then. It’s fine. Everything is fine. So-ho-hooo over that, anyway. The sun is shining, I’m alive, and I just found a really good mix CD.
4. Get asked out via text message by a close friend. Have to kindly decline. There is no silver lining to that one- now I just feel like an asshole.
5. After insisting that I wash my car myself (instead of taking it to the $5 car wash down the street, as my parents suggested to me. All afternoon.), and spending the better part of the afternoon making it shine, a random and overpowering gust of wind suddenly rises out of fucking nowhere and blows pine needles and other debris all over my still-wet, white car. It sticks. Well, i mean, gotta laugh at that, right? What a horrible, heinous, hilarious coincidence…right? RIGHT?!
6. Decide to make mac & cheese for dinner (I mean, I am trying to eat healthier these days). Finish the pasta and realize that there is no milk in the house.
Now, here is the point where my entire day comes crashing down on my head. All of the tiny, small annoyances begin to add up, swirling about in my brain until I begin sobbing over my plain, just-cooked and quickly drying-out noodles, begging the universe to explain to me what in the hell the lesson is, so I can just learn it already and go about with my life! Okay, not one of my more glamourous moments, I admit. But as I walked to the corner store on my street, racking my brain for what I was missing from all of this (because there had to be some sort of lesson), I remembered that gift from my 4th grade teacher. And I realized that all day, I had been letting all of these little, insignificant annoyances kill my mood. I had let these fleeting moments of anger or sadness or stress affect the rest of my day. And that was really…well…stupid. And I started to laugh. Right there, on the sidewalk. Full blown, maniacal belly-laughter. And I got honked at. A few times. But I didn’t care! Because I had unraveled the mysteries of the universe. I once again had control of my destiny. I was the master of my own life.
And, later, as I ate my mac & cheese, still feeling smug about the whole outsmarting the universe thing, I lost on a scratch ticket. Well…can’t win them all, right? RIGHT?!