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Episode XII: The Small Things: Part One

Episode XII

The Small Things: Part One

 Today’s Words of Widsom:

 “When it Rains, it Pours.”

-Unknown… and apparently 50 Cent

 The Foda’s Take: Yes, this can sometimes feel true. But often, it’s just a result of being pushed over the edge by the small things. And the small things in life, the every day things- those are what make or break us.

 It is cold as Hoth today! The persistent arctic chill in our area has seemed to settle into my bones. However, it has also given me justifiable permission to wear my R2D2 robe all day long- something the UPS delivery man really seemed to get a kick out of.

While I sit down with some coffee, trying to get warm, I start to reflect. The past week has been really hard. It reminds me of the expression: “when it rains, it pours.” Well, it is really pouring on my family right now. It seems like one by one we’re being struck down by sickness, medical bills, and countless years at high-alert that never seem to end, all which seem to coincide with my latest dip in the journey to health. I sat on the couch yesterday after receiving some more bad news, and thought: how does this keep happening to us? I grew up with sickness; it’s no foreign concept to me. While I was lucky to be healthy most of my life, my family has been hit with cancer, auto-immune diseases, and other such trials to deal with. When people asked me how I dealt with it, I used to shrug and say it’s my childhood- I never knew anything different. But now I do. And it seems like we just never get a break.

So what’s a Foda to do? I sit on my couch in the same place I sat 24 hours ago when I got the phone call- the one that started with: I have some bad news. And I think. And think. And I come to realize that we, as humans, are fighters. We see an obstacle, a wall, and we get out our hooks and handsaws and find a way over that darn wall. The big stuff- that’s not the hardest part. We handle it. We have to. It’s the small things that trip us up- the thorns on the wall that come out of nowhere and push us over the edge. After all, they say it was a straw that broke the camel’s back- not a boulder.

So if it’s always something small that breaks the camel’s back- why can’t it be the small things that bring us the most joy?

I remember being on tour in Scandanavia in college with a singing group. Everything went wrong that trip. Our travel planner- a fellow member of the group- failed to plan ahead, and we wound up with no hotels, staying in seedy parts of town, getting kicked out of train stations with no place to go, and living on loaves of bread and nutella from the Swedish equivalent of a SevenEleven for days. But through it all, I was okay. Until one day, I thought I lost the necklace my boyfriend at the time had given me. It had fallen through a hole in the lining of my purse, but when I thought it was gone, I burst into tears. It was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I could handle sleeping on cardboard in an unlocked school basement with an AA meeting going on just beyond the accordion-style door- (true story)- but I couldn’t handle losing my necklace.

So again I wonder- if it’s the small things that push us over the edge- why can’t it be the small things that also bring us the most joy?

I’m not going to wake up tomorrow and be back to normal. It’s reality; I’ve accepted it. My family is not going to all of a sudden be perfectly fine. That’s the big part. So the small part, perhaps, is retraining my brain to see the small things- the daily things- and love them for the goodness they bring into my life.

As my mother says- oh, let’s call her…. Professor Momgonagall- that’s Gratitude.

So this is a topic I’m going to dig into over the next few posts. I invite you to join me in thinking about: what are the small things in your life that give you joy?

Gratefully yours,

The Foda

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