Tag Archives: Small Things

Episode XIV: The Small Things: Part III

Episode XIV

The Small Things: Part III

 Today’s Words of Wisdom:

 “Even in the most peaceful surroundings, the angry heart finds quarrel. Even in the most quarrelsome surroundings, the grateful heart finds peace.”

Doe Zantamata

 The Foda’s take: Yup, I second that.

 Hello fabulous friends of Foda! Welcome to the final installment of the small things miniseries on finding blessings and peace in life’s little lifts. After my last post on finding 5 simple ways to bring joy into your day, I was contacted by a very wise, very honest man. Let’s call him… Dobiwan.

Dobiwan shared with me words of honesty, beauty, and heartbreaking reality about what it’s like to be the support system of a loved one going through a longterm battle. I spend a lot of time in this galaxy delving into how to get through our own battles with grace… but what about the person who stands by you? The one who has the power to walk out the door, leave all the pain behind, but chooses to stay, knowing his (or her)  shoulder will be lent upon, leaving him lopsided and unbalanced. What about the people behind the people? After all, when you have a chronic illness, your wings have been clipped for you- you didn’t choose it, and you do all you can to build your mind and your body up so you can one day fly again. But…the people who love us… they clip their own wings using scissors from their own hand. They choose to fight, to stay, to learn how to love someone whose whole existence is likely becoming redefined.

Today I’d like to honor these people. People like Dobiwan and Mandalf who don’t have the illness, but still have all the pain, all the stress, and all the guilt. Guilt that their loved ones can’t walk away, but they can. Guilt when they feel happiness, then immediately feel like they shouldn’t while their loved ones are suffering so. Guilt that there’s nothing they can do but be there and offer what little comfort they can through the small things- letting her choose the movie, picking up his favorite dinner, staying in when they can’t go out.

And on behalf of people like me who are fighting their way back- I want you to know, I see you. And while you may think these small things aren’t enough, I need you to know just how much they mean. That phone call out of the blue from the old friend? Touching. The butternut squash soup from the sister who wishes she could do more? Warms the belly and the soul. The father who would go to the ends of the earth to find a Tibetan singing bowl just because he heard you mention once how peaceful it sounds? Priceless. The mother who talks about handbags and hairstyles with you when she knows you need a bit of normal? Comforting. And the husband who loves to explore and experience but stays home instead, and agrees when you ask to watch yet another romantic comedy? That means something. It’s small. It’s not going to cure me or fix me or take away all my pain. But it makes all the difference, because at least I know I’m not alone- even when I feel like I am.

So thank you to all the loved ones out there like Dobiwan who are just trying to do everything they can for the people they care for. What you do may feel small- but as we’re learning, it’s the small things that count.

Cheers,

The Foda

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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