All The Small Things
The penny is gone, and perhaps now more than ever, it seems like all of the small things are more dispensable than ever. What happened to common courtesy and spending time with friends, for instance? We're spending more and more time with friends, if only you include the cast of Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad and Walking Dead.
But with the advent of the internet and world news, I think we've developed a mindset that denies the small things and requires us to push for bigger and better, always. We want thousands of likes on Facebook, and a billion hits on Youtube.
When we see the turmoil in the world, we want some sweeping gesture to come along and fix it. We want to cure cancer and bring world peace.
Many of us, personally, are also caught up in the big picture. We want to singlehandedly be the hero. I've written on this before. It was always my downfall that I wanted to do something big and incredible in my life, but small, humble beginnings just couldn't cut it. It needed to be now!
I remember being 20 years old, so disappointed in myself at where I was in life and how little I had accomplished.
There should really be more stories about the small, humble beginnings.
Very few people actually start out with a bang. Often, it's one tiny step followed by another, then another until those steps add up to something incredible. It's as though we've forgotten how to add!
But that's the truth of the matter: every thing we do, everything we are, everything we accomplish is the result of a foundation of other steps and actions.
Every pound I lose, and every muscle that grows stronger is a result of many countless choices I've made to work out, exercise, eat less, eat healthier choices and rest properly.
Every relationship in my life that is going well is the result of many small words of affirmation, and moments spent forging memories, and investment into awkward but necessary conversations in order to understand one another more fully.
Every accomplishment I've ever had was small... at first. And every one definitely started with a single step.
And it's the same for every failure. Every relationship that I struggled with was the result of laziness in the relationship, and time spent apart instead of together. Every pound I put back on - with the exception of that one time when I ate a whole pound of Easter chocolate - was the result of more than one poor choice.
As I enjoy a vacation in Arizona at the moment (I might have neglected to mention this at the beginning of the story, as I didn't want to offend any of my dear reader-sicles. I promise to bring back as much heat and sun as possible!) I am realizing that margaritas and dinners and ice cream and delicious Mexican food add up pretty quickly! Almost too quickly!
But I know that walks, hikes, trips to the gym and even a few random squats and sit-ups here and there also add up.
Everything adds up. That's how math works.
That's why I truly love tracking things, like my FitBit, a fancy pedometer I have been wearing non-stop since I received it for Christmas. It tracks all of the moving, whether it be a long run or a small jaunt to the fridge. I can glance at the end of the day to see how I did - and even input my eating to see how well or poorly balanced my input and output have been.
Dismissing the small things has been one of the biggest mistakes I've made in the past. But realizing that there's so much value to every little action has been so empowering.
I know now what one small word of encouragement can do versus one scathing remark.
I know now what an extra lap around the track will do versus an extra beer.
I know the effects of taking the time to ensure a customer is truly happy and the effects of neglecting that customer.
And I know the full power and effect of all of the small things in life. They add up to create either the life you want or the life you don't. But each moment, each decision is important and impactful.
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