Sunday, October 23, 2011

It's the Little Things

I was at Office Depot this week getting ink for my printer (again), when I indulged in an impulse purchase. I bought a new stapler. I like the color, and it was only $4.

See? Isn’t it cute?

It wasn’t until I started using the new stapler that I realized how poorly the old one had been performing. Half the time it would jam, or wouldn’t push the staple through all the pages in my bundle. My tech editing work is paper intensive, so that old stapler was a daily source of annoyance.

The new stapler just works. First time, every time. A simple $4 purchase has eliminated a daily source of irritation. How cool is that?

How many small irritations and inconveniences do we put up with every day? The non-stick skillet whose non-stick has worn out. The closet door that sticks. The circular knitting needle with a join that snags the yarn. It is like a low level of static in the background that we no longer hear. What impact do these constant small annoyances have on our spirits?

How would the flavor of the day change if it was full of small graces instead?

I want to stop accepting little irritations as my lot. If a small expenditure of time and/or money can replace something that doesn’t work with something that does, count me in. I can find a new non-stick skillet at a discount store. I can sand the edge of that closet door. I can replace the snaggy needle. I can turn those little annoyances into little pleasures.

Along with this, I want to pay more attention to daily sources of joy and satisfaction. I want to notice and appreciate the perfect thickness of the lip of my coffee mug, the simply elegant functionality of my 5-year-old i-Pod, the smooth flow of my Pilot G-2 gel pen across the page, the soft supple leather of the wallet I’ve carried for nearly 20 years.

I think your dominant mood gets etched on your face in a way no cream or surgery can erase. Think of the way your mouth and brow screw up when you’re wrestling with a jammed stapler. Now think of what you face does when you breathe out a satisfied “ahhhhhh”. I want to focus on the people and things and experiences in my life that produce the “ahhhhhh” face. I want to notice and create and appreciate those moments of grace.

What are the little things that give you daily pleasure? What are the little irritations that you can, with minimal expense, eliminate?

1 comment:

  1. I love your advice about replacing those small annoyances. As I get older, I am seeing crevices in my face... better ones associated with bliss than frustration right? Thanks for a window into your thinking today!!