the little things

so often, it’s the little things that end up being the biggest. it’s the little things that have the most effect. the little moments that bring you joy, and the little annoyances that can ruin a day. and this week — this long, grueling week — has been full of the not-so-joyful kind of little things.

it’s been hot, horribly, hellishly hot, and the stifling heat that summer brings always leaves me drained.

we’ve been all out of coffee, but that hasn’t stopped liam from waking me hours before my alarm was to go off by rising with the sun every day. he had been successfully accident-free in the potty training department for a good while now, but he inexplicably and frustratingly started to regress.

throwing pillows and blankets and books and toys and just about anything he can get his hands on has suddenly become far too entertaining for liam, and far too painful for me when i try to block his throws in attempt to keep the walls, window treatments, and wooden furniture dent-free but fail miserably and get smacked square in the face.

listening to and complying with our requests of him is no longer a guarantee. he says he listens, but he often does not. “please don’t run in the kitchen,” we say, and he grins and runs even faster. “please don’t unroll the toilet paper,” we say, and he giggles and spills the squares on the floor. “please take smaller bites,” we say, and he spoons himself two times the amount he had to begin with and gobbles it up before we can stop him.

somehow dinner now takes at least an hour to finish because the littlun cannot (or will not) sit still even if we try to content him with his favourite book or film, and trying to achieve sufficient calmness at bedtime is no less of a challenge — two areas we never used to have difficulty with.

no one in this building seems to care about anyone else. very few have the decency to take their laundry out on time; many will leave it sitting, wet, inside the washer for hours and hours, sometimes even overnight, robbing everyone else of their turn. and when you have a cat who decides to dump out most of her litter box over the bathroom towels, you’d like to be able to get to the wash soon to prevent any stains from setting.

when you have to carefully conserve the little food you have while you wait for the next paycheck to come, nobody’s belly can feel full. i spend an absurd amount of time sitting down, afraid if i stand, i will collapse and liam won’t know what to do to help.

all the silly, meaningless arguments my husband and i have wasted our breath on seem even sillier and more meaningless when, thinking back, i can’t even recall what any of them were about. our financial struggles are seemingly never-ending because no matter how many times we end up in the same stupid situation we stupidly put ourselves in, we never learn our lesson and do better.

but worst of all is how much i’ve let all these not-so-joyful little things get to me — how i’ve chosen to hold onto the bad, to be weighed down by it, and to drag my family down, too. all the not-so-joyful little things have piled up on one another, and focusing on the great heap they have created has blinded me from all the joyful little things — the important things.

that is not the life i want to live, nor the person i want to be. i choose to be better, and to let go. i choose joy.

and what a blessing it is to have been given another day, to have been given another chance. the lord is so good.

“forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.”
isaiah 43:18

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