It seems that every-so-often, my heart and mind shift gears, and I realize that there are these things that I thought, these ideas that I had, have had for years, that are as incorrect as can be. I’m surprised, I’m sad, secretly, I’m relieved.
I can remember the first time I was told to “not sweat the small stuff.” It was my dad that said it, and he was quoting this book someone had given him for Christmas, and that was the book’s title. I didn’t buy in. It was a fine concept, as long as it was just a thought or a concept and not something I would actually be expected to implement into my life. I think I was around the age of ten or so, and I was already a world-class worrier. Dad went on to say that it was *almost* all “small stuff.” This really didn’t vibe with my pre-teen self.
To me, everything was important. Every feeling, every tear, every perceived slight, judgmental look, backhanded comment. To be more clear, what other people THOUGHT of me, was in no way “small stuff.” To be fair, it wasn’t necessarily what other people thought or did or said, it was what I (often wrongly) thought that other people thought of me. And so it went, pre-teen to 20’s Rosa to late 20’s Rosa to current Rosa. I cared far too much of what other people thought.
That has changed. Dramatically. Within the last six weeks, dramatically and, to link in the general idea of this post — I have also come to lower my expectations of other people. In not caring quite so much what others thought, I found a freedom in releasing other people to be horrible and terrible and, in some cases, simply not as perfect as I had previously thought they were. I have come to understand that I cannot hold other people to the standards I try (and fail) to hold myself to — they are impossibly high.
The next step of the journey, of course, is to stop beating myself up for not being perfect, for not getting the results out of a project that I want, for not having children, or keeping a perfect house, or being able to handle any little bit of garbage that the world has to throw at me on any given day.
From now on, I cut up my journey into bite-sized pieces, and while I will tackle what the world has coming toward me with gusto, I most certainly will do my best to not spend much, if any time dwelling on how I just don’t measure up. I have plans, and I have written thoughts about those plans, and my plans have plans. There are a lot of plans, and I vow not to be too hard on myself when a plan doesn’t come through, as I had envisioned.
The beauty of the art I make is in the process, not in the final product. These new tiny bits of information that I learn and adopt as my own on any given day, they are part of my process, and more than anything at this time in my life, I absolutely LOVE the process, and I will let all of those negative thoughts settle upon the leaves moving down the stream of my consciousness, and wave to them as they float away.