I always appreciate time over breaks from school to catch up on things in life that seem to get lost in the busyness of school. Time to get a little more sleep, to read, to spend with the family, along with many other small activities is always wanted, needed, and appreciated during time away from school.
It is all these things that energize me during breaks. I am extremely passionate about my work and my school, but there are aspects of my life that I often do not give enough attention to while living hectic school hours week after week.
It has made me think about the old adage: don’t sweat the small stuff, and it will all become small stuff. Over time, I have realized how much I disagree with this statement. What may seem like small stuff each day, a little less sleep, an extra half hour at work, grabbing that doughnut when you walk through the lounge, when done repeatedly over time, is not just small stuff anymore.
Sleep is a great example of this idea. If I am busy and stay up a little too late one night getting work done, no big deal. That small amount of sleep lost one night does not affect me much; I can survive on five hours of sleep. When I stay up too late and only get five hours of sleep a few nights a week, I am tired, but can get caught up on the weekend. When I repeatedly let this happen night after night over a long period of time, I am exhausted and do not give the needed attention to any aspect of my life. That is where I was before break.
Losing sleep one night is a small thing, but the problem with small stuff is that it can quickly become a big thing. We often give a great deal of thought and attention to big decisions in our lives. We treat those with a importance and take the time to process through pros and cons before moving forward. But, the small decisions we make hundreds of times a day without much thought. We must treat every decision with the attention we give the big ones. Every decision leads us in a specific direction. Small variances are easy to correct when they happen occasionally. But, small variances, uncorrected over a longer period of time can cause one to drift so far off course it takes a great deal of time and energy to correct.
If you leave little things unchecked they will almost always become big things. Each decision needs to be viewed as an important decision, especially the small ones. Every decision is important — nothing should just be considered small stuff. You should often consider the small things because those are the decisions you make the most often. Make sure they are taking you where you want to go.
Ask yourself with each decision (great or small) this coming week, is this choice going to take me where I want to go? Answer honestly and don’t forget to sweat the small stuff!!
Keep learning; keep growing; keep sharing!