"This Too Shall Pass..."
This really should be titled "Lessons I Recently Learned From my Toddler." She doesn't always use her words, but she's teaching me nonetheless.
Last week after being outdoors a while I worked up a bit of a sweat. I bent over to say hi to Elle and a single bead of perspiration hit the floor. Elle's eyes got really big. "Puddle" she squealed and proceeded to jump on/in the single drop of sweat. Too me this was cute and funny, but somewhat profound. She was delighted over something so insignificant. A drop of any liquid hardly compares to a puddle, but I guess in her eyes any moisture at all was a step in the right direction. I couldn't help but think of the peace that comes from finding joy and contentment I what you have, despite and obvious lack.
This week, she's been continuing her work on the fine art of tantrum throwing. She was in the middle of one such episode when I had this thought: "She won't remember any of this. All of this time and energy (physically and mentally) devoted to something that doesn't matter and that she won't remember. Children!" That's when it hit me. I do the same thing. I might not headbutt the couch, and wallow on the floor, but I have tantrums of my own. Guess what, much like hers, they are often over things that don't matter. I had to smile at myself. Here I was thinking, I'm diagnosing her, and the insignificance of her "moment" but I'm guilty of the same thing. It's just like truth to sneak up on you that way.
I tried to recall what frustrated me, or what I threw a fit over when I was her age. I don't remember. I tried to think about what I got bent out of shape over when I was a teenager, or in my twenties. Nothing. Even the things that bothered me a few months ago seems so long ago, and so insignificant. Much like Elle's "moments" I'm sure they were major at the time. It's not that my life has been perfect. It's just that time has shed light on the all those moments. While some of them were hard, a lot more of them were trivial. None of them deserved the worry and mental anguish I lavished upon them. It's so human to be fixated on ourselves. Our stuff. Our happiness. Our problems. A week, a month, a year, a decade from now will it really matter? Even if it does matter, does our mental gymnastics regarding it accomplish anything? If we could change it, we would. Worry and tantrum seems the "go to" when matters are beyond our control. Perhaps fretting in itself, gives us a sense of control. I don't know.
It seems a logical, and simple conclusion, don't worry, and leave the tantrums where they belong; childhood. Despite the simplicity of this, it is something I need to be reminded of...regularly. It just happened that this time I really appreciate the form in which the reminder came. I thought I'd share.
Hard to believe that I actually got something from a drop of sweat and a tantrum. I did. Make the most of your moments, but try not to make too much out of some moments. I'm pretty sure I'll be working on the balance between these two ideas for the rest of my life :)