All the Small Things

By Derek Reimherr

Another weekend has gone by, this time a 3-day respite from everything. Don’t get me wrong, tour-de-Boston weekends are fun...but not all the time. We are still in the thick of wedding season, football season just started, and the holidays are around the corner. So a weekend without some type of big event is rare.

Don’t believe me? Here are all of my/our major upcoming festivities between now and the very beginning of next year:

  • ATL/UGA football game weekend
  • Denver bachelor party
  • Trip to Burlington, VT
  • South Carolina bachelor party
  • Callaway Gardens with Maggie’s family
  • Thanksgiving
  • South Carolina wedding
  • Christmas
  • New Year’s
  • ATL wedding

Can’t blame us for taking a weekend to just chill, can ya?

Even as an extrovert, I still need time for reading my sci-fi/fantasy books or video games. And of course, Maggie needs time to paint her nails watching Big Brother. However, it’s in these quiet, slow, stay-at-home weekends that irritations can rise to the surface.

“Maggie, for the 50th time, door knobs are not towel hangers.”

“Derek, stop hogging all of the covers. I’m freeeeeeezing!”

“Maggie, take out the trash for once...I’M NOT A GARBAGE MAN.”

“Derek, leave me alone. You don’t need to be constantly touching me.”

Any of these sound familiar? They’re the kinds of things you bandy about with friends as casual icebreakers or self-deprecating jokes. If you’re not careful, though, these little irritations can become monsters.

“I’m always picking up after you. Do you not respect me?”

“You haven’t cooked in over a week. Do you think your spare time is more valuable than mine?”

“I’m don’t like being the butt of jokes for our friends. Do you really think that lowly of me?”

See how quickly things can escalate?

I’ll be the last to admit it, but...here we go...I’m pretty good (bad?) at holding grudges. If I’m not vigilant, little slights can evolve into serious perceived wrongdoings. It’s something I’ve constantly had to tackle in my relationships, with Maggie and my friends and family.

Recently, Maggie and I were looking through our wedding guest book. Amidst all of the “Congrats!” and “We love you!” messages, there were a few sound bites of wisdom. One of them, from my cousin Tyler, is something I should tape to my forehead so I see it every day in the mirror.

“Keep the small things small.”

A simple statement, a powerful truth, and a deceptively difficult practice to implement.

At the heart of the statement is the application of forgiveness, a term I’m not overly comfortable with. Sometimes, “keeping the small things small” really just means doing your best Elsa impression and letting it go. But, like I said, the heart of that is forgiveness.

It seems so silly to say out loud, but here’s how my thought process has transformed:

Before: “How dare you ignore my repeated requests to put less salt in our eggs every morning!”
After: “These are saltier than I prefer, but that’s okay. I’m grateful for you cooking breakfast.”

Making these little tweaks to our internal monologues can drastically improve your daily life and interactions, or in our case, a long weekend at home. Instead, you can make passive-aggressive jokes about your partner’s heavy-handed application of salt in your friends’ group text. Don’t worry, I won’t tell.