About, Musings on Life

The Small Magnifies the Big

A photo of clouds in the sky taken from an airplane. The clouds are fluffy and white on a blue backdrop.
Sky and clouds are present daily, but we often overlook them.

For a year and a half, I have started closely examining my life. I say started because that is bound to change, my life does not stay the same and as I adapt and change I have new things to observe. One trend though I have noticed in my life is that the small things magnify the big. I am not sure that phrase entirely makes sense on it’s own so let me explain what I mean by it. When I am frustrated that the grocery store does not have butternut squash, what I am really noticing is my struggle with rigidity and expectations, and how I am struggling to handle a curve ball. When you stop and pay attention to how you handle the smaller moments in life, struggles, and frustrations, you gain insight into how you cope with larger stresses. I used to believe that when I dealt with larger problems in a much more superior way than with small frustrations, but the reality is that I use the same coping strategies for both. When you slow down and pay attention to the small things, how you treat yourself or the way you use language to describe yourself, you start to see that many of the frustrations in your life are self created. Currently my brain finds my life stressful because I find each day to be different than my previous norm in Iowa. This comes out in little annoyances, like the grocery stores and larger ones. I used to thing I would have an epiphany and everything that was confusing would suddenly make sense. The reality is that when we pay attention to the small things, we gain insight into our larger problems as a by product. By noticing our struggles with the minutia we can adapt to both small and larger problems more fluidly. One thing I hope helps is to know that we can always slow down and pay attention even for a moment. Each moment of attentiveness is useful, each moment is one we can learn from. We do not need to wait for big changes in life to grow and adapt, but by paying attention to the daily and the ordinary we can make growth too.

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