A young wife called into a talk radio show to complain about her messy husband and noisy kids. She said she was tired of picking up after him and reminding her little ones to be quieter.
As soon as she aired her list of complaints, to which the on-line therapist gave her suggestions on how to deal with her family, another caller was waiting to pipe in.
This woman in her 70s said her husband died many years ago and her children have long been gone, having moved away for careers and to live their lives.
She said she too used to complain about the same kinds of things. She said her house is now very quiet. TOO quiet. And everything is in place, not a shoe or piece of clothing ‘hanging’ around.
With much wisdom and reflection, the older woman said it is the very things we complain about that one day we will miss.
When you walk into your home and hear the kids yelling or arguing, stop and think, one day they will move on. When you see your partner’s clothes or personal property on the kitchen table or floor, stop and think, what if something were to happen to them.
One of the best advice I was given in my 30s by a favorite employer of mine was, “Roni, don’t sweat the small stuff.” He then went on and pretty much threw everything other than health and real tragedy into the small stuff category.
Don’t wait until you are older and you are alone to realize how much you will miss the very things that bother you now.