How Big The Small Things Can Be
There was a festival in Nashville a few weeks back that my husband, Justin, and I had planned to attend with some friends to celebrate his birthday and my sister’s birthday since they fell in the same week.
It was a perfect fall day. The sky was cloudless, the air was crisp, one of those days you wake up excited just to be alive.
But then Justin did something that really upset me that morning. It wasn’t anything huge or horrible, just a choice he made thinking it wouldn't be that big of a deal.
But it was a big deal to me.
Regardless, of how big or small the situation actually was, I was mad. Mad enough that it began seeping into the rest of our weekend plans and it made me not want to even go to the festival anymore.
The gorgeous day had suddenly lost its magnificence, the red and yellow leaves may as well have been dead and brown, and pumpkin beer sounded like a waste of carbs and money.
Changing The Direction
It seems at times that it’s the small things, like the tone of voice or a less-than-thoughtful comment, which can set the trajectory for the rest of the day or the evening.
It’s surprising how big the small things can become.
It's equally surprising how much I can change the trajectory of the day with the way I choose to respond or what I say.
Even after we talked the situation over and he apologized, I was still stewing over the matter. Waiting for my emotions to get the memo that we’d talked it through and made amends.
But I just couldn’t get there.
I was still mad, it was a small thing, after all, but to me it felt huge, like the entire course of our planned day had been altered.
So I did everything I could think of to get myself out of the funk; I went on a run, read, prayed, made some coffee, and then sat down to write.
Though still frustrated, I opened my laptop to start writing since I’d planned some time for that. I stared at the cursor on the screen, unable to write about what I had originally planned because I was still mad.
I began anyways, clacking away on the keys, spilling my frustration with the entire situation into a blank word document. I wasn’t thinking the best of him. I was thinking about how he had really screwed our day up, how I didn’t really want to go to this stupid festival anymore, and how I hoped that he realized how dumb his decision was and that he wouldn’t ever do something like that again.
So there I was, stewing and inwardly fuming over the matter at hand when it hit me.
I can change the trajectory of this day.
All that time I had been so mad at him because of how his decision had set the trajectory of our day. But in reality, I had just as much power, if not more, to set the course for the rest of our day.
It didn’t dissipate at that second, my frustration and irritation. But I made a shift in that moment that redirected the course of our day.
We Set The Trajectory
One of the biggest points of growth in relationships for me has been realizing that, if I am functioning in a healthy way, I have no control over other people.
If the relationship is free of manipulation, guilt tripping, and codependency, which hopefully it is, I have no control over the other person.
But I do have control over myself, my responses, and where I allow my attitude to direct my thoughts.
For me, it’s a twofold
How do my actions, thoughts, and words, no matter how small, set the trajectory?
and on the flip side;
How do my actions, thoughts, and words change the trajectory?