In the late 90’s, there was a little book that came out entitled, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, and it became a best seller. Basically, the book is filled with little tips and stories to help us realize that we can do all kinds of things to reduce the stress in our lives.
I have been doing some housecleaning lately, and one of my tasks is to donate a bunch of old books to the public library. I had my hand on this book, written by Richard Carlson, more than once. But in the end, it made the cut. This morning, I decided to flip through it, and I came up with a good thought for today’s blog:
Many people live as if life were a melodrama- “an extravagantly theatrical play in which action and plot predominate.” Sound familiar? In dramatic fashion, we blow things out of proportion, and make a big deal out of little things. We forget that life isn’t as bad as we’re making it out to be. We also forget that when we’re blowing things out of proportion, we are the ones doing the blowing.
I’ve found that simply reminding myself that life doesn’t have to be a soap opera is a powerful method of calming down. When I get too worked up or start taking myself too seriously, I say to myself something like, “Here I go again. My soap opera is starting.” Almost always, this takes the edge off my seriousness and helps me to laugh at myself. Often, this simple reminder enables me to change the channel to a more peaceful station. My melodrama is transformed into a “mellow-drama.”
No matter what, there’s someone who has it worse than us. I think it would really help if we could just start getting over ourselves and laugh things off a bit more often.