Is it the little things?

I’ve read and talked and written and lived a lot of “it’s the little things that matter”—in general, in creating and maintaining habits, in relationships with partners, friends, coworkers, kids.

There’s so much truth in it. If we only focus on the big things, we miss so much opportunity, growth, love. So many delightful details go unnoticed.

On the flip side, small annoyances should be disregarded, small slights overlooked. Focus on the big picture.

So is it the little things that matter? Or should they be overlooked?

I do believe in both contradicting sides: enjoy the little things that are good and blow off the little things that are not good whenever possible. But this makes it more complicated to create boundaries. A steady stream of small annoyances adds up over time. One small pebble in my shoe is going to cause major problems. 

A quote attributed to the Dalai Lama speaks to both sides of this simultaneously: if you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.

Small things make a difference, for better and for worse.

Of course, we always have the opportunity to gift someone else the reprieve from something we do that irritates them.

What do you think about this? How do you balance the little things and big things? How do you let the irritating little things go, or savor the good ones? Is it a “pick your battles” type of situation?

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