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The Little Things in Living Count

April 26, 2010

FlowersThe little things in living count for much more than we realize. Many of the things we do go unrecognized until we fail to do them. You may be excellent at keeping the laundry done. This small accomplishment may seem as if it were no big deal, until the day that your husband has run out of clean underwear. We accomplish hundreds of little seemingly insignificant things daily and we, ourselves may be unaware of these things, until one day we notice something we failed to do!

The yellow area in the lawn reveals to us that we neglected to water that spot. Dishes piled in the sink remind us of what we neglected to accomplish that day. It is ironic that what we failed to do, can override the many times that we did succeed. It is not what we accomplish that gets recognition by us, but what we did not perform. Unfortunately, this happens with other people too.

Children may get passable grades in school. Until they bring home a grade that is disturbing, their grades may be unappreciated. The one below average grade can seem to take precedence above all the previous grades. Is this because of living in the moment or is it because we lack respect for the quality things in life?

Perhaps a horse has willingly traveled across a ditch hundreds of times, and the one time he or she is unwilling, all else is forgotten. Suddenly, it is that the horse is hesitant that has full consideration. We act on this too; we act as if the horse constantly refuses to cross. With some reflection maybe, we could remember the many times the horse willingly submitted, and allow them a little slack.

When we ask elderly people what they would do differently if they had it to do over, they remember all the things they neglected to allow themselves to do. We overhear things like; I would expend more time with my relatives. I would be leisurely and take pleasure in nature. I would go on that excursion to the Bahamas that I refused to spend my money on before. Looking back we seem to recognize all the little things we did not do, instead of all the things we did.

Looking back at childhood, can you recognize anything that your parents carried out for you? Can you remember when, your mother held your hand, as you crossed the street or her tucking you into bed at night? Do you hold memories of her preparing your favorite dinner, or driving you to your friend’s house? Do you think that your parents comprehended your little accomplishments, bringing those achievements to your attention? Was what you did not do seem to matter most to them?

Each time you notice something you failed or neglected to do, perhaps you could give yourself a break. Maybe recall all the many times you did, do this thing. What our common senses reveal to us is more the cause than faultfinding. Therefore, it seems that the little things that count the most can go by the wayside the majority of the time, by the overriding littler trivial things. Live your life as an exclamation, not an explanation!

Sandra Hendricks, EzineArticles.com Expert AuthorOne final thought: Think of a child that is continually throwing temper tantrums. Would you recognize what they don’t do, when it doesn’t happen? It isn’t what other people do that seems to get our attention, it’s what they don’t do.


2 Comments to “The Little Things in Living Count”

  1. Russ Hamel says:


    Why is this so common? One of my mother’s laments is that when we gather for holidays, the siblings (now all adults with kids of their own) sit around the table and reminisce. More often than not, it’s about the time our parents scolded or punished us; embarrassed us; the ‘painful’ memories. Usually, the ratio is something like 1 good for every five bad stories.

    People go to counseling for years over their parent/childhood relationship issues. Most of the ‘work’ is trying to get over the blame, guilt and other hurts.

    Thanks for the reminder that it IS the little things that we too often take for granted. However, most of the time we simply choose to push the ‘good times’ behind the more dramatic and painful accounts. Sadly, these stories apparently are more gratifying for some people to rehash.

    All the best from Toronto,
    .-= Russ Hamel´s last blog ..I’ll Be Happy When… =-.

    • Sandra says:

      Hey Russ,

      Mark and I were speculating why this is so common as well. We did consider that it is possible that this thinking really got ingrained from school. When we see a grade on a paper the teacher is pointing out what we missed. Those darn red check marks on school papers could be a contribution to the way we process. I mean why we so immediately notice what we didn’t do rather than what we did. I.e. “I didn’t get a 100 on the test. I didn’t get all the answers correct.”