Last week, we forgot to buy almond milk. (We only shop once a week because Covid.) Which means for about 4 days, I have been splashing normal milk in my tea. Today I went back to my normal tea, and aaaaah… lovely.
In a world where we feel so overwhelmed by big problems, it’s easy to dismiss small things as not making much of a difference. Compared to the anxiety and dread that comes with the toxic mix of global pandemic and government incompetence, what is a cup of tea, or ten minutes hiding under a weighted blanket on the sofa? It doesn’t solve anything. All the problems are still there.
Small things can make a surprisingly big difference if we let them. Taking care of ourselves, letting ourselves exist for a moment outside of the pressure and fear, is a reminder that we matter, just as we are.
We don’t exist purely as a problem solving capacity. We are not required to be productive every moment of every day to have value and worth.
We are not required to be happy, or content, or thriving, or successful or any of those positive mantras – especially now. We have value and worth, even as we feel inadequate, insufficient, and unable to deal with all the things.
I have noticed a weird trend. As lockdown drags on, many of us are finding the hard things so much harder. Somehow, the sleeping dragons and shadows from our pasts seem to be waking up and haunting us (and it can feel really hard to know whether it is a shadow or a dragon). I don’t know why. I just know that it feels a bit like my brain is betraying me – like “hi, I see things are hard, let’s just chuck this hard thing on top of it to make it harder.”
That’s why small things matter. They bring me back into the present – where I am loved, accepted, even understood. Where my failures are not some commentary on my character, but just … a part of life?
So I find small things to give me the strength to get through the days. Tea. Shortbread (although having made a batch of homemade shortbread feels like a Big Thing). A Vegetable Box. Getting dressed most days. Home-cooked meals. Reading. Chats with friends online.
These small things remind me that I am here, now. And doing things. Being myself. Which is all a person can ever expect of themselves.