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Learn to let the little things go

Posted: March 2, 2014 - 12:07am

What is it about getting away that makes life seem so great?

I don’t mean leaving my kids or leaving my home. Although I will admit that absence makes the heart grow fonder. On both sides. I remember with extreme clarity the depths of my love for my children especially when I spend a little time away from them. And the flip-side of that equation is also true: when parents get away, the kids appreciate them so much more.

But beyond appreciating the gifts we have, a little distance from the daily grind puts so much of life into perspective.

So many of the things I worry about and fixate on at home tend to melt away once I get a little breathing space. And if a little mental distance helps me forget my cares, maybe they aren’t all cares I should be clinging to.

When I’m away my entire headspace seems to change. Of course much of that is because the practical in’s and out’s of running a household are decreased. I love home life but there is certainly a lot that goes along with it.

When I’m away I find myself dealing with what is directly in front of my face. Now it’s time to go here, now it’s time to deal with this right now. Because so much of the externals are out of my control, I deal only with what I must. I can’t worry and control most of what’s going on around me, so I don’t even try.

It’s quite refreshing indeed.

I was recently out of town for a few days and noticed when I got back, a lot of my old worries and fears crept back in. I woke in the night slightly agitated about something and realized I hadn’t had that thought at all while out of town. The thoughts and cares that occupied so much of my time never really occurred to me while I had been away.

And in that moment, I knew – I could choose to let these things go. I knew it might be easier said than done, but when you live a few days without your regular worries and cares, you realize how much nicer life can be free from them.

After that, I made a conscious effort to put those thoughts out of my mind when they came in. I didn’t dwell. I changed the mental subject. I decided to deal with the things I needed to and to ignore (to the best of my abilities) the things I could not change.

A little distance from my regular life put into focus all those details that were occupying my mind unnecessarily. None of it was in my control, I didn’t need to allow it to stay.

Change the view. Change your headspace. We might call it getting away, or going on vacation. Or perhaps being on a retreat. Whatever it might be, it works.

Too often in life our habits weigh us down. We operate a certain way just because. Because that’s what we do and how we roll. Because that is what we are in the practice of doing.

Getting a little break from the way things are helps reset things closer to the way we want them to be.

When I come back from being away, I am a better mom to my kids, a better wife to my husband. I appreciate the beauty of the daily grind – the luxury of life’s small details – because I’ve been given a chance to step back and take a small rest.

And those things we see when we return that are not what we want? We can choose to let them go. It takes effort, it can be a challenge. But living without the burdens of fear and worry make life much sweeter indeed.

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