Life is full of the little things. The momentous occurs occasionally, but the mundane, the little things, happen every day.
It is the small things that can erode a relationship. Many couples who go in for counseling have a list of small things that have irritated them for years about their spouse. “He always does…” “He never does…” “She always says…” “She never thinks…” “Why can’t he…?” “Why can’t she…?”
Little things add up. If you neglect to take care of yourself each day – no exercise, an undisciplined diet, fail to brush your teeth or take a bath – eventually it will catch up with you. If you do not pick up after yourself, wash your dishes or your clothes, clean your floors, etc., the result could be an uninviting place for you to live and others to visit.
Col. Chris Hadfield, who wrote An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth, advises one to “sweat the small stuff.” During jet training, he blew a ride. Thankfully, although it was very unusual, the instructor only gave him a warning and did not demand a re-ride (which would have been a black mark on his record). After that incident, Col. Hadfield tried to figure out what had happened. He said the problem was that he had already decided he was a pretty good pilot, good enough that he did not need to fret over every detail. That near re-ride made him rethink his position. He said if you are striving for excellence – there’s no such thing as over-preparation. He said, “In my next line of work, it wasn’t even optional. An astronaut who doesn’t sweat the small stuff is a dead astronaut….It’s all small stuff.”
Solomon gives an example of how the little things can sneak up on you “like a prowler.”
I went by the field of the lazy man, and by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding; and there it was, all overgrown with thorns; its surface was covered with nettles; its stone wall was broken down. When I saw it, I considered it well; I looked on it and received instruction; a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest; so shall your poverty come like a prowler, and your need like an armed man (Proverbs 24:30-34).