Trina Machacek: What about that small stuff, stuff

Trina Machacek

Trina Machacek

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Big stuff I can usually handle. Big stuff that I can fix either by myself or with some help in the form of a little bit of physical assistance or advice. Big stuff that I know where to go to get things fixed or who to call to pay to have things fixed. Big stuff that has a cause and then causes an effect.
Those types of big stuff seem to be the easiest things to fix. The well, the septic, the car, the lawn mower all pretty much straight forward fixables of life. Then? Oh, the small things.
Yes, yes I know the saying, “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” But! Yes a small, well a smallish “but.” Small things are like having a sliver in your finger from a dry tumbleweed that you picked up to throw across the fence because you were in a hurry and didn’t have gloves on. Or you got a piece of sweet summer butter dripping corn-on-the cob stuck between two teeth and you just can’t get it out.
Those little things wear on you. They dab at you over and over until you just. Well, I don’t know about you but the little things of varying degree sometimes grate until your innards start to feel like a tiny volcano is going to blow. Then what do you do?
Well other than a pin to dig out the splinter or a toothpick to the tooth to get relief sometimes we just have to take a deep breath and move on. Say for instance you buy something and it just blows. It is of such poor quality it nearly disintegrates the first time you use it. So, you return to the store or call the place you bought it from and they say, “Too bad, no warranty.” We have all done this. Well, I shouldn’t generalize, but I would bet one of my nickels that 97.42% of us have done the return thing. If that doesn’t go well? Volcano building…
Top it off with the fact that the item in question was used and for some reason it cost you other monies in how it’s used because of its poor quality. AARRGGH. Little things that cause loss of money could have a tendency to become big things. But they are in reality still little things. Your volcano building is now spurting hot rocks.
What quells that spitting and sputtering volcano? Satisfaction. We need satisfaction to keep the little things from driving us nuts-o. Here’s a for instance. At one time in my life I was lucky enough to have a travel agency. It was a great experience — that same 97.42% of the time.
A few, very few times I would get a traveler who, no matter what, who or how, the trip was just not up to the correct standards. Could have been the taxi driver was rude or the waiter was rude or the bartender was rude. Seems that there was a developing small thing theme in the problems with each vacation. The small things crated volcanos.
Now I could have quit the client. I could have but I didn’t. I dealt with each “problem” then moved on. Some things we just can’t fix. No matter what we try or do. I must admit that the one thing that I learned that kept the volcano from being transferred from the client to me? I learned to never, I repeat NEVER ask the one question that would put me in the middle of small stuff problems. I quit asking, “How was your trip!” Rarely everything is perfect. Not a purchase, not an ear of corn, not a vacation.
Of course, we all care and try to resolve problems in our lives. It’s not like we tra-la along and never stub a toe or get over ripe watermelons in life. That watermelon that you waited all winter for and finally paid too much for because it was the first of the melons of the season. We are just that impatient. Go. Do. Be. Have. Perfect. First, always first. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be like that. It will take time for sure and with age comes patience of course. But teaching by example of handling the small stuff can have that domino effect on you and those around you. Especially on you. Put a fire hose to that growing volcano by letting go of the small stuff.
Oh, that in no way means let yourself get rolled over and over again and again. Just pick your battles to win your wars. And never I’m here to tell you, never ask, “How was your trip?” Or the wedding, party or yes, even the watermelon. Slurp!
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her books are available online wherever you buy books. Or email her at to buy signed copies.


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