Does Anyone Care About the Small Stuff?
Relatives, all gone now, having a great time working together.
D oes anyone care about the little everyday things we do? I have learned that I do. I’d like to know what my grandmother’s routine was as a child, as a young mother, as an empty nester. I’d like to know how she made her bread and soap. I’d like to know what her surroundings were like, and what her opinion was on a myriad of mundane subjects.
“There’s nothing interesting in my life to write about,” said my sister. “I go to work at my first job, go to work at my second job, come home exhausted, fix dinner anyway, and go to bed.”
Then she continued to talk about the appalling politics at work. (Guy One wrote up Guy Two just before quitting his job—effectively making Guy Two look bad enough to want to leave his job as well. Someone left a company phone behind full of incriminating information.) She explained some of the fun things her older son does with his Sunday school class at church. She talked about her brand new hair style, and why she made such a dramatic change after years of wearing the same style. On and on she described her life, full of interesting details.
Those little things combine to become our days, our years, and our lives; interspersed with the big things such as births, deaths, marriages, moves, job changes, trips, tragedies, triumphs, and so on.
Grandpa got dressed up and sat in a chair most of the day toward the end of his life. As a child I wanted to know why his legs hurt so bad. I also wanted to know why his hand was missing two fingers.
My children might wonder why my dad sits in a chair now too. And why did he go to Saudi Arabia and work for King Fahad after his retirement?
No life is uninteresting. It takes a lot of effort to thrive or survive, and the effort takes us through a lot of high and low experiences.
Take a lesson from Jane Austen who got a lot of mileage out of writing about the small stuff.