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The Myth of “The Little Things”

December 19, 2014

Recently I’ve been in situations that have caused me to think long and hard about “relationship stuff”. Beliefs, sayings, quotes, etc. There are many beliefs out there, plenty that are contradictory even, that people swear by. Some I hear more often than others. Some I subscribe to, some I have no place for.  One that has stuck out to me recently though,  is the saying “The Little Things”

little things

The Little Things. Many people call these the things that , I suppose are the ones that don’t take much effort. Making coffee for your Life Partner in the mornings. Aiding in helping with the kids find socks, if there are any kids. Doing things not because you were asked ( or even if you are) that just make life a little easier or show you care, like washing dishes. Shoveling snow. Scrapping ice off the car before they leave  in the morning for work. Randomly checking tire tread and pressure, pumping the gas, Calling home while you are out and about , not shopping for the house, but still to ask is there is anything needed. Clearing a spot for them to eat. Offering the last available TV tray. Refilling the sugar (so it’s indeed available for the coffee you made) Making sure the mugs are cleaned to be used,  taking on additional chores just because you know you Life Partner is busy, or tired, or sick, or just doesn’t want to do it. So many ” Little Things”.

People often say it’s not the big ( money, cars, gifts) that matter most, but the “Little Things”.

I have observed TWO major myths to this. As being someone who is really good at these Little Things and the results  that has brought. Which sadly, not much success lately.

The first myth is that it is  “The Little Things” that count the most. FALSE. The little things only count when they appreciated. It seems that, once they become “old hat”, they no longer hold the weight they once did. If they ever held much weight at all. It seems that these “Little Things” become “Invisible Things”. They become the things unseen, the things that no longer matter. I find this anomaly interesting to say the least because, after all, it’s the LITTLE THINGS that supposedly count! Sadly forgotten though when the money runs low, or the arguments happen over the less desirable  “Other Things”. I guess the other things are the things that don’t matter because they are not the LITTLE THINGS, but now they are the ONLY THINGS that count. How does this happen? I’m not completely sure. But it has been an interesting, often sad event to study up close. When the “Other Things” start to become the “Only Things” that count, and the LITTLE THINGS that all the people of the world quote are what matters, simply, cease to matter all together. When the few “Other Things” somehow begin to outweigh the dozens of “Little Things”. When the cons, no matter how few, become more important than pros, no matter how abundant those pros may be.

The second myth is more of a misnomer to me. The fact that these little things are called LITTLE THINGS boggles my mind.  If we approach them being little things because they cost little and don’t take much effort, that most definitely needs to be revisited. Because, in my opinion, it is these very LITTLE THINGS that make up the FIber of the relationship! It’s the motor oil that keeps the gears running. You never see the oil because it’s  in the oil pan. But without this precious liquid, the entire engine to your car would lock up and cease to work. The car, in essence..dies. The oil change is one of the cheapest most effortless things you can have done to your car, yet arguably one of the most important things you can have to sustain the life of the vehicle. So are these so called “Little Things” that happen day by day, week by week, month by month, in your relationship with your Life Partner.

I’m amazed that these day by day little things are considered the ones that take the least effort. I suppose that really depends on what you consider, and also how you measure, effort. For instance. Making coffee for you partner in the mornings. Small effort right? But what if that partner, who struggles to get up in the mornings, has to get up earlier to make that coffee? Is that still “little effort”? By whose measurement? Scrapping the car of ice in the mornings? Well, that partner also has to scrape their own car. So what was a ten minute activity, is now a 20 minute activity, in the cold weather,  that runs the risk of the partner doing the scrapping being late to work with it. Is this still considered a little thing, because it doesn’t take much money to accomplish it? Shoveling during a blizzard so that nobody in the house gets stuck. Cost money? Nope. Just painful, tiring, and downright hard to do. A little thing? I don’t know. I’m no expert. Just a student.  But what I do now suspect,  is it seems  the LITTLE THINGS sure do add up, which should make them the HUGE THINGS no?

The poor Little Things. They tend to get the shitty end of the stick. Loved and Adored ( kind of the like the individual sometimes) in the beginning of the relationship, but ignored when those pesky few  “Other Things” come up. Like a middle child. Or the Life Partner who needs to be portrayed as unworthy of the fight. These “Little Things” must be forgotten as to be convinced they are no longer worth the effort.

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