“Worry often gives a small thing a big shadow.”– Swedish Proverb
You may recognize the title of this post. You may not. I was reminded of this when I came across a young couple sitting at a table nearby. The young lady was crying. I don’t know for sure but it looked like they were in the middle of a break-up.
As I saw this young person clearly going through a difficult time, I thought of the start of a bible verse I knew. The verse starts off with the sentence: “Once I was young, but now I am old”. While I sat there and thought about this verse, I thought about my own life. I thought about a time when I was younger. I thought about the problems that I had back then, and how small they seemed now. Even though back then they were monumental.
There was a time when I thought that being cool, or liked by my classmates meant everything to me. An end to a young-love relationship was the end of the world. Struggling to consistently land a kickflip meant catastrophic failure.
Don’t Sweat the Small Things
I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that everything would be okay. That in the end, those things that I was so obsessed with wouldn’t matter in the end. I would tell myself to do my best, and to not sweat the small things. Everything was going to be okay.
It was at that moment where I thought about a video I watched. This video was an interview with a 90-something-year-old person who lived a full life. The man was asked to share some words of wisdom for the upcoming generation. What would you like to tell the young people of the world?
The man thought for a minute, and said:
“Don’t worry, everything is going to be fine. Try to do your best. Don’t work so hard. Spend time with your loved ones. Do things that really matter. Everything is going to be okay.”– Unknown
It was at that moment that I started thinking about the present. I thought about my own challenges, and the troubles I was facing. About the young person and their challenges and I thought about the old man and his words of wisdom.
I realised that my problems are relative. When I was young, not landing a skateboard trick was huge. Now I am older and my midlife challenges are far more important and serious – or are they? To someone who is 90 years old. My problems might seem trivial. As you approach the end of your life, the things I am currently facing just seem a lot smaller.
As I sat there, waiting for my order to arrive. I thought about a possible trick. If we could learn from others, and look to our past experiences, maybe, just maybe, we could live the best version of our lives today.
What if instead of pounding worries around in my mind, I tried my best. What if I chose not to worry. Dared to believe that everything would work out, some way or another? If I could choose to believe that this moment, this situation, this challenge too shall pass. Everything was going to be okay.
What would my life look like if I took the advice from that 90-year-old man? Just knowing that perhaps one day, I would look back at this time and think, that wasn’t so bad. I wish I didn’t worry so much. I wish I enjoyed life a little bit more. Spent time with my family.
Once I was young, now I am old.
Worrying, obsessing, and agony is part of the human condition. We have so many words of wisdom from those who went before us. But at the same time, we still need to go through life and experience it for ourselves.
But what if. What if we could take that advice now? Live as though we already went through life. Live in the present moment. Be thankful. Trust and have faith that everything was going to be okay.
I don’t know about you, but this gave me hope. Life is not easy, but we really only have one shot at it. Let us live now while we are young. So that we don’t look back when we are old and regret all the things we wish we did or didn’t do.
Don’t worry. Enjoy life. Try your best. Do what matters. Spend time with your loved ones.