In October, I got my hair cut.
This might not seem like a big deal… and frankly I didn’t think it was a big deal either, but afterwards?
Let me explain.
I have very thick hair. For years, I’ve worn it long, to the middle of my back. And it was lovely. But the little house’s hot water tank holds only 15 gallons of hot water (A regular household hot water heater holds more like forty)! To wash my hair in fifteen gallons of water was a project. Every time. And I hated it.
After a year of this nonsense, I went to Meghan, my wonderful friend at Ricci’s Salon in Newtown, CT, and said, “That’s it. Cut it off.”
Big chunks of hair fell to the floor and I felt… oddly relieved.
So many times it occurs to me that it’s the small things that make or break a day, a week, an experience, or happiness. Cutting my hair made me, quite simply, happier. So, it really wasn’t a small thing.
I find this in Executive Coaching as well. In my experience as a coach, it often isn’t a big obstacle that is holding the client back – it’s a small thing – a bad habit, something they’ve ignored, or a set of assumptions that need to be reexamined.
And if a small thing is not attended to? Holy cow, it can become a huge thing.
A month ago, it all started with my husband’s inflamed elbow. MyUPSGuy noticed swelling on a Tuesday. Nothing big really. He went to Urgent Care and was diagnosed with bursitis in his elbow. Armed with a prescription for antibiotics, he came home, and all was well.
Two days later, however, all was not well. The inflammation had spread down his left arm into his hand, and up his arm to his shoulder. His arm was red, inflamed, and angry. What started as a small thing ended up a pretty big thing… a big infection. My husband landed in the hospital for six days. Finally, ten bags of I.V. antibiotics later, he was on the mend.
But it was a scare.
As MyUPSGuy went back to work, and life returned to normal, I realized that a small thing had mushroomed into a huge thing… and I was thankful to be reminded that health can be fleeting. That it’s not a given. It’s not a small thing — that it’s not something to be taken for granted or taken lightly.
Over the last year, downsizing to the “little house,” has been a “thinking experience.” Modifying our lives to a small house, for some reason, has made me consider what’s important and what’s not. And what I’ve found is that the small things are often the big things, and often surprisingly so.
After our scare, I am reminded about what’s truly important. The person I love. The time we have together. Our health.
Small things that, in fact, really aren’t small at all.