It’s the little things that make the bigger things function. If you are driving a car and the timing belt goes out, that big hunk of metal you depended on daily becomes a boat anchor, totally useless. Just a little chain. Just a little oil. Just a little spark plug. It’s the little things that make the bigger thing function well.
Your printer won’t work without that tiny cartridge (that costs a fortune, by the way). Your computer will finally run out of juice if you don’t connect with that little cord that is essential for it to continue working. Your watch may not tell you the time if you don’t replace that tiny battery every so often. Maintenance.
Everything in life seems to depend on something else to keep it functioning well, even if it is only rain or air. And it’s the little things that keep a relationship intact and running well. If you don’t believe that, try missing your son’s ball game or forgetting to send a card to your mother on Mother’s Day. It’s the little things that add up to huge rewards.
Recently I participated in a group discussion on Friendship and the inevitable “too busy” card got thrown into the conversation. We live in a world where being too busy is like a badge of honor. You’ve been promoted to King/Queen of the Universe. And being too busy becomes the excuse for forgetting important dates, not investing in relationships and not maintaining vehicles, homes, businesses, and many things that finally wear out, break down or disappear. Maintenance.
I fell in love with the man of my dreams over fifty years ago. I have been married to him for forty nine of those years and I know without a doubt that our marriage has endured and thrived because of the little things we do for one another daily. Not once in a while but daily. Maintenance.
I have a plethora of friends and I have some longevity and history with a few that binds us together in times of sorrow and joy. The only way I have created long-lasting relationships with those people are because I take time to keep in touch, drop a note or an email, remember them on special occasions. Maintenance.
I have never known a relationship to maintain on its own. It takes time, effort and energy. It takes caring enough to take a few minutes here and there to pay attention to what’s important. To who’s important. It takes maintenance.
Best selling author, Andy Andrews has released a new book called The Little Things that debunks the familiar and often quoted phrase, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”. Andy says, “Unfortunately, as good as it sounds and as tempting as it may be to follow that instruction, there is a big problem with not sweating the small stuff. Simply said, it’s a decidedly unproductive approach to virtually everything in your life you consider important.”
Don’t let the timing belt go out in your relationships. Trust me, the car can be replaced but a good marriage or friendship poorly maintained leaves a wake of emotional pain and a void that is much harder to bear. Those little things make all the difference in the well-being and functionality of just about anything you hold dear. You are never too busy for what you value enough to place in high priority.
What one little thing can you do today to put a smile or a tear of gratitude in someone’s day?