I was awake before six this morning. As someone who has spent her adult life as an avowed non-morning person, I should have known that waking up before the alarm would not turn out to be a good thing.
I knew why I was awake. My daughter, who leaves tomorrow morning at 3:30 for basketball camp several states away, had been under the weather last night. I fell asleep contemplating her trip, her health and her safety, then woke up embroiled in the same thoughts. But I was doing the mom thing -- feigning nonchalance and trying not to hover -- which every parent knows is more exhausting than the worry itself. And so the worry shook me awake much too early.
Despite my unceremonious awakening, once my daughter was up, I began the day with optimism. My daughter felt better. She made it through practice without any mishaps, then did some fun pre-camp shopping with a friend. The electricity -- and therefore the computer and the air conditioning --kept humming along as usual, inspiring me to do the same.
Until the little things started attacking. Repeated phone calls and texts during the small window of work time I had available. Someone relentlessly pounding on the back door while I was in the shower. My blog (the entire site) vanishing.
Although they don't feel like it when we keep tripping over them, these little things really are just little things -- first world problems. I am not hungry or thirsty or homeless. I have access to not only food, shelter and medication, but also electronics, air conditioning and Starbucks.
So why is it that days like this can feel so overwhelming, and small things can accumulate into a mountain of annoyances?
Well, some days they don't. But when they hit when we are most vulnerable -- tired or overwhelmed or already worried about something else -- they can knock the wind out of us, making a routine day long and difficult. I guess when we trip over the little things often enough, they're likely to ensnare us and drag us down.
And since there will always be little things, I suppose the obvious answer is to watch our step. They can't trip us up if we don't let them, even if they are impossible to ignore.
And if all else fails, go back to bed.