Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff


Don’t sweat the small stuff.
When you’ve been in combat, unless you or a loved one is truly under the gun, it really is all small stuff. By truly under the gun, I do not mean a boss yelled, an exam was failed, a bone was broken. I do not mean a friend disappointed, a book proposal was rejected, or a business opportunity was missed.

I mean, literally, a life is in jeopardy.
This is one of the things I love about marriage to a combat vet.
Let me give you a recent example.
This last month, I decided to drive 10,000 miles (two round trips from one end of the country to the other). I did this because someone I love was in trouble and my heart said I might be able to help. This loved one has an old, old dog, Preacher, who cannot travel by bus or plane. Traveling with Preacher meant we’d be making a road trip. When I told Jack I was going, he did not hesitate, did not try to convince me not to go.
He said simply, “When do we leave.”
On our return journey, on a cold, bright morning in Tehachapi, New Mexico Jack lifted Preacher into our vehicle and the old dog let loose with his morning poop. This not being a common occurrence, it took a moment or two for Jack to figure out that he was standing in dog shit. When he realized what had happened he patted Preacher on his speckled head, told him that was not the kind of bonding experience he sought, and shuffled quietly back into the motel to wash up and meticulously scrape crap from the waffle soles of his shoes.
At no time did my husband rant or rave or cuss. All things I might well have done. Okay, all things I most certainly would have done.
When I thanked Jack for his calm acceptance of the situation he said, “Why would I be upset? It’s only shit. Nobody died.”
Don’t sweat the small stuff.