We’ve all heard it, maybe even said it, but truth bears repetition: it’s the little things.
My husband and I recently celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. We met when our ages still ended in teen and two months into our relationship I would’ve married him. It took nine years to get the proposal. While I don’t feel old enough to have been together for 27 years, I’m proud of the life we’ve built together.
Our life together has not been filled with grand gestures or romantic getaways. It has been filled with lots of good little things. Things that could go unnoticed to the untrained eye. Things that make all the difference. It has also been filled with countless little annoying things that could’ve made all the difference if we’d have let them.
My family will sometimes watch Discovery’s show, Gold Rush. It follows different miners on their quests for gold. These miners use lots of heavy equipment to retrieve tiny flakes of gold. Thousands of yards of dirt moved and sifted to reveal seemingly insignificant bits of the precious metal. It takes many hours and much work to collect the gold. But over time those flakes fill jars. In the end, those jars are worth a fortune.
It seems to me that marriage is much like gold mining. Sometimes you have to look closely to see the good stuff. It would be easy to see only the overwhelming work and lose sight of the treasure.
It seems to me that when it comes to marriage you need to use two virtual tools. A magnifying glass and a telescope. Using them at the wrong times will surely be detrimental. Allow me to explain.
It would be easy, so easy to see the dirty dishes piled on the counter above the dishwasher and pull out the magnifying glass. This is the wrong time to use that tool. There is no need to blow such a thing out of its deserved proportion. Instead, think big picture does this matter? Not so much, the dishes are at least conveniently located for putting in the dishwasher, so do that and move on. The telescope enables us to see out past what is immediately in front of us.
My husband locks the door behind him as he leaves for work early each morning to keep his family safe inside. When I hear that lock click it sounds like him whispering I love you. If I weren’t listening I would miss it, but each morning I amplify that sound. It’s the little things. The way he turns my seat heater on in the car when its cold outside. It is the way he listens to me yammer on about a blogging world foreign to him. It is the way he makes me laugh every single day. Those things deserve to be blown up and exposed for their full glory because those are the things that matter. If I weren’t paying attention I’d certainly take them for granted.
The little things add up in either direction. You have a choice to make. Choose your lens wisely. There will be times your instinct will be to grab the magnifying glass, but instead, take a breath and let it go. Other times you should seize the opportunity to pick it up, enable yourself to look close enough to see the love hidden in the details.
Too many people are blind to the nearly hidden gems of everyday life. Those things over time fill the jar. Those are the things that make for a breathtaking view out the telescope. Those things are the treasure.