It’s The Little Things That Kill Us

woman standing in jean jacket
Becca Tarter

We always say it’s the little things that count.

I say it’s the little things that kill us.

A little sacrifice here, a little “I’ll just tolerate it” there, and before you know it, you’re 20 miles from home and have no idea how you got there.

little surrender

little surrender

little surrender

look at all these

white flags

if you stitch ‘em all together

they will be

your bodybag

the little things aren’t so little

I call it lillypadding: Jumping from not-quite-right-but-tolerable situation, activity or relationship to the next. Using the fact that moments are fleeting and pain passes to navigate until the water becomes calm. And then, it happens again.

If you have ever found yourself saying “Once I finish this project, then I’ll be able to take a break,” then you’ve lillypadded. Or, justified your behavior because you say it will be short-lived: “I’m only working this much right now because I’m getting ready for the holiday,” then raise your hand, Kermit-the-fucking-frog. You’re doing it.

When you do shit you don’t enjoy. Waste your time with activities and people you feel are just a little “off,” but not “bad.” When you tolerate, rather than celebrate. You are lillypadding. And little do you know, you’re stitching together a big ol’ patchwork quilt of regret.

The little things are what rob you of your life. So, instead of brushing them off, add them up. Do they build the planks of a boat that floats you, or are they poking holes in the bottom?

Maybe, you’re still at the point where you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about.

Working an extra 30 minutes, checking your email on weekends, going to brunch with people you aren’t 100% ‘fuck yeah’ about, pretending it’s ok when your boyfriend texts while talking to you. These are the little killers I’m after, the ones that seem completely innocuous.

I urge you to take a look at the “mini-mehs” in your life. And if they are just ‘meh,’ and not ‘fuck yeah!’ cut ’em loose.

Because the little things really aren’t so little. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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