Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff


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Reflections of yesterday reinforce the lessons of today. Life is redundant. So why not learn from your past in order to improve today?

I am constantly running into situations that used to piss me off. The negative situations are still all around me. That hasn’t changed. In the past I would respond with harsh words and violence. Look where that got me!

Luckily, there is another way to cope with life. A way that leads to a softer, more graceful path. On this path, life is easier, less stressful, and the people are more compatible.

This “path” involves replacing old habits of compulsive thinking and negative reactions, with new habits of perspective. Perspectives from the standpoint of love, understanding, and forgiveness.

The results: A calm, peaceful, happy, satisfying life.

I used to get all worked up over the smallest things. One example is when I told a guy named Eric to, “get in and play your aces.” We were Pinochle partners and he kept getting his aces cut.

He replied, “You play your game, and I’ll play mine.”

It happened again! He got in and didn’t play his aces. We went set! I got mad.

I told Eric, “If one more of your aces get cut, I’m coming across this table and slapping your face.”

Eric said, “Yeah, I don’t see that happening. You’re not that stupid.”

I was already so worked up, emotionally, that I instantly reacted. I reached across the table and slapped his sassy little mouth. This happened back in 1999 at Walla Walla.


Today I closely examine my actions of the past. I clearly see how I used to get worked up over things that aren’t really a big deal. I would focus on little problems & concerns and then blow them WAY out of proportion.

Just the other day I was playing Pinochle. My partner kept getting his aces cut. After the second time, I wanted to say something to him. But I didn’t. I just let it go.

We lost that game. As they were ready to start a new game, I excused myself from the table and told them I had other things I needed to do. And that was it. Done. Very simple.

I can list tons of examples of things that still happen. Things that don’t sit well with me. Things that have the potential to bother me…if I let it.

But that’s just it….I don’t let it!

Instead, I have compassion towards the bothersome person. I’ll make it a point to say something nice. In doing so, I’m able to maintain my own sense of well-being. I’m able to continue down a peaceful harmonious path.

I’m learning to ignore all the things that don’t serve me well. As a result, my life is so much better.

Back in the day I would sweat the smallest things. My life was full of conflict, stress, turmoil, etc. I was completely outta touch with all the positive beauties of life.

Now that I’m committed to all things good, I find that I have more energy to focus on the positive. Life is good!

MORAL: Don’t sweat the small stuff…focus on the positive.



Steven Jennings


Author: Steven & Suzie Jennings

She was raised as a Mormon, and he is a convict serving 43 years in prison. This blog offers a glimpse into two vastly different worlds that somehow came crashing together. Join them on their journey through prison life & married life.

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