When Life’s Little Frustrations Get to You


This morning we had a meltdown at breakfast. And by “we”, I really mean my daughter.

Her water wasn’t cold enough.

So I launched into this spiel about unimportant the water temperature was.

I asked if in five minutes, when she’s away from the breakfast table, it make a difference.

I asked how important it is to have the coldest water ever right in this moment.

And then I asked if this one little thing was important enough to ruin her whole morning.

Afterward, I told her she needed to redirect her thoughts from the water temperature, to something she could be thankful for – like the rest of her breakfast, or the fact that our house is cold enough that cool, rather than cold water isn’t a big deal.

And then I realized that I could have just as easily been talking to myself.

How many times do I let the little things bother me? In fact, this is probably where my kids learned it.

The little stressors as we’re getting the kids ready for school in the morning, or trying to get dinner on the table add up, but instead of saying hey, this too shall pass, how many times do I get frustrated and let everybody know about it.

  • We might not get every school subject done every day
  • Lunch might be a little late, or a little lackluster some days
  • I might not get the dishes done before bed every night
  • The kids probably won’t miraculously get better at keeping their rooms clean this month
  • I probably won’t catch up on laundry this week

The water might not be as cold as I want it to be, but really, does it matter? We’ll get through it.

This season may be hectic, but you’ll get through it too.

Keep your eye on the prize. What really matters when it’s all said and done?

dealing with life's frustrations

When Life’s Little Frustrations Get You Down

Recognize what’s happening. We don’t always see our attitude for what it is. Are you really just short fused because you didn’t sleep well enough, or is this genuinely a cool water situation?

Stop the thoughts. Once you’ve recognized that the thing ruining your day is just a minor stressor that won’t matter next week, commit to letting it go.

Redirect. Actively look for something to occupy your thoughts. You can’t commit to leaving the little thing behind if you don’t have something to replace it with!

In the end our attitude determines the quality of our day. So take the time to think about what’s going on, and whether it’s a real problem, or just time for an attitude check.

We all get down sometimes. What’s important is that we get back up.

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  1. Ah. The “not a big deal” lesson. I am forever, continuously teaching this to my kids. And forever, continuously reminding myself of it, too! Almost everything in life is Not a Big Deal. Either it is fleeting, unlasting, temporary displeasure or annoyance. Or it is unchangable, permanent, Just So kind of stuff. Whichever it is, it’s not worth being ruffled over.

    There are some things worth ruffling over. They are Big Things like am I saved? where is there sin in my life? who can I help today? who have I hurt today? how can I apologize and make things right? These are the sorts of things we should focus our energies on, I think.

    Thanks for the reminder. I always need it, I think.

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