Things That Matter, By Lorie Sheffer

Sometimes it amazes me when I observe what stresses people out. Just the other day, a TV show came on and my father commented on how he can’t stand the host. He said she gets on his last nerve. Whenever I am at his house at that time of day, the TV is tuned to that channel and he is watching that show. The remote is right beside of him.

My husband and I were standing in line at a deli on Thursday afternoon and overheard two people talking about the Royal Wedding. Said they were sick of reading about it. Why read it, then, I wondered? I will often hear people complain about how depressing it is to watch the news, and I can’t help but wonder why they don’t just turn off the TV and go read a book or listen to music?

When my son was a teenager he wore his hair rather long. In fact, his ponytail ended at the middle of his back. More than once the comment was made to me that “MY son would never get away with that! I’d make him cut that hair!” When my daughter came home from school with her tongue pierced the comments were off the charts. Call me crazy, but it was just never an issue for me. Why get my shorts in a knot over things that really don’t matter? Eventually she got sick of the tongue jewelry and he cut his hair.

I was nearing 50 when I decided to find out what all the fuss was about; I got a tattoo. I sort of thought it would be fun. The biggest decision was should I get the Aerosmith logo or my husband’s name in a heart. I ended up getting the name in a heart for his birthday. What else can you get a man who has everything? After being asked what I had gotten Gary for his birthday, I actually had someone tell me that they HATE tattoos. “OK”, I replied. “Then don’t get one.” They were upset and bordering on angry with me over a small tattoo that they were never even going to have to look at. They behaved as if I had drugged them and inked them against their will. After calmly assuring them that it was perfectly fine with me that they didn’t care for tattoos, they still ranted on. Looking back, I think it upset them more that I was unaffected by their opinion.

Sometimes the answers to what is bothering us are simple. In fact, they can be as simple as “Turn the channel”, “Don’t read about it”, “It’s not hurting anyone and it will pass in time”, and “So don’t do it if you don’t like it.”  That TV host can’t hear you, the news is going to happen with or without your approval, even good kids find strange ways to express themselves, and why freak out over something another person does, especially if it really has no affect on you?  Why would anyone want to cause themselves stress over things that really don’t matter?

By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.