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The Small Stuff

A poem inspired by a book

By Rachel DeemingPublished 2 months ago Updated 2 months ago 5 min read
Top Story - October 2023
The Small Stuff
Photo by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash

Grab a coffee (or tea) and a moment and have a read because this is a bit of a long one, which was unexpected.

Come with me into the small stuff - the detritus of Life - as I speculate on why it's as important (if not more so) than the big stuff.


"Don't Sweat the Small Stuff", a book that I read

In the hope that it might help me sort out my head,

Offered advice to help you to keep

A positive mindset and toe-tapping feet.

To rationalise small things which threaten my peace;

A pathway to giving my stress its release.

By Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

But reading it means that I'm much more aware

If you gloss over small stuff, the things that "aren't fair"

It may be that you could be coming unstuck

With the fact that around you, "they" don't give a fuck

About all of those small things that matter to you -

And thinking of folks is life's social glue.

By Hannah Busing on Unsplash

I'm not on the brink of losing my rag

Or ranting or raging that life is a drag.

I know it's ironic I'm writing this verse

But words help to guide me, my thoughts, to traverse

The big things that sit there, like rocks in my mind;

An outlet for these is what I must find

Or they'll grow into mountains with cold snowy peaks

Where ledges exist, far too slim for my feet,

And scree, sharp and hard, can litter their slopes

And I am a hiker without crampon or rope.

'Cause that's what this feels like, this place that I'm in:

A ledge on a peak to which I am pinned

And I need to proceed, to get to the end

Without deviation or stumble or bend

But it's hard to remain in a positive space

When everything easy runs to escape

And leaves you alone with all of the stuff

That challenges you more and makes each day tough.

By Cas Holmes on Unsplash

And "crossing" the small stuff's a big sticky bog,

Where you're sucked at and halted; an arduous slog

Of tugging and heaving to try and get free

But life and its foibles grip more readily

Hindering the struggle of your tugging leg

To ease itself from binds and surge right ahead,

The bog is determined to strengthen its hold

And restrict your journey and sap all that's bold.

By Mitchell Luo on Unsplash

I have a great life, one that's full of great joy

Of comfort and joking and boisterous noise.

I'm acknowledging merely that life gets to me

When things that I value are inadvertently

Shot into pieces all strewn on the floor,

Where others can tread on it, crushing it more.

By CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

Why does this "stuff" break me out in a sweat?

I should let things go and not get upset.

The book gave advice and ways to get through

When Life decides to climb on top of you

And pin you down in a wrestling hold,

Cheek to the canvas, with nowhere to go:

"Submit!" And allow Life to take one more blow.

I took it on board; said "Give it a go!

You're known for your high positivity glow!"

But I find more and more, the older I get

That little things really do get me upset.

I'm not talking about all the serious things

Like people with cancer or vehicles crashing

With your loved ones inside, injured and hurt

Or not enough cash despite the hours you work.

It's not about life changing moments of woe,

Where you're faced with the prospect of letting folks go

Or dealing with people who couldn't care less

Who get pleasure from making a godawful mess

Of your life and theirs, with no thought of reprisal,

Who feel nowt about living a life of denial

That everything they're doing causes you harm

And drift through days easily, like Life is a charm.

Those things, there's no doubt, are important too:

Hard-hitters that challenge and threaten and move

But they're the big moments, the events that shape

With an uncontrolled shift in Life's level plane.

By Senad Palic on Unsplash

No, it's the pieces, the pages, the parts of the whole

That all come together and imbue the soul

With a feeling of worth - you're treasure, you're gold

You are the person who I want to hold

Close to me, near to me, day in, day out

You are the person I can't live without

And it is in the gestures, the kindness it's seen:

The smiles, and the help and the showing you're keen.

It's about picking a sock up or making a drink

Or not leaving a towel draped over the sink.

A kiss before bed or a homework assist;

Driving to parties that shouldn't be missed.

It's about being present when having a chat,

Or following through on an important task.

It's knowing the times to let stubbornness leave

To give will a rest, and stress a reprieve.

It's about favours and smiles and positive vibes

Knowing that helping will smooth out the time

Of your loved one to something they can use

Where obstacles are conquered and they can just cruise

For a bit in the space that you have provided

In your willingness to give them more than survival.

By Jackson David on Unsplash

I don't want to sweat. I want to be calm

And breeze through my life, with never a qualm.

The small stuff's important because each little bit

Needs attention to make sure that people don't quit

Or get bogged in the crapness we all have to bear

To keep the wheels turning and keep our heads clear.

By Lina Trochez on Unsplash

Mindfulness, presence, a listening ear:

Kindness for others and sharing a beer;

Making a cuppa and clearing the table,

Offers of help whenever you're able.

Putting a new toilet roll on the holder;

Watching TV with my head on your shoulder.

These are the things that matter the most;

The small stuff, the cement to block up the holes

And keep all secure and solid and strong

To help keep us going without going wrong.

And then when the big stuff inevitably arrives,

We're robust and ready and staying alive.

This poem is long: that was not my intent:

Read as an ad for Life's antiperspirant.

By Albert S on Unsplash

I wrote a poem yesterday which was about my languishing stories that I feel guilty about leaving unfinished in my "Drafts" section, here on my Vocal profile.

This poem was one of these, started over a week ago when my mood was a little more subdued than it is today, but still, the relevance of the poem will resurge at some time in the future and as I have a little more head space today, it was time to polish up this beauty and release it into the world where it belongs.

Please comment as I love to engage with my readers! And as always, thanks for stopping by!

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About the Creator

Rachel Deeming

Mum, blogger, crafter, reviewer, writer, traveller: I love to write and I am not limited by form. Here, you will find stories, articles, opinion pieces, poems, all of which reflect me: who I am, what I love, what I feel, how I view things.

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Nice work

Very well written. Keep up the good work!

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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Comments (20)

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  • Sasi Kala5 days ago

    nice motivation poem. i like it.

  • There were so many thoughtful sentiments shared in this. A wonderful poem. A great way to start the day. Thank you

  • Grz Colm6 days ago

    Turns out I’d already read this and it was only last month lol. Where has my memory gotten to! Sorry. Anyhow back to read again via your link. Great work Rachel. ☺️

  • Excellent motivational words, loved this

  • Atlantica22 days ago

    great👍 Let's interact with each other

  • JBazabout a month ago

    Rachel, first off this was not too long, it read smoothly. Secondly- a good friend of mine passed away and his service was yesterday. Your poem helped me more than you will ever know, thank you.

  • Kayleigh Fraser ✨about a month ago

    This was really lovely, I especially loved your lines with the mountain analogy - these were especially well written 🩷🤍✨🙏

  • Tomas James about a month ago

    This was great

  • Celia in Underland2 months ago

    Brilliantly written and so true, we spend so much time being distracted by the overwhelm or irritated by the small things we forget to hold the small things close. Loved this! And so well done as always 🤍 Congrats on Top Story also!

  • Paul Stewart2 months ago

    This was great, Rachel! So much great advice and loved how it flowed! congrats on the deserved Top Story!

  • Yayyyyy congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    First of all, this is brilliantly written. Second, it's highly relatable. Congratulations on a well-deserved Top Story!

  • Brin J.2 months ago

    Sometimes the small stuff becomes the best stuff later as we age, and we don't even realize it. Like dancing was in my youth for me <3. Great writing. This certainly deserved Top Story

  • Naveed2 months ago

    Congratulations on your Top Story, well deserved

  • Cathy holmes2 months ago

    This is great, and so true. Congrats on the TS.

  • Donna Fox (HKB)2 months ago

    I love the feel of this!! Also adore the use of the word fuck!! That’s how I knew you got real in this piece! This felt kind of dr. Seuss like but very much more adult and relatable! Great work! I enjoyed this a lot!

  • I bet that writing this would definitely had been very therapeutic and liberating! Also, I love unintentionally long poems! This was very deep and thought provoking!

  • Grz Colm2 months ago

    I hope you can traverse and the small stuff really is the best ! 😊

  • Omg, I am becoming unstuck♥️📝💯😉👍I love this inspiration. Thank you for sharing❗❗

  • Hannah Moore2 months ago

    SO much yes, and a great job with the poem. But also - the small stuff that brings joy - its not all trips to the moon. Its noticing shoots in dark February soil, and the feel of pijamas after a long day of toil - and now you have me in the rhythm, sorry. Those little things are SO important. SO SO SO important.

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