Two things happened last that created this topic for me:
- I happened to be going through my journal which I started in the summer of last year. One particular day in June, I was incredibly upset and hurt by the carelessness of a friend. I was so focused on my hurt feelings that I never mentioned what actually happened. As I read the entry again last week, I couldn’t remember for the life of me what the pain had been about.
- Cleaning out my file cabinet, I saw a program for a conference. Now, I don’t usually keep programs unless I presented, so I thought it was a mistake since I didn’t even remember going to this one. Perhaps someone gave it to me, and I accidentally put in the file. Still, I leafed through it. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that not only did I attend, but I presented. I remember nothing about the event. But knowing how much public speaking makes me nervous, I’m pretty sure I spent time worrying and even feeling physically ill about the event.
Often, the immediacy of things make them seem more important than they are. One of the advantages of keeping a journal is that I can go back and see “traumatic” events in perspective and context. And more often than not, they don’t seem terribly important after all (especially those that deal with work dramas). The trick is to remind ourselves of this when we’re going through stresses.
So the next time, someone is mad at you, you’re nervous over a presentation, or some work controversy has you tied up in knots, just ask this question: Will this be important to me a year from now? And if the answer is no, then try to let it go.