A week ago my employer sent out an email that would make anyone with Generalized Anxiety Disorder shudder. Our “Diversity and Inclusion” tip of the day was to “Sweat the small stuff.” This, at first read, felt like insanity. If I were to spend my time sweating the small stuff I would blow my entire budget on deodorant. I’m already a compulsive worrier – Photo by torbakhopperI didn’t need to be told to worry more.

But after my initial reaction, it caused me to reflect on how I think about the small stuff. In my experience, it is often the small stuff that I love about those I am in relationships with and miss about those I am separated from (either by distance or by the ending of the relationship).  The inside joke, the strange greeting, or just the timbre the conversation takes on between certain people.

In the 1998 film Meet Joe Black, a conversation occurs between William Parrish (Anthony Hopkins) and Joe Black/Death (Brad Pitt). During this conversation, Parrish shares lunch with Joe and reflects on his wife who had passed away. “My wife turned me on to these. Cold lamb sandwiches. Not as tough as roast beef. Not as boring as chicken. She knew things like that. God, I miss her.”  Sandwiches are, in the grand scheme of things, a rather small thing, but it is a signpost for his wife’s love for him – and in return, his love for his wife.  A sandwich was something he ate for lunch; a cold lamb sandwich was a reminder of his wife.

Shortly before his passing in 2003, Warren Zevon made a final appearance on The Late Show. The entirety of David Letterman’s show that night was devoted to Zevon. He played three musical numbers and was the sole guest of the evening. During the interview, Letterman asked Zevon if he had any advice or if there was any philosophy he was living by. His response: “Enjoy every sandwich.” When people are faced with death (like Parrish and Zevon were) the little things take on new significance.

I think most of us live our lives for the big moments. Most of us expect to have a time before we die to enjoy small things with renewed significance. Most of us, however, don’t get that chance.

I spend too much of my life looking for the grand gestures.  I wonder why the big stories haven’t happened to me.  I haven’t found a spouse or landed the big job. I haven’t gotten the major praise or exceeded in anything at a high level.  But in looking for those things, I have missed out on a lot of sandwiches.  I’ve missed out on a lot of little acts, or at least not valued them the way I should because they don’t line up with my expectations.

So maybe it isn’t as much about sweating the small stuff as it is about loving the small stuff. I guess my advice to myself, and to you, is: Enjoy every sandwich, especially the cold lamb ones.

10 thoughts on “Cold Lamb Sandwiches”

  1. I and my buddies were taking note of the nice procedures from your website and quickly I got a horrible feeling I never expressed respect to you for those techniques. Those men ended up so glad to learn them and now have surely been loving them. Appreciate your simply being indeed helpful and then for selecting varieties of perfect issues millions of individuals are really eager to be aware of. Our sincere apologies for not expressing gratitude to you sooner.

  2. My spouse and i felt so glad Michael could conclude his web research out of the ideas he obtained in your web site. It is now and again perplexing to just always be giving for free secrets other people have been selling. We already know we have got you to be grateful to for this. The explanations you have made, the straightforward website menu, the relationships you give support to engender – it is many incredible, and it’s helping our son in addition to the family recognize that this theme is exciting, and that is particularly mandatory. Thank you for all the pieces!

  3. I and also my friends have been looking at the nice guides located on your web page and before long I had an awful suspicion I never thanked the web site owner for those strategies. All the boys are actually certainly excited to learn all of them and already have clearly been enjoying those things. Thanks for turning out to be so helpful and then for selecting varieties of useful subject matter millions of individuals are really eager to be informed on. Our honest apologies for not expressing gratitude to sooner.

  4. I wanted to create you one little word so as to say thanks once again with your lovely advice you have shown at this time. It’s really remarkably generous with you to convey publicly precisely what a few people would’ve made available for an ebook in making some cash for their own end, specifically since you might well have tried it if you decided. These tricks also served as a fantastic way to know that some people have similar dreams just like mine to learn a little more in terms of this matter. I am certain there are thousands of more pleasurable opportunities ahead for folks who read carefully your blog.

  5. I wish to show some appreciation to you just for rescuing me from this particular instance. As a result of checking throughout the the net and obtaining recommendations that were not pleasant, I figured my entire life was over. Being alive minus the solutions to the issues you have resolved by means of your short post is a serious case, as well as the kind which could have adversely affected my career if I had not noticed your blog. That understanding and kindness in playing with all areas was priceless. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t come across such a solution like this. I can at this time relish my future. Thanks a lot so much for your professional and sensible help. I won’t be reluctant to propose your web page to any person who ought to have direction about this issue.

  6. Thank you for all of your work on this web page. Debby really likes getting into investigations and it is obvious why. My spouse and i learn all about the powerful method you produce helpful items via your blog and in addition inspire contribution from others about this idea and our own girl is now studying a great deal. Have fun with the rest of the new year. You’re the one doing a superb job.

  7. I definitely wanted to post a quick note to be able to appreciate you for all the stunning guidelines you are writing at this site. My extensive internet search has finally been compensated with good concept to go over with my family and friends. I would believe that most of us site visitors actually are very fortunate to exist in a remarkable community with so many lovely individuals with very beneficial ideas. I feel rather privileged to have come across your web pages and look forward to many more pleasurable minutes reading here. Thanks again for all the details.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *