Don’t sweat the small stuff!  I’ve had a problem with this in the past, but I’m getting better and better at letting things go, especially when they really don’t matter in the grand scheme of my life.  For example…


  • There is a lot of dust, crumbs, and dog hair on my kitchen floor.  Normally, that freaks me out.  I can live with it for another day; the microscopic germs are not going to kill me, the Husband, or my dogs.


  • When other people cannot drive like fully functional human beings, I do not need to let my blood pressure rise to astronomical heights.  It is not worth getting upset over.


  • I do not need to find “the perfect gift” for everyone on my Christmas list.  They know how much I love them and that money is tight.


  • Negative noise and energy vampires have no impact on how I feel about myself, my life, or my work.


  • Maggie smells, but it’s OK.  I can give her a bath when I have more time.  It’s fine if she stinks up my sheets.


  • I hate vegetables.  It’s not the end of the world.  I eat them anyway.


  • Sometimes, the Husband and I will get into silly arguments about silly things that do not really matter.  I try to react with love and forgiveness instead of taking out my frustrations on him. 


  • I can still run a successful marathon even if I don’t reach my mileage goals 100% of the time.  Running is for fun, anyway.  If it stops being fun, I have a major problem.


  • I might fail my Anatomy final that I’m taking in one hour.  I will still pass the course.


  • We might have to move in with our in-laws in the summer.  But relatively speaking, we have it better than 95% of the world.  We have a safe place to live, food, a steady source of income, a violence-free life, and a happy, healthy family.   I am thankful for these things and will not make myself unhappy trying to “keep up with the Joneses.” 


  • I have the power to refocus my time and energy on things that really matter.  I have the willpower to let the small things slide.


What’s small stuff really sweats you?  How do you let it go?



  • Tracey@tropicalhappiness December 8, 2009, 5:45 pm

    I love this! After all, the only person you can change is YOURSELF! You can’t change anyone else (like those slow drivers or those energy vampires). You can only change YOU an how YOU react to them. 🙂

  • Lauren December 8, 2009, 5:47 pm

    Cute post! When we used to live in Florida, my parents called certain Florida drivers “Floridiots.” Hang in there!!

  • Liz December 8, 2009, 5:50 pm

    Sounds like life is a bit stressful in your world right now. Maybe? Love the list…a lot of the bullet points pertain to my life too. Life’s busy, I (and it sounds like you do too) do a lot, and we can’t all be superwoman! Good job trying not to sweat the small stuff!

  • Abby December 8, 2009, 5:52 pm

    Tracey speaks wise words! And the hardest part is recognizing these things which you’ve already done.. so you’ve basically won the war (there will just be a few skirmishes here and there)! 🙂

  • katey December 8, 2009, 5:52 pm

    I really need to learn these things too!!!! I always freak out over the small things

  • Kath December 8, 2009, 5:56 pm

    We might have to move in with our in-law too. Eeks!

  • Amy December 8, 2009, 5:59 pm

    Absolutely great list. I am a big worrier – not to the point where worrying keeps me from doing things, but enough that I sometimes stay up at night. My husband is good at reminding me that if it is a situation that I don’t control that worrying isn’t going to help.

    In regards to your earlier post, you could still do your strength training while marathon training. I know my most comfortable marathon happened when I had incorporated circuit training into my schedule twice a week. You’re going to do great.

    I hope your anatomy final goes well. Have a great week. Amy

  • Susan December 8, 2009, 6:00 pm

    I need to not worry if I get x-amount of exercise in one day. Exercise is supposed to be good for both the body and mind, and when it becomes too stressful then the costs can outweigh the benefits!
    Great post!

  • Jen (Running With Cake) December 8, 2009, 6:00 pm

    Wow, so surprised to hear that you hate veggies! Crumbs and anything sticky on the counters irritate me. I can’t stand crumbs on the floor either – ick!

  • Megan December 8, 2009, 6:02 pm

    Do you have the slightest hint of a clue as to how inspirational you are? I read your blog every day- brush my teeth, wash my face, make a healthy breakfast, and see what Caitlin’s up to! Even though this list is specific to your struggles, I (a complete stranger) can totally relate. You’re universally helpful and thanks a bunch!

    • caitlin December 8, 2009, 7:28 pm

      thank you:)

  • Sana December 8, 2009, 6:03 pm

    I might not be applying to med school with all my classmates this year- but I am still a smart girl!

  • Alyssa December 8, 2009, 6:08 pm

    I have that book! Thanks for reminding me to take it out 🙂

  • Carol @ The Hummusphere December 8, 2009, 6:10 pm

    Beeyooteeful post! I should take a page from your book and just relax. This is just what I needed 🙂

  • Evan Thomas December 8, 2009, 6:13 pm

    It sweats me that some times I have to throw away food. but if it’s not good anymore it’s not good and it’s not the same as “wasting” it

  • Karla December 8, 2009, 6:14 pm

    I need to not sweat the small stuff either. I get super stressed about EVERYTHING and it’s something I’m trying to work past and look at the positive a little more.

  • Katie December 8, 2009, 6:15 pm

    Your last point is awesome!

    New giveaway, music, fitness and foods –

    I’d love for you to visit!


  • Christy December 8, 2009, 6:16 pm

    In order to stay within budget, we always bake for our friends and some family members. I make 3 kinds of biscotti and put them in a xmas bag and tie it up! They love it and it’s always the thought that counts!

  • Matt December 8, 2009, 6:21 pm

    I can’t stand when anything is out of place/dirty/ect… I am the biggest neat/clean freak there is!

  • Allison December 8, 2009, 6:24 pm

    I depend on my workout so much to relieve stress that sometimes when things get super busy they create stress trying to fit them in!

  • Anna @ Newlywed, Newly Veg December 8, 2009, 6:27 pm

    Oh man…so much of this list applies to me. Bad drivers drive me NUTS. I can feel my blood boiling just thinking about it. I’ve learned to just take a deep breath and keep moving.

    Small fights with the husband too– I can totally relate to that one 🙂 My husband and I spend A LOT of time together, and while all that togetherness is usually great, it can also lead to irritations and petty fights 🙂 We’ve learned to give each other space when these little “flare-ups” occur.

  • chandra h December 8, 2009, 6:28 pm

    “I know you’re wise beyond your years
    but do you ever wonder
    if your perfect verse is just a lie
    to tell yourself to help you get by” … nothing to do with this post (which is great! & i agreeee) but I saw your tweet of that postal service song & I hearted it 🙂

    • caitlin December 8, 2009, 7:28 pm

      i am jamming to postal service right now. PS makes me happy!

  • Yasmin December 8, 2009, 6:30 pm


    I remember that most of the things that stress me out are either a) my own choice, or b) in my control.

    If not in my control, well, then that’s that.

  • Miranda December 8, 2009, 6:31 pm

    When other grad students make better scores on tests/papers than I do. This is a BIG one right now. I’m still going to get an A even though it might not beat someone else’s higher A. I don’t know how to let it go. I think I actually use it for fuel to always strive to be a better student.

  • Runeatrepeat December 8, 2009, 6:32 pm

    Funny, I was actually looking up herbal remedies for anxiety right now – I need to just freakin’ relax!!!

  • Amanda (Two Boos Who Eat) December 8, 2009, 6:36 pm

    I need to write a post like this myself. Between my unemployment and having to pay big bucks for school, my husband and I have been feeling pretty stressed lately. I think it’s important during times like these to realize that it’s not worth sweating the small stuff. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down) December 8, 2009, 6:37 pm

    Love this post…it’s so true! 😀 Why sweat the small stuff?

    My room looks like a tornado hit it, but it’s finals week and it will be there to clean up when I have the time. 😉

  • emily December 8, 2009, 6:40 pm

    Thank you for this! I love it. Especially the part about having the power to focus on the things you choose… and not letting negative energy/thoughts take over your life. I need to hang that on my mirror!

  • Catherine December 8, 2009, 6:40 pm

    I read through that list, as though it was the checklist of my own thoughts (even the moving in with family part). Oh, except that I love vegetables! 🙂

    Best of luck on your exam.

  • Vanessa (Last Night's Leftovers) December 8, 2009, 6:45 pm

    This is a great post! I need to let go of the need to give bigger and better Christmas gifts every year. There just isn’t money this year, and my friends and family are getting baking in lieu of store bought gifts. They love me and they will love whatever I give them, so why am I letting it get to me? Silly.

  • sarah (ghost world) December 8, 2009, 6:49 pm

    beautiful post, caitlin! my version of the ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ mantra is ‘perspective is everything.’ it’s so, so true.

  • Amanda December 8, 2009, 7:00 pm

    I sweat my house being clean, perfectly clean. I’m a freak about it. I need to do more “not sweating” for sure.

  • Allison December 8, 2009, 7:04 pm

    Teachers can be really competitive. Sometimes, I feel like I’m not doing enough. If we’re writing essays, I worry that I should be doing more for reading comprehension. If we’re reading a play, I worry that the kids aren’t getting enough meaningful writing practice.

    However, I truthfully know that I’m a pretty good teacher, I give 110% every day, and my students learn a lot and make great progress. Sure, maybe I could be better, and I’m always working toward it, but I also try not to freak out about it.

  • Lauren December 8, 2009, 7:08 pm

    I love this motto! SO much, that I even went out and bought the book entitled, “DOn’t Sweat The Small Stuff.” It’s so true that we waste way too much time on worrying about the insignificant things in our lives. Time is valuable and if we waste moments on the things that don’t really matter, then that is a moment that we’ve lost entirely.

    Keep your head held high! And even if you do have to live with the in-laws for a litte, at least you will be living in quite luxury!!! I would say that’s pretty fantastic! 😉

  • Susan December 8, 2009, 7:15 pm

    Sometimes I eat more than I intended to, or I just can’t make it to my planned workout for the day. Stuff like that used to make me sweat a lot, but now I know it’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things. That’s the wonderful thing about “tomorrow” – it’s like we get a chance to start new every day 🙂

  • Sarah W. December 8, 2009, 7:16 pm

    Def don’t worry about moving in with in laws – if you get along with them, things will be fine as long as you treat each other with respect. We moved in with hubby’s parents for 3 weeks in transition between our rental and moving into our home 🙂 it all worked out 🙂

  • Teacherwoman December 8, 2009, 7:23 pm

    I have to get better about the “perfect Christmas gift”. I struggle with that because I try to keep all gifts around the same price, but some appear “bigger” than others and I sometimes worry that they (family) will think I spent more on the others or what not. I need to get over it. I think shopping earlier, and going with what they would like, makes it easier and I just go with it. This year was ten times better than years past.

  • Dezra December 8, 2009, 7:28 pm

    We have had to move in with my parents (with our two infants) to make ends meet since my husband lost his job. At first I was embarassed but now I realize that it’s the best thing for our family and we’re lucky that we have family that cares enough to help us out. I always remember the saying “We buy things we don’t need, with money that we don’t have, to impress people that we don’t even like”.
    I too am trying not sweat the small stuff and I am much happier for it.

  • Barbara (Blood, Sweat and Heels) December 8, 2009, 7:29 pm

    Good stuff Caitlin!

    I need to realize that it’s not the end of the world if I miss 1 workout, can’t afford a gift for everyone and deal with crap ass drivers! Like you said…have it better than many with food, shelter and warmth and i’m thankful!



  • Erin December 8, 2009, 7:31 pm

    There’s definitely something to say about NOT sweating the small stuff. Take care of the most important things first and don’t worry about what others think. I know people who are tens of thousands of dollars in debt because they want the nicest phones, computers and cars… yet don’t have the job to maintain that kind of lifestyle.

    Simplicity is key.

  • Liz December 8, 2009, 7:32 pm

    My God, thank you for this post! It’s like you’re in my head! I am going through some things too & may have to move back in with my parents. Not easy for a prideful 22 year old who has been on her own since she was 18. But I’ve come to accept it & am at peace with it. I know it’s what I need to do in order to get my schooling done & get out of debt. Glad to know that I’m not alone & that everything will be alright.

  • Mary @ Fit this girl December 8, 2009, 7:34 pm

    These are amazing! I love them- especially the one about having it better than 95% of the world. 🙂

  • Whitney December 8, 2009, 7:37 pm

    My first job was when I was 15. I worked “under the table” at a local pizza place! The pizza shop had been there 50 years, but has now closed. In fact, since that job, I’ve never gone a period without employment– for better or worse!

  • Carolyn December 8, 2009, 7:48 pm

    Hope your final went well!!

  • Jessica December 8, 2009, 7:49 pm

    This post was something I really needed to read right now, thank you. I definitely sweat the small stuff…and the big stuff…and the in between stuff. I have to learn to relax because worrying has begun to take over my life. Anyways, thank you for being such an inspiration.

  • Frannie December 8, 2009, 7:51 pm


    I only bring this up because you’re so open and honest 99% of the time. I’m wondering if you could address in an upcoming post how you can justify your trip to London in the face of upcoming economic adversity and instead of maybe buying your family/friends presents, etc. There is no judgement in this request. I believe you’ve worked hard for everything you have and transitory periods are difficult for all of us. But as you can see in many of the previous comments, we all look up to you and admire you. If you feel comfortable, it might be insightful to see how another woman makes choices like that.

    • caitlin December 8, 2009, 8:08 pm

      i’m not going to make it a whole post because i don’t need everyone and their mom weighing on my finances, but since you asked, i will tell you 🙂

      when you sign a book contract, you do not get the advance right away. so the husband and i have been living off our savings account for the last 2.5 months. part of the reason why things are so tight right now is because we are almost down to the wire with money in our savings and the advance has not come thru. the advance should be here before we leave for our trip, so liquid assets to take the trip are a none issue. however, liquid money to do things like splurge on everyone i know for christmas/send out christmas cards are just not going to happen right now, unless i want to put that on my credit card and pay interest. which i obviously don’t, and i know my friends wouldn’t want me to do that either (i’m still getting our parents gifts, of course).

      i realize there might be some differences between what i say (“ahh im broke!”) and what i do (“i’m going on vacation!”) but thats the reason why… i’m simply broke for cash, not really broke in the long-term.

      also, the trip to london is very important for the husband. he has not gone home for 3.5 years and he needs to see his relatives. we cannot go any other time of the year b/c of his schooling, so i want to go now for him… i don’t want his grandparents to pass away before he sees them again.

      hope that explains things a little better!

  • Allie December 8, 2009, 7:51 pm

    great perspective on so many things. thanks for putting them out there for me to think about. i think that life is so busy sometimes that stopping to think about what we have gets lost in the details, and the details can sometimes get overwhelming when they don’t need to be.

  • Danielle December 8, 2009, 7:58 pm

    Love this, especially the “negative noise and energy vampires” part. They are really getting to me right now and I need to remember that I can choose how I react to them. Thank you for the reminder!

  • jj December 8, 2009, 8:08 pm

    Thanks for that post…I needed to hear that! Dirt drives me crazy too, but every time I clean I remind myself that it’s just going to be dirty again in two weeks (which is how often I do a “big” clean) and it keeps me from being so perfectionist about it. Also, a friend said once “life is messy”, and I remind myself of that often! It helps me “chill” and not get too focused on life’s imperfections.

  • Sarah @ The Foodie Diaries December 8, 2009, 8:20 pm

    Love this–especially the bad driver thing. It always gets to me, and there are A LOT of bad drivers in NYC. I’m sure you feel my pain since it’s a whole ‘nother breed of bad drivers in Florida…

  • Erin December 8, 2009, 8:53 pm

    I love this. I really, really love this. Especially because the affirmative statements remind me that we can control literally all of our responses and perspectives, even if we can’t control what happens to us or other people. Once again, thanks for reminding me 🙂

  • maria December 8, 2009, 9:09 pm

    Great post and I can understand almost all of these. I lived with my inlaws this summer and it was fine, so don’t even worry about it!

  • Sara December 8, 2009, 9:14 pm

    So true. So helpful. I have 2 huge finals next week and I do need to stop procrastinating; but giving myself acid reflux every night over the mere thought of them isn’t healthy, either. Much easier said than done, though…

  • Jenny Eastwood@ JennyLikesToRun, Teenager with a healthy twist on life :) December 8, 2009, 9:18 pm

    I LOVE this post! This is one of my favourites I’d say.
    You’re so right, not sweating the small stuff is something I think we all need to learn how to do.
    I love your positivity 🙂 It’s energizing!

  • christie, honoring health December 8, 2009, 9:20 pm

    Wow, great Post, Caitlin. I need to learn to sweat the small stuff less and focus my valuable energy on the things that really matter.

  • Christy December 8, 2009, 9:20 pm

    Isn’t so nice & refreshing to look on the bright side of things? 😀 I always remind myself, no matter HOW BAD it seems, someone ALWAYS has it worse than you.

  • Cindy December 8, 2009, 9:24 pm

    You are such an inspiration. Your website and story have motivated me and I hope I can run my third 5k and my first 10k in the spring.

    I had to move back home with my family when I was finishing my masters program. I was doing my student teaching and I had gotten laid off from my very well paying job. There was just no way to teach all day AND work at the same time. I hated doing it, but I did it. It was supposed to be temporary, but it ended up being for 3 years. I am getting to the point financially where I thought I was going to have to do the same thing. (I lost my teaching job at the end of the school year, and I haven’t found a full time job to replace it; there are just no jobs.) I sub now and have a p/t job Saturday’s teaching for 3 hours.

    I was going to ask my parents if I could come home this summer, but my sister left her husband and moved back home with her kids. There is no room for me now. So I have to do everything and anything I can to make money, even taking a 3rd job in retail or something. I can’t keep borrowing cash from my mom. She is stressed out enough as it is.

    So thanks for reminding me to not sweat the little things, like the cat hair that needs vacuuming, or the fact I need to sweep the kitchen floor and didn’t get to it today. It isn’t going to kill me if it isn’t done. There are more important things in life. <3

  • Andrea December 8, 2009, 9:36 pm

    Wow! I am pretty sure I needed to read this post. Caitlin, I feel like I sweat alot the same things you mention. I feel a little more normal now so thanks! 😉

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat December 8, 2009, 9:52 pm

    I let financial things get to me a lot but like you, I am getting better. In the grand scheme of things, we are doing good and there is nothing to worry about even if I don’t have a house, have a lot of debt and remain on a tight budget.

    Thanks for posting this, so much of it hit home for me. It’s not easy, we have to work at it, but it can be done 🙂

  • Sarah @ See Sarah Eat December 8, 2009, 9:52 pm

    My dog stinks too by the way, ha ha!

  • Amy December 8, 2009, 10:37 pm

    Roaring with laughter here. I have a stinky pet too. Her name is Abby. She’s a cat who I love with all my heart, but she smells. And I can’t bathe her without a fight. Oh, and she makes my sheets pretty eewwyy too.

    Thank you for letting me see I’m not alone. I love your sense of humor and grounded view of life.

  • Joelle (The Pancake Girl) December 8, 2009, 10:45 pm

    Oh Lordy are you correct- you can’t sweat the small stuff, because really, there are FAR bigger things in life that matter so much more. I learned that recently as well..

  • Julie @savvyeats December 8, 2009, 10:48 pm

    I love this post! I’m so bad about sweating the small stuff, so you helped bring me back to focus on the big things!

  • Jolene ( December 8, 2009, 10:56 pm

    I love your positive attitude Caitlin! I cannot wait to keep reading as your life changes occur over the next year 🙂 Look at all that 2009 has brought, and just imagine what is in store for you in 2010!!

  • Kelli December 9, 2009, 4:49 am

    Hi Caitlin! I really love your blog and follow it regularly, but this is the first time I’m commenting. I love love loved this post! I totally understand where you are coming from. My husband and I had to move in with my in laws for 4 months over this past summer due to lost jobs and financial issues. It is tough, but you will make it through! It takes positive attitude (which you definately seem to have!) and lots of communication! I kept telling myself that if Stephen and I could get through the financial hard times we could really get through anything 🙂 Keep your head in the right place and you will be FINE! Also, running definately helps!!!

  • Kristy December 9, 2009, 8:58 am

    I can relate to too many of your bullet points :-/ Going to steal some of your positivity…

  • Tracy December 9, 2009, 9:00 am

    Beautiful post!! So many women can relate to these feelings.

  • Corey December 9, 2009, 9:13 am

    Caitlin, like everyone has said so far, thank you so much for this post! I am a huge worrier and reading this post from you, someone who comes off as confident, positive, and happy, makes me feel a little more normal:). LOVE your blog! And I’m sure the memories you make and the time you spend in London with your family will be absolutely worth the splurge:).

  • Good Taste. Healthy Me December 9, 2009, 10:41 am

    Ya I totally understand this post. I used to be so a culprit for every bullet point you have. But I’ve been getting so much better. It’s really all about staying positive and letting things roll off your shoulders. Easier said than done, I know. 🙂

  • JavaChick December 9, 2009, 11:56 am

    Surprised to see the point about hating vegetables. I have a hard time with that too. There seems to be such a long list of vegetables that I don’t like/won’t eat, sometimes I think I don’t give myself enough credit for the vegetables that I do like and eat. Or just for the fact that I make an effort to eat healthy stuff, even if my diet isn’t perfect.

  • Foy December 9, 2009, 1:22 pm

    We are currently living with his mom. It’s not ideal, but it is saving us so much money while we look for jobs. It also helps that we have lived abroad with host families and have learned to let go of a lot of the little things we used to like to control. You know like where the toothpaste is in the bathroom and having all my cloths hanging in the closet. I’m just thankful we have family to turn to when we need help.

  • E.V. December 9, 2009, 10:10 pm

    Wow, this post really came at a time when I needed it!!!!! I’ve read your blog for quite some time now but don’t think I’ve ever commented until now!!!! I am kind of OCD when it comes to housework and all day I’ve been too exhausted to do my weekly clean/dog bathe and have felt so bad about it until I read this post! Also, my obsessive compulsive nature has driven somewhat of a rift between my boyfriend and I (he is a terrible driver and we get into very silly arguments, etc) and even him and I are on the brink of ending our relationship, after reading this post I feel like everything is GONNA BE OKAY! I worry WAY TOO MUCH about everything and I’ve got to stop sweating the small stuff for my own health and well-being! Thank you for this post!

    • Caitlin December 10, 2009, 8:46 am

      I’m glad this helped you! Maybe get the book “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff in Love”? The Husband and I read it together all the time.. it’s great.

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