IT’S OKAY! SERIOUSLY, IT IS…

IT’S OKAY! SERIOUSLY, IT IS…
No, really. It’s nothing to get worked up about. They’re just bugs. Not the bugs that eat the holes through your favorite cashmere sweaters. Not the bugs that swarm and nip around you all summer (and fall) and drink your blood when dusk falls – even after you spray the bejeesus out of your backyard… 
They’re just ladybugs, for heaven’s sake. Okay, they march in like a phalanx of General Patton’s finest – up the wall of your house, through the little notch in your windowsill, down the wall into your bedroom and across the floor til they find a sunny, warm place, like Montego Bay in the winter, to cool it. Or rather, to warm it. 
Who can blame them for wanting to tuck into your house in the winter? After all, if you have a garden, they’ve been working hard for you all summer clearing away all the naughty aphids who love to wreak havoc with your otherwise healthy plants. Maybe for next summer you’ll want to take advantage of Amazon’s offer and buy 1500 live ladybugs for $3.75. Or you can buy them from me. I’ve got a million of ‘em.
And the thing is, I don’t mind them. In fact, I like them. They’re totally okay in my book. I never kill a ladybug. Everybody knows it’s bad luck, right? Sometimes I sweep them gently into a dustpan and put them outside in the sun but that’s it. Not everybody feels the same way, of course. I ran into a woman the other day who said, “On my God, I can’t take it! Every year we’re infested with ladybugs; they take over. No matter what I do, they just keep coming.  I spray and spray, hit ‘em with both barrels of “Raid Ant & Roach” killer but they just keep comin’!” 
What?” I said, “You kill them?” She obviously never heard of the “bad luck” thing about ladybugs…  “What’s wrong with you Gail?!” she asked. “They’re just bugs!” “I know,” I said. And left it at that. I didn’t bother to tell her about the “luck” thing – or the “harmless” thing – or the “doing good in your garden” thing. She wouldn’t have gotten it.
But I was tempted to tell her the Thai expression that Jim, my late husband, taught me (he spoke fluent Thai thanks to two years in the Peace Corps…), “Never bring out an elephant to kill a grasshopper.” But I don’t think she would’ve gotten that either.
But the conversation did remind me of what I’m personally working on: Not getting “worked up” about the little stuff. You know, the negative “what if’s,” the pain in the neck inconveniences and irritations that happen on pretty much a daily basis…and seem like a big deal. So we react like they are. And in the process, wrinkle up our faces, sigh, maybe say an inelegant word and grind the heck out of what’s left of our molars…  
Here are a couple examples: I was in a taxi on the way to a meeting and the NYC traffic congestion was at (in my opinion) an all time high. Nothing moved. I immediately became “worked up.” I groaned and sighed out loud. “I’m sorry,” the driver said. But then I remembered that there was absolutely nothing he or I could do about it. It was what it was. “It’s okay,” I said. “Not your fault.” And I let it go. And…it was okay. Inconvenient, yes. But not the big deal I was about to make it into. I was late, that’s all. 
Here’s another: I arrived at an event a couple of weeks ago, dressed in my “business casual” garb to find that everyone else was dressed to the nines in formal wear. I’d somehow neglected to read deeply into the copy of the invitation and missed the words, “Flairful Attire”…  I was about to say a bad word out loud but instead I said, “It’s okay,” and made my way smiling through the gorgeous crowd. “It’s really okay,” I said again. And of course, it was. In fact, it might have been cool. Well, that could be stretching it…
So look, if some annoying, frustrating or pain in the neck thing happens – or those little guys – the ones with the red and black spots on their backs – come marching into your bedroom (or whatever cozy place they can find to “nestle,”) don’t get worked up. Don’t get uh,”bugged;” don’t bring out an elephant to kill them… 
Just say out loud, “Hey, it’s okay.” Because it is. 
All of it.

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