Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching, Parenting

Proud to Sweat the Small Stuff

 If you know me well, you know how I fret over the little things. It irritates me when wet towels are left on the floor, when dishes are in the sink and my counters are cluttered.

 It irritates me when my newspaper students don’t even the text off at the end of each story or leave half-empty soda cans next to brand new Macs in the newsroom.

 It irritates me when periods are outside of quotation marks, when story leads don’t have a hook and when text is bold or italics within an article.

I sound neurotic already, but in my mind, the little things really do matter, no matter how much I get irritated.

In fact, the little things that make me happy matter much more.

 It makes me happy when …

  • My son tossles my hair and tells me I’m a good girl as if he is the parent and I’m the child.
  • My daughter asks for my advice (ranging from her hair and clothes to friends and boys).
  • My better half brings me an iced tea in the morning because he knows that I can’t smile or even function until I have caffeine.
  • My mom drops off shampoo or soap unexpectedly when we’ve just run out.
  • My older sister calls me at just the right time, knowing I need to talk.
  • My younger sister sends a post card from Germany to remind me that she’s missing us.
  • My students ask for my advice and actually follow it once in a while.
  • My former students send me a random e-mail or Facebook message.
  • My newspaper staff argues about an award entry for 30 minutes because they care that much about quality journalism and want to display their best work.

 Self-help experts may advocate for focusing on the bigger picture – avoid sweating the small stuff, but I disagree.

 It’s the small stuff that leads us to bigger and better things. I’ll continue to sweat it out.


– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: Jan. 31, 2010

 © Shannon Philpott, 2010. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


January 31, 2010 - Posted by | Blog, Journalism, Parenting, Reflecting, Teaching, Writing | , , , , , ,


  1. I loved your Blog, but for the love of God, don’t read my Blog! I put periods outside of quotation marks! I thought that was okay to do???

    Comment by Thomas John Brown | January 31, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thanks, Thomas. Don’t worry about periods outside the quotation marks – it’s merely my pet peeve. I had a journalism professor DRILL that rule into my head and it stayed.

    Checked out your blog – great stuff!

    Comment by sphilpott | February 16, 2010 | Reply

  3. yeah.. cause great things starts from small beginnings..

    Comment by nicole sarcia | June 26, 2015 | Reply

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