“The only way an annoyance can bring you down is if you let it.”
― Frank Sonnenberg
This week presented a few situations in which I was reminded of how easy it is for some of us to get so annoyed or frustrated with something that we either lose our cool or quit too soon. When we are presented with an unpleasant circumstance, a difficult situation or just plain irked by the actions of another is also the time we make a choice about how to respond or react. What course of action do you usually take when you are frustrated? It's an interesting question because everyone handles problems or annoyances in their own way. I'm not speaking about serious or profoundly life-changing dillemas here; I'm talking about the small, petty, just-annoying-enough problems that get under your skin with the potential to ruin your day if you so choose to allow it.
I will let you in on my ultimate, highly irksome and most personally offensive annoyance in the past decade or so. It happens to be when strange cars park in front of my house to visit someone else on the street where there is, most often, ample space to park. I am not even sure when this personality-altering irk developed into the mild neurosis, but I seem to recall my father always complaining about the same thing during my childhood. Luckily, it's something I've come to terms with and now barely causes any reaction at all. I ultimately decided that I was being particularly petty and possessive of my precious piece of curb front. Why it mattered that much to me, I have no idea!
Irk Alert #1 The other day, I was fortunate enough to come across a couple of antique, Early-American armchairs being sold by owner through "Let-Go" (an online yard sale format). The price was right and the chairs looked of solid wood construction but their appearance had a lot to be desired to say the least.
When I arrived to pick up the chairs, the young lady who sold them to me said she attempted to stylize the chairs but got frustrated and didn't want to deal with them any longer. Well in this situation, lucky for me that she did! But I couldn't help but console her by saying that this kind of thing happens all the time when you have an idea in your head but it doesn't easily transform into reality. One way to deal with this kind of frustration is to take a step back, walk away and focus on something else for a while. Give yourself time to breath, calm down and re-focus your efforts at a later date but not that much later. She politely accepted the words of consolation and I happily carried off my diamonds in the rough. It will be a couple of weeks until I can get back to these beauties but that gives me valuable conceptualizing time to come up with the perfect plan!
Irk Alert #2 Later that afternoon, one of our neighbors on the next street were enjoying the summer heat with a pool party and some trendy music. If anyone who has read my blogposts here, you would be able to discern that I love music. I never want to be stuck in a certain era or genre of music but I do have my favorites. Let's just say that my neighbors musical taste didn't mirror my own and that's ok. It's a free country and everybody's tastes are different. Now later that evening the music was still bellowing to the point where you could still hear it with windows closed. Does anyone else keep track of the time to see if they shut it down prior to 10pm? I know I do. Part of me wondered if any of the other neighbors were annoyed by the music. Perhaps the law enforcement officer that lived right next door to this house would go over and remind them to turn it down. Then I thought, 'Heck, he's probably one of the guests at the party", which made me laugh at little at the irony that conjured up. Ultimately, I retired for the evening with the television on sleep timer for a little noise distraction from the music playing outside. I had no problem falling asleep. The next day my neighbor on my same street asked if we were the one's having the party and why didn't I invite them over. I laughed because no one who knew me would think that I would ever throw a "rager". It gave the neighborhood something to talk about and that's pretty much it. No reason to get upset or make a fuss. People like to have fun and what's life without a little loud music once in a while?
Irk Alert #3 It's nearing the end of summer and that means you've probably hit the road for a mini-vacay or fun road-trip somewhere in the past couple of months. When you're on the road with countless other summer road warriors, you're bound to experience your share of gas stations, truck stops and travel centers. It's never a glamorous time going from one fueling station to the next, with each stop seemingly draining the very life force right out of you. But that is not an excuse to forget your manners or basic awareness of other people around you. This one could possibly be my husband's biggest annoyance, or at least one of his top 10. Has this happened to you? You pull in for gas and have a great spot with only one car ahead of you already fueling. Just as the person finishes filling up their tank, they go inside for a bathroom break, grab some food or a drink and leave their car parked right in front of that same gas tank. They could take up to another 10 or 15 minutes inside the convenient store while you sit there (not so conveniently) waiting to use the gas pump.
How difficult would it be for that person to pull away for the pump and park in front of the convenient store? It's enough to make you question if people ever think that others actually exist on the planet besides themselves. Are their actions deliberate or just plain clueless? When I see this happen, I don't get angry, I just get perplexed. It's just one of those things that make me put on my amateur psychologist hat and ask "Why?". Perhaps they were the one who was picked last for the elementary school basketball team? Were they the middle child of the family? Did they at one time receive only a penny tip while working as a waitress? Wait a minute, . . . . . . all those things happened to me!! LOL!! There you have it. There really isn't a good enough reason to be less than courteous to others. There is no excuse for bad manners and lack of awareness of others. Just don't do it. Don't be that guy or gal. That being said, if your the one behind this person, don't lose your cool or get confrontational. I choose to use it as just another opportunity to study human behavior,as well as my own.
Life is too short to be bothered by small, petty grievances that when added all up, don't amount to a hill of beans in the grand scheme of things. Learning to take all things in stride and choosing to gain from our good and "not so good" experiences make for more wisdom to draw upon down the road. As the author Richard Carlson stated in his famous book, "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Carlson_(author)
Do you have any irks or annoyances that for some reason drive you to frustration? It helps to vent our little grievances sometimes in order to learn how best to handle them. Choosing not to get easily bothered by little annoyances is another superpower we can learn to master.
I've attached a link to a lovely, soothing tune by Donavon Frankenreiter called "It Don't Matter"
Always stay classy,
Project Vintage US
Thank you for taking the time to read my blogpost and feel free to message me your thoughts and comments. I started writing pieces and posts to prove to myself I could articulate my thoughts in a way that made sense. I realized soon after that it was somewhat therapeutic to express my thoughts about life's mysterious twists and turns as well as all the wonderful lessons we learn on the way.