If annoyance was a spice it would be salt. First thing stirred into the pot when something seems ‘a little off’. But once it’s in there, there’s no getting it out. Pretty soon you can’t remember what taste you were actually going for. Annoyance is all that’s left in your mouth.
I have a husband, a horde of offspring, and a dog that barks at everything that moves. I am both self-employed and menopausal. I live in a perpetual state of annoyance…
- I have been trying to get other people to (a) make a bed, (b) clean a room, or (c) put things in the dishwasher for nearly 3 decades.
- I cannot remember the last week in which there was not some need for me to converse with a cell phone provider, utility company, handyman/contractor, or credit card call centre.
- Every window, door, and floorboard in my house either needs to be replaced or has been replaced but was done wrong. Nothing is still covered under warranty except my Sears appliances and since the Sears service centre is located in the Philippines, my extended service agreements are not really living up to their brochure descriptions.
- I cannot remember the last time everyone in my home turned up for dinner on time.
- My politics tip left and my in-laws tip right.
- I have daily conversations with pre-teens, teens, and middle-aged men… just sayin’.
Annoyance comes easily. But what does it really add to the mix, besides high blood pressure and stomach troubles? (See… that salt analogy was spot on!). There are still unmade beds in my house, I still can’t open the screen on the back door, and my father-in-law still believes that global warming is something liberals thought up to screw with the economy in Western Canada.
So I am starting this year by giving up annoyance. Just like that. Shoving that particular spice shaker to the back of the cupboard, so to speak. I haven’t worked out all of the details, but the main gist is that I will be training myself to reach for something else.
Many years ago, I replaced real salt with pepper, and rosemary, and basil, and the results have been lovely. My stew is delightful… everybody says so! I’m not entirely certain what to replace my annoyance with. There will have to be a bit of experimenting…
Have heard good things about tolerance. It’s unfamiliar to me but I am confident that a few google searches can help me learn more about it. And I have a friend who does amazing things with patience.
Humour is a bit more in my wheelhouse. You have to use it sparingly or you wind up with sarcasm, which can be bitter. But I think that with a bit of effort I can find the right measurements.
I suppose I should try acceptance. It’s used by the real pros, like Gandhi, but I think it may be a bit of a stretch for me. I might be able to tolerate that messy room. Might even be able to make a ‘good-natured’ joke about my need for tidiness. But am not sure I will ever get to a place where I just accept that those clothes are going to stay on the floor.
Think I should stick to the basics for awhile: a bit of tolerance, mixed with a liberal amount of patience and a dash of humour. See how it goes. Baby steps.