Lately, little things haven’t been going my way. Each one, on its own, is a blip on the radar. But as annoyances and inconveniences accumulate, my impression changes.
It’s the typical stuff that’s out of my control – or your control. As it all piles up, you begin to feel as if you’ll scream or explode, as if you want to crawl under the comforter and pull it up over your head, or maybe, just maybe, you’ll hold your breath until you’re blue in the face.
Remember trying that as a child? Remember using it as a threat? Remember realizing it doesn’t do any good – and you’ll breathe long before your face turns blue?
Let’s see… There was the traffic snarl at one ridiculous intersection for no apparent reason that made me late to a meeting, and late returning, which made me late for another meeting… And I hate being late!
That happened three weeks in a row.
There have been recurring peculiarities with my Internet Service Provider, in all their mysterious (and aggravating) omnipotence. Doesn’t that leave you crazed and frustrated beyond measure? What if you cannot connect with the outside world to do your work? (Yes, I am extremely grateful for hot spots. Yes, I am equally grateful for alternative small devices and their connections.)
Then there are the interruptions and unexpected issues with one’s home, frequently referred to as the money pit (and lately I know why)… Don’t even get me started on the hundreds of dollars that have been draining out of my checking account in recent months…
And if holding my breath to make it all stop would do any good, believe me, I would consider it.
How to Explain Changing Moods?
Some days it’s all too much. I may not hide in my bed or hold my breath, but a dark cloud descends and making my way through the work day, through the chores, through dinner time and conversation after – the whole shebang is accomplished with extraordinary effort.
I hit the sack at midnight – demoralized and wiped out.
Here’s the odd thing. I used to sweat it – all of it – all the time. And that has changed.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. I still get pissed off and I still worry – and no doubt far too much. I lose my cool when Hour Three is wasted trying to get a simple issue resolved. And I continue to worry over money (like millions of us?) and about my kids (like every parent?).
But this is different.
Case in point: Earlier this week, that same intersection had me stuck, stuck, stuck. Although I allowed more than enough time to arrive at my destination, it was worse than ever – still for no apparent reason. I stayed calm – not my usual state of simmering frustration. In fact, I entertained myself by looking out the window at other drivers (also mired in the mess), and I allowed my thoughts to drift to more pleasant things – lunch, for example. And I took deep breaths.
There was nothing I could do. Out of my hands. I had to chill. Or, as my kids like to say, chillax.
This morning, something else came up – utterly beyond my ability to address and requiring me to sit calmly and wait it out. And wait it out. And wait it out.
And so I did.
What Changed? Me? How? What’s Up With That?
Normally, I would have been cranky at what was taking place. VERY cranky, also known as grumpy, cross, surly.
What surprises me is how easy collecting myself becomes on certain days, and seemingly impossible on others. I recognize that more sleep helps everything, but I can’t even attribute my growing “non sweating the small stuff” tendency to that. My sleeping has been as challenged as ever.
So why this evolution? And how long will it last?
Perhaps it’s a growing comprehension of relative priorities – my petty problems as contrasted against those of the “world.” Perhaps it’s the time of year – cooler temperatures resulting in some sort of emotional lethargy. Maybe it’s a phase – appearing for a time (and most welcome), and just as likely to disappear.
All I know is, the flailing and overreacting, much of it due to stress and sleep deprivation, seems to be fading – generally speaking – though the stress and sleep deprivation do not. Somehow, all the same, I’m accepting that there are hundreds of tiny (enervating) incidents and issues that I have no control over, but I still have to deal with.
Hardly a revelation, I realize. But this is a small victory for me, for however long it lasts. And thank goodness, as I within minutes of waking early this morning I had to deal with one of these issues… waiting, waiting, waiting… and all of it out of my hands.
Coping With an Inefficient World
In fact, too much inefficiency disorients me. My tolerance has grown – of necessity.
But we live in a complicated culture, we’re all overextended, and what was once within grasp – a “tidy, organized lifestyle” is for many of us, little but a naive dream.
Attitude helps. So does reprioritizing. And without question – sleep helps everything!
But I simply can’t explain the variation in my own mood, or rather, this transformation – however long it may last.
- Do you notice that some things and some people can make you crazy one day, but not bother you the next?
- Do you recognize the factors that contribute to more or less patience?
- Do you have days when perspective seems elusive, and others when it’s the norm?
- Any jet pack users out there, for dealing with their traffic traumas?
Of course, I confess that I am faced with the one thing I cannot abide at the moment: the bottom of the coffee container. To remedy the situation, unfortunately, I just may have to deal with that intersection, again.
You May Also Enjoy