There are times when I breathe deeply, center myself, and send silent blessings to the people and things that are impinging on my attempts to find inner peace. Right now is not one of those times.
I don’t feel like looking at the big picture, realizing how insignificant daily irritations are in the big scheme of things, or comparing my situation to people who have it much worse. No. I feel like unleashing my inner two-year-old for a minute or two. So, here we go. Following is an incomplete list of things that cause me to wish for the power to make people spontaneously combust with my mind.
However, if you’re in a rainbows and kittens mood, it’s probably best to skip this post. I don’t want to drag you into the darkness with me.
It makes me crazy when:
- People in meetings repeatedly ask questions that were already answered. Bonus irritation points if they were checking their phones when the aforementioned queries were addressed.
- People call a meeting but have no agenda prepared and also seem to have no idea why they’ve gathered us all together. Double bonus irritation points if they then, in a bit of loaves and fishes magic, expand one inconsequential item that could be dispatched in five minutes into an hour-long debate.
- People wait until they get to the cash register in a long checkout line to dig through their giant purses or into every pocket on their cargo pants to find their wallet, debit card, checkbook, or coupons.
- People promise to do something and then don’t.
- People think saying “Oh, well, you know how I am,” excuses every sort of irresponsible and/or self-centered behavior.
- People “apologize” by explaining how it was really that thing you did that caused the problem.
- People stop in the middle of an in-person conversation to take a phone call (that is not urgent) and then spend 5 minutes chatting with the caller instead of offering to call back later.
- People think it’s comforting to tell survivors of a tragedy that God was looking out for them, implicitly indicating that anyone who did not escape was beneath God’s notice.
- People wait to merge until the last minute even though lane closure signs are posted well in advance, then expect you to let them in.
- People make lists of petty annoyances that reveal their lack of inner resources for dealing with the minor frustrations of life.
Yes, it’s true, I am in such a crabby mood that I’m even annoying the bejesus out of myself. But now, having cataloged my current list, I feel strangely lighter. I’m ready to interact with my fellow humans with a greater measure of equanimity and tolerance.
Unless, of course, my next encounter is with a store clerk talking on his mobile phone while ringing up my purchases.