Is it Really Worth Getting Annoyed?

Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.  – Prov 12:16

Some days when I don’t know what to read, I go to the chapter in proverbs for the day of the month.  And today as with most days there is confirmed wisdom and subtle reminders of whom to live.  This one seemed to have a lightening bolt attached to it.  A jolting reminder with “Oh yeah!!!” qualities.  There was  a time not so long ago when I hear someone say, “People don’t MAKE you feel miserable, YOU make you feel miserable.” And with RADICAL fervent objection, I argued with myself and God about its truth.  Only to come to the all to startling realization… Yeah that’s true.

Why was I believing other people had the control or influence over me like that?  How was I allowing people to make me FEEL miserable?  And before I had even made it through the first day did I realize it began with the little annoyances.  I would start with the stupid drivers on the way to work, followed by the lazy people I worked with, interrupted by the selfish friends I had, and topped it off by the rude people I lived with.  (HORRIBLE overgeneralizations I agree as well, because life really isn’t that bad and people really aren’t that awful.)  But it was so easy to come to those beliefs just by a few actions that people said, did, expressed, or didn’t do in connection with my world that I would spiral down into a pit of anger and frustration without even blinking.

So what can I do? Surround myself with better people, change my outlook, move to another state to start fresh?  But what if I could CHOOSE to NOT let others frustrate me, not allow the things I don’t like bother me, or not feel people’s actions as an intentional affront to my goals. I didn’t think it was possible, I didn’t think it was changeable, I didn’t believe there was a way I could reprogram my mind and emotions… but I was wrong.

Upon reflection of my life I have noticed: I have changed a lot.  I have grown a lot.  I have overcome a lot.  And there was a huge credit to many people who coached me, taught me, mentored me… but what I have forgotten is that I let them in.  I let them change my way of thinking and operating.  I told myself I could do things differently, I could do things better, I could do things RIGHT.  So even though I may not have known HOW I did it… I did it all the same.

So this time I tried to change my mental thinking: whenever something would irritate me, I would talk myself out of being irritated.  Who knew words from the inside to the inside could be so powerful.  They could have such an effect.  That just telling myself this annoyance wasn’t really annoying me THAT bad, or that in the grand scheme of life what does it matter that I didn’t like how someone did that, or ever What does it matter to me that they are doing it WRONG?  Just to name a few of the mental challenges…

And amazingly enough it was fruitful.  I found my frustrations lessening, my annoyances reducing, and my stress level falling.  So this verse just reminded me that I can choose the way of the prudent and overlook insults.  I can choose the way of the wise and believe I can be changed from the inside out.  There is hope that growth still occurs, change is still possible… this dog can still learn a few tricks.

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Don’t Drive Angry – But Remember to Vote!!

Oh Yeah... Me Today!!!

So I have heard when you are angry that you are supposed to write the email, journal your thoughts, write a letter and THEN save to drafts folder, bury it in the deep dark corners of your private space, or hold onto it for a day.  All of this to protect you from saying things that you will later regret.  Does this keep true for blogging?  Is it ill-advised to blog while angry?  I know its been stated many times Friends don’t let friends Drive Angry, but I am unsure if this is actually a THING or just some funny one liner that my friends threw together late one night when we were movie quoting.  And some how some way the phrase Don’t Drive Angry was born. 

So what is one to do when confronted with those forms of things you simply cannot control?  Those things that fly in your face and kind of wave in sarcastic joy with that mocking voice of you can’t stop me sort of way.  I know life is uncontrollable and I have suffered some serious consequences for trying to control it. 

I have bruises and welts like EVERYBODY else for trying to control an uncontrollable force.  Its kind of what I imagine bull riders must look like underneath all their rough and tumble gear.  Because they are holding on for dear life and that bull is whipping them here and there and everywhere.  Not to mention the guys that get knocked off, thrown to the ground and trampled on. 

Now I don’t feel trampled but I am sitting here thinking… WAIT A MINUTE… I thought we had tamed this bull, or at least I had gotten to know it enough to recognize its habits and tendencies.  I had found those areas of weakness and areas of strength and was prepared.  You know that whole preventative maintainance thingy?  If you can anticipate what is going to happen you can better protect yourself from the beating you are about to get. But I had just realized I had a blind spot.  And just like the movie title implies I didn’t see it coming. 

I guess there are parts of this that just go to my pride as well.  I spent a chunk of time (say 6 hours on one day with countless other 1 hour pieces here and there) figuring out my vacation days, where to stay with people I knew, holiday time, and flights to and from a friend’s wedding.  All scheduling out where to stay and how to do things so that I could have a little fun and enjoyment on my personal time.  Of course, I shouldn’t mention that this is also saying the company about $3000.00 but HEY that is not what is important.  I had spent all that time and I WAS proud of my success.  I had made my Frequent Flyer miles work FOR ME… I had paid $125 for an $800 ticket.  AWESOMENESS!!! I had coordinated visits with at least 5 friends along the sides of this work trip with little conflict in schedule and I was PROUD of my communication skills, patience, and flexibility. 

BUT NOW THINGS WERE SET… I even posted it on facebook as a sign of VICTORIOUS accomplishment.  Until today.  When one fateful phone call destroyed all pride in my fantastic maneuvering of flight, funds, and friends.  One phone call from a specific power that be that all man tremble and all women weep when this one speak.  Only to inform me that my dates were changing at the end of my trip and I didn’t need to stay for the extra 2 days.  Normally, no big deal.  But as detailed above I had booked my flight to Alaska out of the Sacramento AREA… now I am supposed to be returning home to Northern Oregon 4 days before my flight.  Now that would just be silly…. So stay down there. 

But But BUT… Did I not mention I just coordinated a major impossible feat of details less than 2 work days ago?  Have you EVER tried to change a flight you have booked using frequent flyer miles?  Has anyone noticed that all the fine print says $150 change fee will apply (to each leg of the trip)?  So change flight = $300 or stay in hotel for those 4 nights $400.  How can being so organized, researched, focused, and detailed result in such a financial penalty.  I mean REALLY… I was TRYING to do this RIGHT? 

I am reminded once again how much of an illusion control is.  And how common courtesy, the care of others work and effort is no longer a commodity of value in the professional work environment.  *deep sigh* is my only reply.