Sunday, April 15, 2007

Petty Annoyances

Petty annoyances. We've all got them. Sometimes our life fills up like a list of petty annoyances - things we put up with just because.

I was reading a book recently that suggested we stop putting off these petty annoyances. They drain us of our energy for doing the things in life that we really enjoy or things that really make us feel complete.

And so I set about to make a list of all my annoyances. At first, the list went on slowly but then I got into a rhythm starting to separate each part of my life and record each little annoying thing there.

Some were as simple as the pictures that need to be hung in the basement, picking up junk mail, not having the internet at home, when Chris plugs up the sink drain with his oatmeal bowl (sorry, Chris). Others were more about my family - not talking often enough to my brother, not seeing my mom enough. Then there was the job - I pulled out a separate page for that one. There was a page for things I kept putting off for myself that I really, truly wanted to do but never made the time.

My list went on - and on, and on. It's not that I'm entirely annoyed with life, it's just that there are so many things that I put up with and tolerate - again just because - and so many things that I want to do - so why do I keep letting these little annoyances stand in the way?

That was it - it was full on war for the petty annoyances. I was armed and ready to get things done and I wasted no time.

On Tuesday, I replaced the broken soap dispenser in Chris' bathroom because pumping it a thousand times was just far too annoying to tolerate anymore.

On Wednesday, I ordered high speed internet for our house because driving to the library, banditting in the Panera parking lot, and sitting for hours at Caribou was costing me time and money in gas. By Sunday, we went wireless.

On Thursday, I started reading a book - this time for leisure dammit without anything to learn, gain, or think about. Heck, I hope I don't even remember the title by the time I'm done.

On Friday, I cleaned some old clothes out of my closet and decided to sell them to the secondhand store and then use that money for coffee - woo hoo!

On Saturday, I politely asked Chris to stop plugging up the sink and explained that oatmeal flakes floating in two inches of water all day in the sink was making more of a mess than I cared to clean. He laughed and said ok.

On Sunday, I went out to eat with my mom and Chris, enjoying some excellent food, conversation, and time together.

I've got my list, I've checked it twice. Actually, I've checked off things more than twice this weekend because this list is helping me stay on track and get things done. I'm tired of being annoyed by the little things. Life is meant to be enjoyed - fully, and now.

Try it for yourself. Quick, make a list of everything and I mean everything that is annoying you. For one thing, you'll feel better for just getting it out. For another thing, you're more likely to do something about it because it's written down and proof of how many things you've let get in the way of you enjoying your life the way you want to enjoy it. Plus it makes you more accountable for fixing it when you write it down. Every time you take care of something, cross it out. See how good it feels.

Of course, you can't fix or solve everything. And you can't eliminate all annoying things in your life. But maybe admitting how much it annoys you will motivate you to find a better way to deal with it or improve it. It's worth a shot.

As for me - next up, the pictures that need to be hung in the basement. Oh, but first the basement.....better pull out another page for that one.

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