Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Petty Grievances

No one is immune from a bad day. When I woke up yesterday, with the birds chirping outside of my window, I felt like a world-beater. I was happy, settled and hopeful for the future. After breakfast and a good cup of coffee, things began to go downhill, and once that slide begins, it's hard to get back on track.

I get so frustrated by the amount of little things that pile up to create a bad day. If you isolate any one or two or even three of the people or issues that crop up to irritate you, they would be virtually meaningless on their own, but combined, they conspire to ruin your good mood and fix a large, angry cloud above your head.

That was yesterday for me. One thing after another, all day long, so that I felt the snowball effect and became overwhelmed by it. I was hoping to remain positive by a sheer force of will, but sometimes it's not possible because our emotions get in the way and mess with our thinking. Once we begin to take things personally, and feel slighted and upset, those emotions take over our rational selves and we are totally at the mercy of our wildly vacillating feelings.

At bedtime I let go with a good cry, and found that it washed away the minor annoyances of my day. I tried to imagine my fist, clenched around worries and petty grievances, opening slowly and each one escaping out into the air so I could be free of it. I wanted to write it off as one bad day, and not make myself a prisoner of that anger going forward.

This morning I am breathing deeply and trying to lower my expectations, on myself and on others. People let me down in the same way I disappoint them. The opinions of people get under my skin and I'm sure my opposing ideas irritate others. The way people choose to communicate with me is sometimes confrontational and gets my back up, and I have to examine all of the ways I do that to people in my life. It goes back to the old saying about pointing your finger and have three fingers pointing back at yourself. It's important to remember that when it's easy to blame others for the bad mood we are in. How have I contributed to this situation? What could I do differently next time?

In the end, life is far too short to hold onto what frustrates us. I think we have to experience the feelings as they come, and when the wave of emotion has crested and we are riding the other side of reason, we can take a deep breath and make a decision to forgive, both ourselves and others. A day like yesterday reminds me that I am human, that I do not have it all together, and that I still have so much to learn about myself and life. I'm grateful for the chance to live and experience more today, both good and bad, and remember that no season, happy or otherwise, lasts forever.


  1. Again, exactly what I needed to hear! Thanks!

  2. I know yesterday was utter crap for you, but I'm confident that today will be so much better. The sun is shining! The birds are chirping! You're going to see me later (albeit for only a brief minute, but still...)! If nothing else, maybe that made you smile just a little bit. Tee hee!

  3. Oooh, so true! I've had days like that lately and then days when everything goes well. Sometimes the bad days just make you appreciate the good days more. :)

  4. Thanks for your feedback, girls! Today is a million times better, not because I wasn't irritated by a few things, but because I was more aware of my feelings and chose to laugh it off instead of internalize and stew. Yesterday the balance just tipped and I couldn't even make the choice any longer, so today is much better in that regard!

    Glad to know I'm not alone with these things. Thanks again!