I know people who, on a daily basis, make out a ‘gratitude list’ upon which they write down all the things for which they, on that day, are grateful. It’s a nice idea, you know, positive-thinking and all that. And there is no question that I have many things in my life for which I am immensely grateful, and the mere fact they are part of me makes me feel blessed.
But, there is also a need for balance of our life’s realiteis. Sometimes I think we just might have an excessive impulse to seek only “happy endings” to everything, rather than preparing ourselves to go face-on with those other realities — the crappy ones. Life is, after all, a trade-off. There must be a ‘yang’ to our ‘yin’ or we wouldn’t be strong enough to cope.
Bearing that in mind I, in a spirit of public blogger service, am about to help those who don’t seek to be wrapped up in puffy cotton, some of the things we must contend with — things that demand we expand our coping resolve. Don’t worry, the elements I mention can only make you stronger and firmer in your resolve to never let the bastards grind you down.
I have my ‘things’, you have yours, so it behooves you to create your own list. But, as follows are the irritants that for me make life seem just a little bit less blessed on my cranky days, but confronting them or enduring them can only make me stronger rather than just merely pissed-off. No, these are not things that are so bad that they would tempt me to ‘go postal’, just little, less than charming things and circumstances: (these are in no particular order):
– We all hate fingernails scraping on a blackboard. This is a universal, primal detestation, so I thought I would include it as the kickoff item.
– Snoring bedmates; snoring people in the next room; the next house; in extreme cases, one street over.
– Staying in hotel/motel room with paper-thin walls in which you can hear from your room the inhabitants thereof arguing, copulating, doing unspeakable things in the bathroom
– Speaking of bathrooms and the activities therein, accidentally blocking the toilet in somebody else’s house. Your anxiety level will rise exponentially if it is the toilet of a new love, your boss, prospective parents-in-law, or if the toilet just will not stop running and the water level rises ominously. I mean, you can’t just walk away and pretend somebody else was using it.
– Being unable to remember the events of the “night before.” Or worse, wishing you didn’t remember the events of the night before.
– Slopping coffee, tea or a any potable directly onto your crotch area. “No, really, it’s just tea – ha-ha-ha!”
– Having to provide a ‘specimen’. Having to produce one in the doctor’s office because you forgot to bring one with you. Having to hand that specimen to a nurse who turns out to be someone you had a huge crush on in high school or college.
– Stubbing your toe, biting your tongue or cheek, bumping your head. No dignity here, just excruciating pain.
– Waiting up for someone who should have been home hours earlier. Try to do it minus that sick feeling in the pit of your tummy. Bet you can’t.
– Responding to the smile or wave of somebody fantastic looking on the street only to find, to your mortification, their wave was directed at the person behind you.
– Parking your car in a rough neighborhood, returning to it at 2 a.m. to find a tire has gone flat, then being offered assistance by an individual who looks like he was rejected by the Hell’s Angels for appearing too morally depraved.
– Being caught in traffic gridlock and really, really having to pee.
– Nearing the end of a four lane highway stretch only to find you are stuck behind an oil-burning ’57 Rambler or the largest RV ever manufactured, that is being driven by the oldest guy on record to still possess a driver’s license.
– Being in unrequited love. This is almost as distressing as being the object of somebody else’s unrequited love.
– Flashing red and blue lights in the rear-view mirror. Either that or a cop car going in the opposite direction that suddenly makes a squealing U-turn on the highway immediately after you pass by knowing well you were going at least 30-per over the posted speed.
– Arriving in Levis and sweatshirt and realizing everybody else is in formal.
– The sounds of sirens at any time, but especially at 3 a.m. They can only mean something bad has happened to someone.
– Virtually all governments, at any level in any place on the planet. Slight comfort in knowing yours is just a little more benevolent and a little more honest than the ones in other places.
– Airport security personnel. I know everybody wants a job, but most of those I’ve ever dealt with in any country would be happier working in an abbatoir.
– High school reunions. Nothing good comes from such things, unless you have a masochistic desire to revisit all your insecurities at the age of 17. Spending time with your parents if they’re still living can have a similar impact.
-Lifestyle questionnaires that indicate you should have died five years ago and that if you are still around, you shouldn’t make it past the end of next week.