Sunday, July 27, 2008


I am finding myself massively annoyed at everything around me lately. Maybe it started with the visit of the mother-in-law. But, then again, maybe I was already in annoyed-land before she came.

The week before she came, I think I must have been short on the phone with Blind Date #4, because now she won't return my calls. I'm not sure what I said, but I do know that when I'm in business mode I really shouldn't answer the personal call, unless things are really slow (which they were not). I didn't follow my own rule, and I must have messed that one up.

You already know how quickly (one weekend) I got to the point that everything that my mother-in-law said annoyed me. Some of you have already weighed in that I was out of line with that annoyance.

This week I was annoyed when I had set up appointments to meet with a few contractors after work, and then they either came early or called and wanted to chat for a while about it ahead of time, when I was in the middle of a busy work week, and couldn't really rush down and answer the door at 1pm or whenever it was. I found myself wanting to make a big sign that says "Working from home is not the same thing as not having a job."

We found out that the account we set up for our trash collection was, apparently, never set up. So I called to try and correct the issue, and the lady on the other end just kept using phrases like "Well, since you never called about this..." and "Since you didn't have it switched from the previous owner...", and I was quite unable to keep from being snippy at this person calling me a liar.

I don't want to be like this. I don't want to be a person that everyone avoids and is afraid of dealing with. I don't want to have a reputation as a loose cannon that you never know what you're walking into (though I'm pretty sure I already do). And I don't know why I'm feeling like this and acting like this.

Do you ever have days (or weeks) where you just can't keep your cool? What do you do to regain your composure? I need some ideas. The people around me will thank you for them.


rev_justin said...

I used to find myself getting annoyed with pretty much everything that didn't run smoothly. This alone was actually causing me to get even more annoyed. It was time for something to change or my potential to move beyond greatly annoyed would be greatly limited.
For me, it was my job (and perhaps some wacked out brain chemistry) that was causing me a lot of stress. I mean A LOT of stress. I was working 80 hours a week sometimes and even pulling all-nighters to get things done and "keep up". I started feeling that if I didn't do all of this, I would be fired (which may or may not have been true). After many crappy situations, I finally looked at how much I worked verses how much I got out of that investment of my time and came to the conclusion that I was giving up a lot of myself for free. Actually, I was, in many ways, losing "value", since my marriage was starting to wobble, my health was starting to decline, and I was generally pissy and annoying to be around. My short term solution was to quit and start taking anti-depressants. In many ways it was the best thing I could have done. I don't recommend that you quit or take Zoloft, but I would recommend doing what I did when I returned to work a few months later (another story that you already know). I made a pact with myself to NEVER get myself into a situation where I was giving away my time without some kind of pay-off that is greater than or equal to what I had invested. The idea was not to simply work my ass off for something that in the long term would not even matter to anyone, ever. That is not it say that I don't try my best, but it does mean that I am hyper-aware of balancing work with what I would call "real" life. There are times when you have to put your nose to the grindstone and there are some times when sacrifices need to be made, but if you are in a situation where you are frequently feeling that you have to sacrifice things and you aren't getting something equal to or greater in return, something is broken. I am not talking about money here either, although that does play a part. I am pretty happy now with my work situation and I no longer take meds (been a while on that one actually).
Work may not be your issue, but I think that my general advice is still pretty good. Take stock on what your are giving yourself too and ask yourself if the thing that you are spending the most energy dealing with is worth what you are getting out of it. Then, make adjustments accordingly.
I know this is cliche, but I think it really is important to invest in the kinds of things that people will talk about favorably at your funeral.

Stephanie said...

I have a long list of things to reduce the annoyed-factor of life. Take a nap, blow bubbles, read a book, etc. I didn't say that any of them work! I'm not much help -- I stay annoyed at people most of the time. Just today, my parental units were not out of my driveway when I was thinking how they annoy me. Try to look at the flip side -- for me, yes, they annoyed me in their 10 minute pop in, but thank God, I had the 10 minute pop many people would love to have that with their parents and when my can no longer pop in, I'm sure I will wish they could do it again.

"Work from home" to the rest of the world means NOTHING. I thought I knew it, but now I live it.

Hang in there!