No more sweating the small things.


As I hit my seventies and suspect the number of years I have left here on planet Earth is probably a single digit, I have discovered a number of things. One of them is that fewer things irritate me.

I used to hate mimes. Now, I couldn’t care less. I don’t see a big call for mimes nowadays, so personally I don’t think it is a very good career choice. If a mime wants to waste his time pretending he can’t talk or hear and is locked in an invisible box, it is his choice. I can name all the mimes I know on just one finger: Marcel Marceau. The only way a mime can irritate me is if she blocks my way, but that’s less about her being a mime and more about her just being in my way.

Spending six bucks for a cup of coffee doesn’t bother me anymore, I just don’t buy it. When I think back, I can’t believe how much money I wasted on this hot, brown liquid. Surely there were better things I could have spent my hard-earned money on. I figure there must be a lot of money to be made selling coffee in this day and age, as evidenced by the number of Starbucks, Tim Horton’s and Dunkin’ Donuts stores around.
People don’t annoy me as much any more. They used to, but I have learned to turn and walk away. There is no reason to let someone else raise my blood pressure; I realize that arguing is senseless. As long as I know I am right, I don’t have to prove it to anyone else. Sometimes silence is the best rebuttal.
Internet trolls used to irk me, but now they don’t. If they have the time to read an article like this one in its entirety and then spend more time composing a comment to let me know that reading my post was a big waste of their time, that my opinion was wrong and that I am an idiot for posting it, I feel sorry for them. I now see the humor in their derogatory responses, and I admit I will sometimes post a passive-aggressive reply just to fan the flames. Yes, this is just the opposite of walking away, but I am entitled to have some fun.
People telling me to have a nice day used to bug me. OK, having someone tell me to have a nice day is acceptable, but I don’t need it regurgitated at me as company policy. It is much better if the sentiment is heartfelt. These days I try to get ahead of every clerk, cashier and server and tell them to have a nice day before they drop this plastic sentiment on me. I have gotten quite good at discerning when someone is going to say this to me and have made it my own personal game of verbal one-upmanship to beat them to the draw.
It used to irritate me when someone stayed angry with me. I finally figured out this was their way of trying to maintain control over me. Now I will take responsibility for my actions and apologize if I have wronged or hurt someone. I will offer to make it right, but if they hold a grudge past that, I no longer have the time to worry about it. I’ve had a lifetime of drama already. It will probably eat at them longer than I will be around. In my mind, the problem has been resolved and the kerfuffle associated with it will have taken off like an arsonist from a fire.
Aggressive drivers no longer annoy me. If I have someone sitting on my rear bumper, I will purposely slow down and let them pass. Obviously their time is more important than mine. During the winter, I used to tell Thruway drivers, “See you in the ditch” as they sped by — and on more than one occasion I was right. I never realized I was doing this until I was driving with my daughter in the winter one day, someone flew by us and she said, “See you in the ditch.” My jaw hit the floor. She said she had learned this from me. Oh well, there are worse things she could have learned from me.

Telemarketers who “spoof” their phone numbers used to rub me the wrong way, but I have learned how to have fun with them, too. I sometimes tell them they are “on the air” and ask whether they know the radio KRZY word of the day. Occasionally, I will ask if they are calling about my lost dog. I seldom get this all out before I hear a dial tone.
Once I even told a spammer I had to put him on hold, then I put the phone down on my end table, went to my kitchen and had lunch. When I got back he had hung up. I think this is more effective than asking to be put on a “Do Not Call” list because, once burned, they seldom call back.
In short, I no longer sweat the small things, and this has made my life a whole lot easier.
But as I look at it now, most things are small things.

Tagged with: mimes, coffee, arguing, Internet trolls, Telemarketers[caption


One thought on “No more sweating the small things.

  1. My boss told me to have a nice day – so I went home. 😉
    What still irritates the wife, is to say ‘Thank You’ to someone – and get back No Problem . It was a problem. I didn’t know where the washrooms were, and you pointed them out. The correct response to Thank You, is You’re Welcome. 😛


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