Sunday, July 17, 2011


A terrific blogger, Chatty Crone, wrote about finding happiness and humor in her life. Her entries are here and here.  Some of what she wrote struck the idle thoughts swimming around in my head, thoughts I was contemplating as a post but hadn't zeroed in on yet. Chatty drew the bullseye for me.
I truly believe we can and must choose happiness and humor in our lives. Why wouldn't we want to embrace these and other healthy attitudes? We make choices all day long. Coffee or iced tea? A walk after dinner or reading on the porch? Carry a grudge or move on?

I am not so good natured or thick skinned that I never feel snubbed or insulted, but the older I get, the less I choose to feel that way. I express surprise, dismay and maybe even anger to hubby or trusted close friends who know me well enough to recognize I am venting and usually letting go at the same time. If a close friend or relative does or says something hurtful, of course I feel that and it is worse than if a stranger does the same. We have expectations that those who are close to us value and protect our relationship and feelings. 

Those instances are vastly different from the person who cuts you off in traffic. Did they truly intend to be a jerk? Did they simply not realize what they were doing and are to make eye contact and mouth an apology? How did you react? Did you hit your horn, say something out loud or shake your head in wonder or disgust? I've done all of those things. I think those are normal reactions at that moment.

Haven't you known someone who carries that as a personal attack throughout the day, ready to tell anyone who will listen about the jerk who ruined their day? With each retelling of the event, the intensity of the attack grows. That jerk could have caused a collision! Could have made them late for work! Could have killed them!  Yes, all of that could have happened, but didn't. Let it go. Breathe. Be glad you were paying attention and prevented any harm. Whether that person was a jerk or just made a bad move, will this matter two hours or ten years from now? You can spend your day growling about that stupid driver but chances are, no matter what their motivation was, they have gotten on with their life and your mutterings aren't hurting them one bit. You are the one suffering because you are keeping the turmoil brewing.

A homeowner on our street was awakened by conversation and laughter of her neighbors across the street. Did she go over, call out the window or call them on the phone and say "hey guys, could you lower your voices a little? I'm trying to sleep and sound is really carrying tonight"? No she didn't. She didn't call the police to make a complaint either. This wasn't a party, just a few couples talking outside on a hot night in suburbia. What she did was go on Facebook the next morning and write paragraphs about what jerks her neighbors are and ended with the line that they should shut the f--k up. Wasn't that classy? It didn't quiet the neighbors who had no idea their voices were bothering her. To be that upset the next day and to express herself as she did doesn't show a fundamentally happy person, or one with any tolerance and most of all, one who doesn't handle a situation in a mature manner.

Comedian Ron White, part of the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, uses the tag line "You can't fix stupid". While I don't advise saying this to someone's face, sometimes you have accept this as true with people who repeatedly react inappropriately. Often you can choose to avoid them. If they are relatives or coworkers and therefore unavoidable, you need to remind yourself that who they are, what they do, and how think act does not define you.

Choose to smile and laugh a little.You'll feel better.

But if someone is really ticking you off, I could show you how to mold their likenesses in chocolate so that you can bite their head off. If that act of aggression doesn't help, the chocolate consumption surely will.


Chatty Crone said...

Now you see - that chocolate was about the funniest thing I have ever seen - and that is another way I must make myself happy.

I can't believe she wrote on facebook - but she doesn't have a friend left.

I agree - let go and LIVE - have fun. Life is way to short and it will get you in the end!

Sewconsult said...

Maybe someone should offer her an antidepressant. It changed my life! I have always had a sense of humor, but many don't and they haven't always gotten my humor. I hope the neighbor doesn't lose all her friends, because she really probably needs them.

The chocolate eating anger was hilarious!