Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Confession: Annoyance Allowance


I am easily annoyed. If you know me well, this is not really a confession, because you have witnessed it. If you've read about my psycho behavior at school parties and on field trips, you are getting the idea. Even my kids recognize this, as in, “Look how mommy bites her lips and her eyes get real big when Daddy is annoying her.”

The thing is, I have a bit of a rep for being a generally pleasant person, but sometimes I struggle to be pleasant to the people I know well. I just get annoyed. I don’t think it’s right to be nicer to the super market checker than I am to my own flesh and blood, but that’s how it goes down most days. Sister (and best friend in the universe?) Snippy to her. Husband? Don’t ask.

Now I’m coming off a sleepless night because I was too easily annoyed and curt at a church meeting last night—so I spent the entire night tossing, turning, fretting and regretting. At the meeting I had diarrhea-of-the-mouth, when I should have let others talk. I was controlling. I shut down some people’s comments, and I got snippy. These are people who came out on the coldest night of the year to help me with a huge project.

I could claim that I was “meetinged-out” after a very long day. I could play the hormone card, since I had started my period about 12 minutes before the meeting. But in reality, I think I’m just too easily annoyed. And, to make matters worse, I think the reason I got so testy was that I felt safe doing so because I am very close friends with a lot of the women in the room. Nice, huh? I think it’s the same way you can keep your cool with a tough or aloof teacher, but then you come home and dump all over your mother. Ugh. Been there, done that.

A blog I enjoy which takes about 2 seconds to look at each day, is really just a photo w/ a caption. It is called “Annoyance Allowance.” It’s fun to go back through the archives and see pictures of all of the things that strike people as annoying. Some are strange. Some are universal. The best part about it is the concept that we are allowed ONE annoyance a day. The creators of the blog don't have kids yet, so maybe that allotment is too low, but that's a discussion for another day.

I think days like yesterday, when I let myself sink into the self-centered, “my way or the highway mentality,” I’ve gone way over my annoyance budget. I mean, aren't we always telling our kids that behavior is a choice? We can choose to be annoyed, or we can choose to give people slack and show them grace. I know what I want to choose today, and I hope my poor friends from last night have a little grace left for a very annoying Anna.

8 comments:

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Oh Anna - you're just doing the best you can. And knowing your problem is half the battle and all that...

I do the same thing though with meetings and then lose sleep over it later.

Keetha said...

I'm trying to not be annoyed today, but I swear, it's not going well. And it's a Friday. It doesn't seem right to be in a bad mood on a Friday.

Debbie said...

It is very easy for me to get annoyed. We all just do our best.

Shana said...

I don't just get annoyed easily. I get pissed! Over nothing! Too frequently!

But self awareness is the first step, right?

Shana said...

I just tagged you on my blog with an award because I like your blog, not because I think you're illiterate. When you see the award, you'll understand.

Pamela said...

You're passionate! And actually, a great deal of fun. Certainly don't lose sleep over that.

I think you're lovely just the way you are.

Carrie Thompson said...

I wish comments could be private sometimes because I would privately tell you that I cried when I read this post. You said what I want to say about my self but "couldnt" admit out loud I guess. I have admitted about yelling to much or feeling like I blast people but specifically what you said about it being your family and not the billions of people on earth you dont know! How you are nice to the check out people and not your own husband. I am there. I understand. I am working on it in myself, but find myself annoyed that others dont see I am trying. Isnt THAT pathetic. Than you for your post and I hear you!

INV/ALT design said...

hey cuz. you should submit one of your annoyances to the Annoyance Allowance sometime! It's in the family, I guess... :)