An attitude adjustment

The Mrs. and I were in the car the other day when I made a rather unkind statement regarding the incompetence of the driver in front of me, who was at the time driving between 15-20 mph BELOW the limit on the highway.

Before I continue, I will say I am by no means a fast or aggressive driver. I pretty much stick to the right lane and I haven’t had a traffic infraction of any sort since maybe 1992… I could be off slightly, but not by much. My point being, I am generally calm and mellow behind the wheel. Except in San Francisco- calm and mellow will get you killed in that city, but I digress…

Anyhow, the Mrs. says to me; “you shouldn’t grouse so much”.

For the vocabulary impaired:

grouse verb

groused; grousing

Definition of grouse (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

COMPLAINGRUMBLEgroused about the higher prices

Anyhow, I said, “yeah you’re right. I just get frustrated by nincompoops.” And she encouraged me to chill out and not let it get to me.

Ten minutes later I’m forced to react to another nincompoop that decided to change into my lane, without looking or signaling, and in that nanosecond that I was about to have another outburst, I remembered my wife’s words and all I said, calm as could be, was “Look, this is me not grousing.”

We had a good chuckle over it and a good conversation followed about, basically, not letting the bastards get ya down.

That’s a hard thing to do. Especially nowadays. It seems at every turn, somebody is trying to ruin your day. Maybe it’s your boss, maybe it’s a customer. Could be your mate, or your parent, or your kids. More often than not, a total stranger.

For me at least, a lot of my aggravation comes from other’s inconsiderate behavior. Whether it’s getting cut off in traffic or some dingbat blocking the entire grocery aisle with their cart while they compare labels. Maybe your neighbors play the TV too loud, or someone lets their Harely idle for half an hour, waking the neighborhood and the dead. It’s usually something small. Some irritating impediment. But when you add up 5, 10, 20 of those little irritations in a day, suddenly you find yourself wishing you had a nice, heavy mallet in your hand to help let your feelings be known to the irritant.

But that random comment from the Mrs. was a good reminder for me. Irritation is in your head, and you DO have control over how you react. You just need to use that control, and not let the irritants win. Simple, right?

Nobody wants to be “that guy” that bitches and moans about everything, or worse gets completely bent outta shape over every little slight. I can’t stand people like that, and they are everywhere. You don’t want to be in that club, it’s a miserable place to hang out.

You do NOT want to be this guy!

I don’t really believe everyone is out to ruin everybody else’s day. Most of them are just too stupid and/or ill mannered to know any better. That doesn’t mean their behavior is OK, it just means you don’t have to let it bring you down.

Just something to think about the next time somebody pushes your buttons. Or drives 47mph in front of you on the highway…

Thanks for reading!

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