Sometimes I feel like the world’s biggest jerk. Everyday annoyances and pet peeves – humph. I’m a fool to let such inconsequential things get me all riled up but still they do. My life, while far from perfect and not without challenges or constraints, is holding up pretty darn well, thank you very much. I am fairly healthy and gainfully (and comfortably) employed. My husband treats me like a queen, makes me laugh and is a wonderful BFF. We are financially stable, my son is thriving in both in his career and in his personal life, we live in a beautiful home and we’re happy – plain and simple.

But – News Flash! – I’m human and as such I’m as prone as the next guy (or gal) to grumbling when things don’t quite go my way or aren’t to my liking. And for that I feel pretty sheepish at times, embarrassed even.

It’s just that, well, it’s the way some folks (okay – LOTS of folks) don’t bother to reciprocate during conversations by asking me questions about MY weekend or showing even a modicum of interest in MY life – while I’m happy to query them about theirs and listen patiently with a smile on my face, nodding with interest, encouraging them to go on. Or when people at work don’t bother to clean up after themselves, leaving sinks and countertops sloppy and gooey with coffee grounds or pizza crusts or chili con carne and not wiping up their messes. I also find annoying (and I’ll admit that, yes this is really pretty doggone trivial) the local tradition we learned of when we moved to the Des Moines metro nine years ago known as Beggar’s Night where kids Trick or Treat a day or two prior to Halloween INSTEAD OF just taking the kids door to door ON Halloween. They’ve been doing it for decades and while it’s cute how the kids usually tell a joke to get their candy I still think it’s silly that they don’t do it ON Halloween. What’s the point then of there even being a day called Halloween?

See what I mean? Some incredibly petty things to get upset about, right?

Oh. And can we go back to Halloween for a minute? It IS that time of year, after all. What is up with kids ringing the doorbell, bags thrust forward, expectantly waiting for the candy to fall and not saying a word? When WE were kids (‘Get off my lawn!’), we always and eagerly shouted ‘Trick or Treat!’ as soon as the door was opened. And it was simply unthinkable that we would ever fail to say ‘Thank You’ after we’d been treated. Kids these days!

Indeed, I know what you’re thinking. ‘Julie, you ARE the biggest jerk in the world’. Because I do KNOW that this stuff means nothing. It’s just not worth it to get all worked up over something so frivolous and irrelevant. But there it is and here I am – warts and all. At least, at least I can take some comfort in knowing I am not alone. Everyone gets up in arms over day to day nuisances once in awhile. Mine may not be the same as yours but our shared humanity tells me that we all have our days. Some of those days just may be uglier and more unattractive than others, that’s all.

So to compensate I try to be more positive.  I clean up the spilled coffee and I laugh at all the kid’s funny Halloween jokes and that’s why I’ll continue to sit there, smiling encouragingly and try to put the focus on the other person in an effort to make them feel appreciated, liked and admired despite their cluelessness in not extending me that same courtesy. Sometimes, though, it really is a challenge.