After I outlined this post I put it aside, you know to let it ruminate. When I came back to the subject I noticed that half of the pet peeves listed were character traits in other people. One definition of “pet peeve” is a complaining, teasing, or annoying behavior; which begs the question as to whether it’s worth carrying these things as pet peeves if I can’t change these behaviors in other people.
That’s right, there comes a point in our lives when we are old enough and wise enough to realize, we can’t change other people only they can make a personal decision to change. And what bugs us about other people may not bother them at all. So really these pet peeves may or may not be seen as right in the eyes of another individual and in such a case, I look judgmental and not like a person who just wants to make a difference in this world.
That leaves me with two pet peeves I will share with you and then open the floor for you to share. First of all, receipts. I can go in a store and purchase a pack of gum with cash and end up with a receipt the length of my arm. Wasn’t all of this electronic scanning and debit cards created to reduce the amount of paper it takes to make a transaction? Do retailers really care about my opinions on the survey that the bottom of the mile-long receipt invites me to participate? Because I am one of those who balance my checkbook, I do keep receipts for a period of time, but the bulging envelop turns out to be half the transactions and half a bunch of information I never read, or coupons I never use. And as long as we are talking about making retail transactions, is it necessary (Sears) to have my phone number to make a purchase? Would they know if I gave them a fake or old disconnected number? I may try that next time.
The other peeve I will share is wasting time. In the course of my day, I’m pretty much in perpetual motion or work type activity from the time I get up until late evening when my son is in bed and I feel like I can take a little time for me. So, to have some non-important something slow me down or stop me is annoying. Do I ever stop to watch television or check out Facebook? Yes, but I don’t spend hours doing either one and most of the time if I’m watching television it is part of my personal downtime or time with my family. As a parent of a middle school student, there is a lot of time spent taking him to practices or having him at school activities. This is not a waste of time, but I find myself with odd periods of time waiting for him that I try to make productive by taking work along or a book to read. Rarely do I ever “kill” time. What I do watch out for is that I’m teaching my son the balance between living a productive non-wasteful life and living in such a manner so as to not rush or over-plan every moment of the day. There are extraordinary things that happen to us and around us in the spontaneity of life that need to be experienced; slowing down to listen to a spouse share their day or a child ask a question or tell of an adventure, watch the sunset or notice a child playing; taking a call from a friend in need or who has good news to share. You know the important things in life that will outlast any daily schedule, remind us of our priorities and are like pushing the reset button on our patterns of thinking.
“People over progress” is a mantra that I took on several years ago when I did find myself so over planned and dedicated to my daily lists to be available for those who mean the most to me. Most of the time, people are not a waste of time.
Well this post didn’t go exactly the way I expected, but that’s ok, it accomplished the goal. Are you re-thinking your pet peeves? What are they?
All the best,