“If you meet more than three jerks in a day, the jerk might be you.” -My mom
With her infinite experience and wisdom, my mom shared this saying with us growing up… (okay, she may have used a word that’s worse than “jerk”, but for the purposes of this blog post, I’m cleaning it up a bit.)
So, every once in a while, I find myself taking inventory of jerks, and last week I found myself far surpassing the daily allowance. By noon.
Have the jerks been mating, causing a population surge? Or was it my assessment that was the problem?
The first clue that I was “having one of those days” should have been the fact that the extra “pe” in the name “Vitamin Shoppe” irked me. Unless their target market is Robin Hood and the Knights of the Round Table, or they’re selling Ground Newt Eyeballs in their Ginko Biloba formula…I failed to see the point of Ye Olde English spelling. (Plus … the hard “p” sound at the end of “Shoppe” makes me spit a tiny bit. So un-ladylike.) After that, I’m pretty sure (okay, totally sure) that I went into a 5 minute long diatribe of all the other names and words that bother me too, like “Ruth’s Chris Steak House” (Ugh! Daggers!) and Liverwurst (Liver is already bad – is the “wurst” really necessary?)
But despite my own obvious irritability that day, I still wasn’t ready to acknowledge my part in the jerk warfare. More evidence was needed. And I found it in the lady with the BMW who gave me a dirty look and raised her hands up in the air Italian Style when I drove by…. (motorists going UP the hill have the right of way, Snagglepuss face!) Then there was the guy who had indigestion in front of me at the market, forcing me to either lose my place in line, or die a slow death of Pepperoni asphyxia. (Horrid!)
There were several more incidences along the way… The evil wrong-doer who didn’t signal before turning, causing me to miss the light (Why I aughta…!) ….. the dog at Petco who barked at my precious Malti-poo, Cookie and scared her. (Bully sticks aren’t the only bullies at Petco!)
See where I’m going with this? There was a pattern.
And it lead right back to me.
When we let little things bother us….it’s time to stop, assess and play a round of “who’s REALLY the jerk?”
Or in nicer terms…..
“Does somebody need a nap? “(to quote my grandmother)
Sometimes we need to stop and ask ourselves….
What’s the real issue here? What’s underneath all the agitation?
Am I feeling unheard in some part of my life?
Do I feel misunderstood?
Taken for granted?
What’s beneath all the negativity and judgment?
Am I mistaking other people’s mistakes as personal attacks?
Am I letting their issues become my issues?
Or allowing somebody else’s bad day become mine?
Yep..and yep. (And yep, yep, yep.)
Guilty as charged. (Although, to be fair, sometimes there really are Class A jerks.)
Everybody has bad days…it’s what you do with them that counts.
Taking stock of our own reactions and figuring out the source is the first step in becoming responsible for our own moods, and thus– the energy that we give back out to the world.
The truth is… I had not slept well, and no amount of herbal tea, or Kumbyah My Lord’s, or Life Coachiness could cure that. But a nice long nap could and did. Other days it takes more than that, but whatever the case- the first step is owning it.
I’ve come to the conclusion that just like Madonna, the Vitamin Shoppe has every right to pretend to be British if they want. And BMW lady….you aren’t really a SnagglePuss face. (Because I’m not even 100% sure what that is.) Burpy man…I’m sorry that you have indigestion. Antacids are in aisle 2, next to the Pepto Bismol. (Not that I know that.)
Peace, healthy introspection and Good Sleep be with you all.