Man have I had some regrettable behavior in my past. Nothing like arson or murder or anything, but regrettable nonetheless.
But I think I’ve finally started to mature. I’ve….softened so to speak. But not before some moments I wish had never happened.
There was the one time I freaked out on my neighbor when he wouldn’t stop moving my garbage can from the curb to the actual street. And what made it even more infuriating was that it wasn’t just my garbage can. He walked around the small horseshoe development I lived in at the time and moved EVERYBODY’s garbage can. Something about the garbage trucks having easier access if the cans were in the actual street.
I should mention, for a little context, I found him in my front yard one afternoon kneeling down around a tree, my tree, pulling the few weeds he could find. This confirmed what I’d long suspected but couldn’t prove: The man had way too much time on his hands.
So…letting my emotions get the better of me one evening, and wanting to prove once and for all that it was, in fact, my garbage and my can, I lowered myself to an embarrassing level of pettiness and rage.
That’s right. For what could’ve been 20 straight minutes, but was more likely 3 or 4, I delivered what could only be described as an incoherent, babbling, spitting string of profanity that would make my grandmother ashamed.
The neighbor responded with a formidable verbal assault of his own, as the other neighbors started to take notice of what was happening; two grown ass men arguing over the fact that one of them wouldn’t keep his hands off the other one’s garbage can.
There are numerous other examples involving e-mails and, of course, social media, but I don’t feel the need to incriminate myself further. Hopefully you get the point.
But I think I’ve made significant strides in how I deal with the anger and frustration when it comes to situations like these.
I can’t remember the last time I flipped someone off in traffic, for instance. Now I mostly keep my fingers to myself, and the mere thought of reacting in such a way is, I don’t know, immature? Low brow, perhaps? Regardless, it no longer seems appropriate for a man of 54 years of age to react in such a way and be ok with it. I no longer want to be, “that guy.”
There will always be situations like intrusive neighbors, aggressive drivers, or people who simply get on my nerves. In a world of 7+ billion people, I’m going to dislike a few hundred million of them, at least. And I’m ok with that.
The important realization I’ve made though is how I handle these frustrations and how I handle other people in general, matters. Reacting with calmness and a level head is always more admirable than the alternative.
Have a calm and peaceful week everybody,