Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sweat the Small Stuff

You have probably been admonished by some wise-looking man dressed in a white robe, replete with a long beard (the man that is, not the robe) to "don't sweat the small stuff". Quite a useful nugget that one. I know a couple of people who could be on the bow of the Titanic post-impact and say with a straight face, "don't worry, it will all work out". These people make me physically sick, I want to give them all atomic wedgies (where you pull up so hard that the waist band detaches). I come from the school of development that taught me to panic and get upset when anything, no matter how minor or trivial, crops up that deviates even a single iota from my master plan. Quite frankly, I strike a humorous tone here because otherwise I would scream so hard my head would catch on fire. I really do not like this quality about myself, and try as I might, I just cannot bring it under control, it will not allow me to rein it in. This is not something that bubbles to the surface every once in a while, it is ever-present, looming over me like a dark rain cloud. I cannot escape from it.

Case in point, the other day I was supposed to meet the cable T.V. guy for a scheduled appointment. I told the cable operator to have the technician call me 30 minutes ahead of time and I would meet them at my home. When I got the call, I left work and made it back to my home within 10 minutes. Upon arriving home, the cable guy was gone. When I called the operator, I was told that the cable guy had decided that he had waited for me long enough, cancelled the work order, and then drove off. I started fuming, and pacing, and bad-mouthing, and hating. The level of my emotional response far outweighed any infraction committed by the technician. I took me about 30 minutes to regain the controls of my own ship. Even as all this was developing, I tried to talk myself down from the ledge of outrage and aggravation, but I lost my internal battle and my system went into DEFCON 5. It was not until I had scarfed down a turkey and cheese sandwich had the full mantle of this situation melted away. I wonder how this type of emotional response developed in me, where it came from? Is it because I feel like I am always losing and it is not my fault? Is it because I feel like someone in my position should not have to be put through this treatment? Is it because I think that because I am a perfectionist that everyone else in the world should be as well? Is it because I am an elitist? I have not yet come up with an answer that fully makes sense to me, and I will continue to ponder on this. However, in the mean time, I will be sure to have plenty of turkey and cheese at my immediate disposal.