Are you having a hard time dealing with daily annoyances?
Perhaps each spring the neighbor’s roaming cat uses the side of your house as a litter box.
Or the neighbor’s kiddos consistently throw landscaping, pea rock into your grass; resulting in you cursing each time you mow the lawn.
And then there’s Bob, the Neighborhood Watch organizer, who lurks around the house, ringing your doorbell after 9 p.m. This usually happens when your husband is travelling, scaring you, and the “you know what” out of the cat at the side of the house…possibly causing the whole litter box problem. Well, maybe the cat and Bob situations aren’t related to one another, but it added a little humor.
In case you are wondering, all of the above stories have actually happened between the two houses where my husband and I have lived.
What’s the solution to these daily annoyances? It’s challenging yourself to find the humor in a situation and flip the stress to laughter. Let me give a couple examples.
As I listened to my husband rant under his breath, criticizing the neighbor’s parenting skills, while doing his best to pick the pea rock out of our lawn for the ninth time this summer. I think how can I make him laugh? So I say:
“You want me to take care of it? Just think of me out there in my housecoat, curlers in my hair, cold cream on my face and cigarette in hand, yelling in the raspiest voice I can muster, you kids get out of my yard!”
It took the edge off of his anger and gave him a mental picture to reference each time he went pea rock picking before a mow.
Then, there’s the cat that kept using the side of our house as his personal toilet when spring arrived. I did some research for my husband and found three ways to handle this delicate situation:
- Outfit my husband in camouflage, night vision goggles and a can of spray paint.
- Scatter a couple of bulk, black pepper containers at the side of the house so that the pepper would adhere to the cat’s paws, a couple of licks later, that cat wouldn’t want to come back to our house.
- Purchase a super soaker water gun and lay in wait.
I can tell you that we tried numbers two and three. Number two was very effective and economical. A word that best describes option three is, entertaining. There’s something truly satisfying about watching my husband exclaim, ‘There it is!’ while grabbing the soaker, wielding the waterarm like Rambo and chasing the zigzagging hairball around the yard. After three years of observing this, I can tell you he has never actually sprayed the feline…but I’ve had a good time watching him try.
Not so much into the humor? Find yourself being more of a serious person by nature? Well, I have another option for you.
I gratefully live with egalitarian roles in my household. My husband, as King of the Castle, will take a turn with the toilet scepter, scrub a floor or throw a load of laundry in the washer…and I as Queen will take out the trash, pressure wash the garage or trim the shrubs. So women, please don’t be offended when I share with you how my husband encourages me to handle my stress whenever my sense of humor is on hiatus.
We heard through our neighborhood grapevine that our pea rock, hurling neighbors dubbed us “The Child Haters.” We’re sure they came to this conclusion because, eventually, my husband would ask that the kids to stop hurling the rocks into our yard. Apparently, respectfully asking that the act stop made us unreasonable.
As if struggling with infertility and a miscarriage wasn’t enough, the term “Child Hater,” was particularly hurtful. I so badly wanted to confront and share with them our plight so that they would feel bad for the terrible label they assigned to us. I felt like we were wearing the scarlet letters CH (Child Haters) as a badge of shame.
My husband was as hurt as I was, but was wise enough to tell me, “Those individuals have small minds; we don’t. Whatever you want to say to them, recite it as you scrub the floor.” I’ve never forgotten his thoughtful words, as it’s a very creative way to get those feelings out while getting a little housework done.
I am thankful that my husband and I compliment one another. Between my humor and his kind nature, we are able to help diffuse one another when our feathers get ruffled.
And…let’s not forget, there’s something to be said taking the proverbial high road. You don’t always have to tell someone what you are really thinking. There’s also something to be said for people being respectful of one another, and of course, minding their own business.
So the next time you feel like you are ready to boil, start thinking about how to tame your little beast. If you haven’t caught on already, having a sense of humor, finding your kind nature or scrubbing a floor can diffuse almost any situation.