It hasn't been easy. My biggest coach in this process has been my daughter. Boo is 3, and she is an obstacle course. Exhibit A:
Boo has taught me the value of asking, "Is this a hill worth dying on?" Sometimes, the answer is yes. There are things that are just dealbreakers, and they will never not bug me. One such thing? When other people waste my time. OH I hate this. There is NOTHING in this WORLD more INFURIATING to me than when someone wastes my time. This will never change. What must change, then, is what falls into the category of "That Jackass Is Wasting My Time" and realizing that there's generally a solution for how I can remedy the situation.
When someone is doing 25mph in a 45 on a two-lane road? WASTING MY TIME. That person will receive an angry honk and the universal gesture for "what the hell?!" If that same person is doing it on a 6-lane road? Eh. There's a solution, and that solution is a quick lane change with nary a dirty look as I pass them.
When someone asks me to look for something, and I bust myself searching high and low to no avail for an hour on my day off only to learn that they didn't look for it themselves in the first place? (This happened yesterday, and is the inspiration for this topic...) And then they tell me they didn't look for it and my only response can be silent incredulity while I compose myself? The solution? Well, what's done is done, but perhaps a diplomatic conversation about how that's not very considerate or respectful of my time, and perhaps next time a quick look-see around one's own vicinity before expanding the search to mine would be super awesome? Yeah, that's our solution. (We'll see how this goes...) (We also learned not to be all "I informed you thusly" about it when they find the missing item in.plain.sight. in their own vicinity.)
When someone is late for an appointment, doesn't call, doesn't email, doesn't apologize when it finally starts and just attributes it to "Oh hahahaha I run late all the time?" WASTING MY TIME. There isn't always a solution. Sometimes the
jackass latecomer is (on the org chart, at least) a professional superior. Sometimes, seething quietly is the only answer.
What makes the silent simmer possible and easier is when I deal better with the other stuff. If I don't spend all my energy getting all bent out of shape about the stuff I can resolve or even dismiss, then I tend not to get as irritated by the bigger stuff that's beyond my control.
Thank you, Boo, for the lesson.