Are Pet Peeves Worth the Trouble?

IMG_1426“I don’t have pet peeves, I have whole kennels of irritation.” Whoopie Goldberg

At first this quote might not make sense, but look closer. It is a fun play on words that makes me smile. I like the clever use of words – even puns that make me groan. But this ramble is about the subject of the quote, not the cleverness of it, but that may come later.

We all have things that irritate us. I get irritated about people leaving empty paper rolls on the spindle; empty cartons put back in the refrigerator; towels dropped on a restroom floor after they have been used to open the door and such. Most of the things that get under my skin are things I consider rude.

As I have gained life experiences, my list of pet peeves has grown smaller, which might surprise many of you. I find I am more tolerant of other people’s habits than I used to be. Also, I have learned I can’t change anyone but myself and I put more value on my time now than I did when I was 20.

Letting someone’s rudeness ruin my day is my choice and I prefer to put my energies towards having good days. But sometimes, it just happens. The driver that changed lanes without signaling (yes, another one of my pet peeves) will get the best of me. All the way to work I fuss about his bad driving habits, so when I arrive my attitude is not pleasant. This attitude is picked up on by my co-workers and supervisors, they walk around me and talk in soft voices. Now I have ruined another aspect of my day.

When you are faced with an irritation how do you react? Does your response affect your entire day? It was an “Aha!” moment when I realized I am not responsible for everyone’s bad habits only mine. I was freed from worrying about every insult to my senses and given back time for useful things – like writing.

I am not perfect, but I do try to not let daily irritations rule me.

Sometimes You Need a New World for Your Story

Grenheims ThornI have a young friend (I’ve known him all his life) who recently published his first book, Grenheim’s Thorn by Clay Lewisson. As a writer, I sometimes find it difficult to make my story fit in the environment. Clay has overcome this by creating his own world and any odd items he might need, no one is surprised they are in his world. But if you are writing using planet Earth as the backdrop it is difficult to come up with a second sun to light the path as the first sun sets.

Clay’s imagination knows no boundaries and his book is filled with wonderful settings that just do not exist in the everyday world.

I have some very interesting bits and pieces of a story floating in my head that could work if it was set in a different environment. Probably need to contact Clay and see if he wants to create the world for my story. But I know right now isn’t the time, he is very busy with the next story in this saga.

In the meantime check out this amazing story Grenheim’s Thorn by Clay Lewisson. It could be the inspiration needed to create a new world where anything is possible.

Excited about Lettuce?

LettuceThis time of year is a great time if you are a gardener or like fresh veggies and fruits. Where I live, almost everything is ready for eating. The big exceptions are the fall crops like apples and pumpkins. But it is harvest time on the International Space Station.

The first crop to be grown and consumed is lettuce. While lettuce may not be high on your list of favorite foods, it is a significant step forward for those living in space. Think about how hard it is to have fresh vegetables in space and how bored they must become of packaged processed food. While their packaged food is nutritious, it isn’t the same as eating something fresh from the garden.

Back on planet Earth, it is hard to imagine getting excited about lettuce. I grow lettuce in my little garden patch but many times the rabbits eat more of it than I do. Guess that is a plus for having a garden in space, no rabbits to eat up your crop.

I ramble on about this as I wonder “what would it be like to garden in space?” Consider this food for a story in the future.

Is Your Time Spent Busy or Productive?

Paperclips-vRecently read an article by Francisco Santos, Regional Director for H&R Block, where he wrote about Being Busy Isn’t the Same as Being Productive. He is correct. When I sit down to write, sometimes I am just busy – checking reviews, sales results, straightening paper in the tray, making sure there are plenty of paperclips in the holder, etc. None of these things are unimportant but are they important?  Are they productive?  The short answer is no, not when my goal was to write.

Mr. Santos states as humans we strive and are wired to be busy. Even when we are just sitting around, our mind is busy and frequently we have something to work on in our laps (knitting, carving, eating, reading, playing a musical instrument, planning a takeover of the world, etc.) Becoming productive isn’t something you just find yourself doing. How do you get from busy to productive?

For me, the move to being productive is a conscious step. I make the decision to write, even if the writing is terrible; it is productive as it will lead to better writing. While checking on my paperclip supply serves a purpose, but it doesn’t move me to be a productive writer unless my story is about paperclips and then its research.

Is communication that difficult?

Telephone on PoleMy husband is a computer geek (a main-frame computer geek) and is comfortable working on PCs.  He isn’t as comfortable with social media but recognizes its value and the need to learn it.  When talking about social media communication he frequently uses the wrong term, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does it just to tease me.

I worked up a chart to help explain the different social media communication terms and what they are related to in a non-digital communication form.  Here is what I put together for him.  As I told him, there are more but this is to get him started.

  • E-mail = mail only faster and cheaper
  • Text = phone call only not as many words and no “call-flower” ear
  • Post = a flyer you give to your friends who might give it to another friend
  • Tweet = a notice you put in the newspaper for the subscribers to see
  • Message = a telegram you send to a specific person using a particular program

After this exercise, it hit home how much our communication has changed.  In another generation, people won’t recognize a newspaper or telephone.  The telegram is almost gone now.  My generation is a gap generation, we know what all these things are, have used them, and now we use digital communication.  Times they are a-changing, and it’s all good.