I can’t imagine or remember a single solitary day that hasn’t had some form of irritant in it. Sometimes the irritant is so small that I may not even notice it until I find myself at the end of my day feeling stressed and drained. I’ve been tugged at by responsibilities, chores, too many red lights, or my almond milk macchiato taking waaaaay too long to be made.
Sometimes the irritant is really big. Maybe an important project feels like it’s going south, there’s an illness in the family that impacts everything and everyone or a loved one is struggling with something that you have no idea how to help them through.
Strange as it may sound, I also believe that there are happy irritants! Like when you’ve had a rough day and just want to sit in the dark and a dear friend calls and just wants to chat and let you know how much they’ve been thinking about you. Or when you realize you don’t have quite enough cash for something and the person behind you offers to add in the remaining change you’re short.
Maybe instead of thinking of irritants as something negative, we need to be reminded that if there wasn’t anything to stick at us or cause us to stop what we’re doing and pay attention, our memories of days past would just be a blur of morning, noon, night and then repeat. Instead, we can look back at that day your friend called and be reminded that you are thought of and cared for in this world. Or remember the project that almost wasn’t but that miraculously came together in the end – maybe not in the way you planned, but still completed with an even better outcome.
I don’t believe that irritants or things that make you go UGH will ever go away. No matter how hard we may try to make life smooth and simple for ourselves or our loved ones, it just will never be. And, to be completely honest with you, I’m kind of glad! If you’ve been following me for any length of time now, you know that I believe that life is this big, wonderful, scary, no-way-to-plan-for-it existence! And it’s a gift! All of it, the wonderful along with the irritating or heartbreaking!
I encourage you to embrace the things that make you go UGH! Try to find a tiny glimmer of something good, or a new lesson to be learned or an opportunity to practice patience; because you know that tomorrow will look completely different from today….if we pay attention to the little details, and look for ways to take a deep breath and say “AWWW” instead of a loud, grunting “UGH”!!
Take a look in the mirror as you say each of these words. Which expression would you like to wear for the outside world to see? The stress of the UGH or the serenity of the AWWW?
You change your life by changing your heart. – Max Lucado