As part of my stress reduction quest, I need to try to identify things that set me off. Maybe instead of using “stress reduction” I should use “stress/anger reduction” because anger is how my stress usually manifests itself. And an angry me is not a nice thing to be around. Just ask my son, my wife, or some of my co-workers. More often than not, they haven’t done anything to deserve being unloaded on so I need to work on it.

A perfect example of stupid things that set me off happened last night. We decided that we’d order Pizza Hut to commemorate the final day of Winter Break. I ordered online and immediately called the store back afterward because it was going to take three hours to deliver. That wasn’t going to work. I called, cancelled the order, and got replacement food from Dominoes. All is right with the world. Until an hour later when Pizza Hut calls to let me know that they’re ready to deliver. I told them I called and cancelled the order and wanted to make sure my credit card wasn’t going to be charged. The guy I spoke to couldn’t help so he transfered me to the manager who then cancelled the order. I was ticked off because they hadn’t done it when I called. Which I really shouldn’t have been because, honestly, it just wasn’t that big of a deal. But I got progressively angrier when the manager wanted to argue about why it wasn’t done the first time. I knew I shouldn’t have been mad but I couldn’t shake it. Once I’m mad, it’s hard to pull it back. I eventually ended the call and felt even worse for my irrational behavior when TJ asked me if they hadn’t planned on cancelling the charge. I told her no, they took care of everything. She said something like “well, they made a mistake and corrected it, no big deal.” Of course, that just made me feel even worse.

I spent a few hours thinking about why I was so mad and I’ve come to the conclusion that I just wanted the guy to admit that they’d made a mistake and he wouldn’t. I think if I’d heard the words, “you know, we messed up but it’s fixed now,” I would have been able to smile, say “that’s ok, no big deal,” and went on about my business. But I couldn’t let it go. Silly, right? Yep, it was and it ate at me all night. I’m sure it didn’t make the guy I spoke to feel very good either.

This is the type of situation that I want to avoid in the future. If I could have just stopped for a few seconds, let the red I was seeing part just a bit, the conversation – and my night – would have gone a lot differently. Now I need to recognize this in the future and have the strength to take a breath and see the situation for what it was – not a big deal and something I should have just shrugged and moved on from.

Speaking of triggers, my son shot himself in the eye yesterday with a Lego projectile. He was looking at the creature he had created and accidentally set the launcher off – into his eyeball from about 4 inches away. This thing shoots across the room so I know it hit hard. He screamed for a solid 15 minutes. He finally calmed down, assured us that he could see, and curled up into my lap to read some Percy Jackson.

Comment if you want. You know, no pressure.

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