Monday, January 31, 2011

Life's Too Short to Have Pet Peeves

"I don't have pet peeves; I have whole kennels of irritation." - Whoopi Goldberg

I wrote about ONE of my pet peeves in an earlier post--four-way stop signs--and the fact that people don't understand how to function like a sane person when pulling up to one.

Pet peeve #2 is twisted phone cords--not so much an issue anymore with cordless and cellular phones, but most office desks still have the phone-with-cord set up. Some of my co-worker's phone cords would become so tightly twisted that merely grabbing the handset from the cradle would result in the whole phone being drug across the desk. Growing up at home in the 70's, we had the avocado green wall phone in the kitchen. The phone cord was at least a half mile long. By the time I wondered around the house wrapping and unwrapping myself in that spiraled cord, it was totally twisted and stretched beyond recognition. There is a very easy solution to the twisted phone cord--1) squeeze the jack and remove from the phone, 2) stretch the cord and dangle to release the kinks, 3) plug the jack back in--good as new!

Pet Peeve #3: The little rubbery ball of hand soap that forms at the tip of the dispenser. Why does it do that?

Pet Peeve #4: The little bit of dishwashing detergent or cat litter you can hear in the box but it never shakes out.

Pet Peeve #5: Finding the toilet paper has been put on the holder so that it streams off the back of the roll instead of from the front.

Pet Peeve #6: When the words coming from the speakers don't match the lips on the TV/movie screen.

Life's too short for petty little annoyances. It's not what happens to us, but how we react to what happens...

...I'll work on it.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Life's Short...Drive Fast

As the line goes in the Eagles song: "Life in the fast lane...surely make you lose your in the fast lane."

Reminds me of a joke told by Steven Wright:
"I was going 70 miles an hour and got stopped by a cop who said, 'Do you know the speed limit is 55 miles per hour?' 'Yes, officer, but I wasn't going to be out that long...'" (Wish I would've thought to use that the few times I got stopped for speeding).

I don't actually condone exceeding the speed limit--it's dangerous, against the law, and dangerous! But According to an April 2005 government article on, Americans spent more time driving to work than taking vacations. My mother recalls an age when riding in the car with family on a vacation was a time to feel the wind on your face and converse with one another—however, that was mainly out of necessity--there was no radio and no air conditioner.

Before the days of portable DVD players, we played the license plate game, the alphabet game, or my favorite—Bury the Cows. The endless supply of DVD’s does help the time pass more rapidly in the car if it’s a multiple-hour car ride with a small child, but nothing can replace the games and interaction between family members when all electronics are silenced. My friend, Myra always brings a book along when she and her husband make their treks up north to their cabin every weekend. She reads aloud as he drives, and they both get to add another entry to their repertoire of books read.

If by myself, sometimes I just need some down time and will sing along to the radio or tune into the local Christian station. Other times, I will talk to God and try and clear my head to “listen” to Him as well. I might even utilize a short drive to go through my to-do list and prioritize my day or brainstorm on a project. Recently, I have taken the advice of Famous Dave Anderson in his book, “Life Skills” by making the most of my commute time and attending the “University on Wheels.” I’m expanding my mind by listening to audio books.

Another tune by Eddie Rabbit comes to mind:
"...I'm driving my life away, looking for a better way, for me..."

Life's too short to waste the commute. Life is a journey. Roll down the window and enjoy the breeze!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Life's Too Short to Wait for the Other Driver to Figure Out the Four-Way Stop Sign

We've all been there. You sit there waiting for the other driver (who clearly got to the intersection first) to go and eventually you're both motioning for the OTHER to go, then you both begin to pull forward at the same time, stop, and both motion again. This could go on for awhile.

I especially (dis)like the driver who stops in the MIDDLE of the intersection while deep in conversation on her mobile, pretends to look both ways and then pulls ahead oblivious to the other people around her!

It's an easy concept, people--one that should've been learned early on in driver's education!

1) The one to arrive first at the stop sign is the one who gets to go first.

2) If more than one car arrives at the same time, the driver on the RIGHT has the RIGHT-of-way

If you're unsure who arrived first, get off your cell phone and pay attention!!

Life's short...don't cut it any shorter by getting caught in a road-rage war.

Life's Short...Embrace the Hardships

...but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. Romans 5:3-4

Time flies when you're having fun. As the anniversaries of my birth pile up, the years seem to pass faster than ever, and the phrase about time flying proves quite true. Just the other day, I was re-reading several friend's holiday greetings and found that same sentiment about the rapid progression of time echoed throughout many of their letters.

I'm certainly not one to wish ill or hardships on anyone (enemies included), but when I find myself in a situation out of my control and extremely painful to bear, time seems abundant. Time spent waiting for tests or court dates to be scheduled; waiting for outcomes, results, or resolution--I'm inundated with timeless phrases from people like, "This too shall pass;" and "Whatever doesn't kill us, will surely make us stronger." I ,myself, am guilty of throwing the latter of these two phrases around recently to a friend who is going through a divorce and painful custody battle and reaching out for words of wisdom and hope.

Life has its trials and tribulations, but life is short--turn worry into prayer and persevere.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Life's Too Short to Sleep Through It

I understand that sleep is necessary to keep your body functioning at peak performance. However, unless you work the third shift, I don't understand sleeping the day away and then staying up all night. Maintaining a regular-business-hours schedule to accomplish activities necessary to being a functioning citizen of the community is a concept foreign to my 21-year-old (much to my dismay and disappointment).

I've never been an early riser unless my job demanded it, but sometimes the early morning hours provide breathtaking and spectacular experiences. I will never forget watching the sun come up over Lake Superior as the freighter approached the lift bridge in Duluth; or the way the smells, sights, and sounds overtake your senses and draw you into the magic of Disney World in Orlando at dawn. The natural phenomenon of the hoar frost on the trees and shrubs on a crisp winter's day after a night of fog can best be seen during the early daylight hours. As a photographer, I understand that lighting plays a major role in capturing a subject at its best. Sometimes that means being an early riser.

A good share of the general public is awake during daylight hours which means to interact with said public, you must be awake then, too. Naps are for toddlers and nursing home residents. In the prime of life, don't miss out on prime time activities...stay awake!!

Life's short...if you blink, you might miss it!

Happy New Year! Life's Too Short to Make Resolutions

"If you spend New Year's Day consumed with a specific activity, you will likely repeat that activity more often throughout the year." This was a theory I had heard about that I have tested and proven to be untrue time and time again. One New Year's Day I cleaned out all my expired coupons and vowed to use coupons more often--that didn't happen. Another New Year's Day, I wrote down a list of resolutions like eating right, exercising, learning something new each day, blah, blah, blah! Guess what? Those resolutions didn't become a daily routine any more than me getting closer to my doctorate without going to school.

New Year's Day is just another day that should be made the most of just like every day of the year. New Year's Day can be a good time for reflection and goal planning, but like Albert Einstein pointed out in his definition of insanity: "Don't expect different results by doing the same thing over and over again."

Life's short. Make each day count--even New Year's Day!