The world would be a much easier place if everyone did things my way. Then I wouldn’t get frustrated, out of sorts, and irritated.
It is, of course, everyone else’s fault.
The people in my life, especially the ones I live with, commit egregious sins constantly. I’m pretty sure they do it on purpose, intent on destroying my calm and wrecking my day.
The litany of complaints I have is exhaustive.
They refuse to wipe down the counters in the kitchen. The crumbs are a sign of how little they care for me.
They don’t put things away after they get them out.
They don’t replace the butter in the dish when it’s getting low. Then I have to do it, all the time. I’m also the one who has to empty the recycling bin in the house; they let it get far too full.
They never take out the garbages for me on Friday mornings. You think they’d step up once in a while.
They rarely help with the laundry. They do their own, but when they wash the towels and the sheets, they fold them wrong. How am I supposed to live like this?
I don’t get it. My way is obviously better, the results more perfect. Can’t they think of anyone but themselves? Why can’t they be more like me, and sweat and obsess over the small stuff?
Plus, they aren’t psychic. This seems to me to be the worst of it all. How is it they can’t figure out what I desire without me telling them? How come they don’t know I’m irritated and pissed off even though I do my utmost to pretend everything’s fine?
I wish I lived with better guessers.
This leaves me with two options. Well, there are actually a multiplicity of options, but I’m going to focus on two.
I can actually talk to them about the things I sit and stew about. I’m not a huge fan of this one though I do need to step up my communication game. Unfortunately, I worry about negative fallout. I don’t want anyone angry at me.
But talking presupposes I haven’t and in this instance, that supposition is shockingly, incorrect. I’ve talked. I’ve hinted. We’ve had sit down family meetings. I talk about respect, and being responsible, and obligations, and unfair workloads. They smile and nod and make all the right noises and things change for a minute or two, but before long they’re back doing the same old same old and I’m back to seething.
I could try consequences but these are all young adults. What am I going to do, ground them? As if they’d listen to that.
I want them to be more like me in this regard, a bit more considerate of others, but then I start to wonder; how considerate was I in my late teens and early twenties? My memory insists I was awesome, beyond reproach, but we tend to look at ourselves and our past behaviours in a favourable light. I wonder if my parents would remember things in the same way?
Which brings me to the second option. Let it go.
I hate this one. I hate that it circles back to things that are in our control and not in our control. I hate that I have to make changes to my expectations. I hate that I have to stop sweating the small stuff.
I am a bit over the top about my environment. It comes from my anxiety and my PTSD and my need for control, even in things as small as how the Tupperware should be put away in the cupboards. I need for things to be just so. I get agitated when they aren’t.
I’ve been agitated a lot of late. In a perfect world, my housemates would pick up on that and on my distress and make a change. It’s not going to happen. There’s no incentive for them to do so. Which means we’re back to focusing on the things that are in my control.
If I wanted to, if I felt like burning bridges, I could kick them out over a messy stove. In the alternative, I could practice personal growth. Bring up the big things that really bug me, but in the moment, rather than hoarding them and stewing over them. And learn to let the small stuff go. Really let it go. Not say I will but still let it bother me. Really learn to believe that in the end, it doesn’t really matter that things are a little messy and out of place. There are more important things for me to spend my energy on.