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10 March, 2010

Goats gotten

We are all annoyed by things. Some of them, we're keenly aware of. Others, only subtly. Even fewer, completely unaware, yet their effects manifest themselves in various ways. Especially true when the annoyance is inconvenient or, even worse, unacceptable. There are even things that annoy us, of which we are not aware, until someone else points out "Wow! You seem really annoyed by that!" Well, yes. I guess I am, huh?

I started this blog, with the idea in mind of telling you a laundry list of all the things that annoy me. Of course, after re-reading just my intro paragraph, I am pretty sure I can say that the list would either be trite, incomplete, or perhaps offensive.

So let's not go there.

But the thing about annoyance that's most interesting is the realization that things which bother one person may not bother another at all. It's all about perceptions. It's all about individual reality. And thus, it's really about individual experience. Maybe even individual biology. For example, it really bothers me when the guy in the office on the other side of the wall from me has speaker-phone conversations, even though he's alone in his office. Speaker-phone calls make sense when you've got a few people in your office who all need to hear. But if you don't, then basically, the only reason you're using speaker is so you have both hands free, and you're not uncomfortable. The annoyance with such behavior is two-fold for me. The feeling that boils inside of me is the anger that this guy has a nerve putting his comfort and convenience above respecting the need for those in offices surrounding him to have a peaceful environment. That's the annoyance part. And it's where I tend to dwell. I sit here, righteously, thinking about his nerve. And in the end, I feel like he is doing it to me as opposed to doing it for himself. It ends up being an act of commission, instead of an act of omission.

The reality is that I am bothered because I have difficultly concentrating. I cannot listen to music and do work. I cannot read if someone is talking. I just need very quiet and controlled environment, probably because I have some attention issues - tending to shift to whatever other stimuli are around me. So that's the fundamental issue. But I don't dwell there.

And annoyances are often like that. We find some secondary feature of the annoying stimulus, and start making it personal. And that amplifies the annoyance. Then, instead of getting only a little work done, because my concentration is impaired, I get zero work done, because my concentration is impaired and I am mad!

I wonder if I could shed all annoyances? I wonder if "being Zen" would be to just let it all flow through me, and not assign value to it. But to see it simply as action and reaction, internal and external, with no judgment. Would it feel better? Or do I want to hold on to the annoyance because it protects me from something else?

1 comment:

  1. you can't quit being annoyed as easily as you can quit drinking coffee.

    ReplyDelete