Letting go on the bus and other irritants.

19 Aug

The bus ride to work, my sorta favoured, sorta hated morning ritual. I would have walked, but the clouds moved in and I knew, like clockwork, the rain would start if I walked. Not that I mind rain. But I mind rain when not going home. I mind feeling slightly damp, like a wet sheepdog all day.

I don’t really mind the bus. It’s time to read or listen to music. Walking is better for music since there’s no engines or voices to compete, but just having 30 minutes where I’m immobile and unable to do more than read, talk or the phone or text is rather decadent these days. And I do love reading certain novels over and over again, with this weeks love being the Taltos series by Steven Brust. (Which is completely fantastic-the man has a gift he really does. And note to anyone who cares-his new book, Jhegaala is out and I have a birthday coming up. No pressure though.)

I digress.

Lately I have been trying to be better, to sweeten my disposition if you will. I’ve been nasty, and well, I don’t want to be that way anymore. This has been going fairly well. But this morning, despite the sunshine making it’s lazy way through the windows and the cool air on my skin, I found myself kinda foul, and fighting it. It’s hard people! When everything in your says “BAH!”, it’s difficult.

I took to looking at the window and ordering myself to find something I liked about everything I saw. Which honestly, is fairly easy to do. Lovely houses, vintage cars, beautiful gardens. Perked me up a bit.

But truly, TRULY, I couldn’t get past the two giggling, 20 odd year old girls who spent the entire bus ride whining about various body pains and taking up multiple seats with a variety of stuff. They were on last night, doing much the same. Architects blocked them out nicely. Some mornings, like this morning, I didn’t want headphones in.

So listen I did.

I fought with myself, reminding myself they’re really just kids. But my head kept screaming a frantic, freaking out scream “They’re training to be NURSES!”


The entire bus ride was this internal fight with myself, half of me reminding myself not to judge, judging is bad, and the other half had her hair standing on end like a harpy, bouncing upside and around screaming ARGH! People shouldn’t talk this much at SEVEN AM!


I am not worthy. I need to continually remind myself that I am not inherently better than anyone else, that I have no corner pocket on being a good person. Through gritted teeth if need be. I need to focus on good things, breaking the habit of years like stealing carrots from gerbils. I have no real right to focus only on the bad things, to focus solely on how grating their voices were, how repetitive the conversation, how irritating it was for the louder and whinier of the two to sit at the back of the bus like a queen, taking up 6, count them SIX seats with her size 4 butt. I have no real right to be annoyed by people who are really doing nothing to me, aside from keeping me from sitting something with leg room unless I want a fight.

Not that I was keeping track of my annoyances or anything.

Obviously, I need to learn how to deal with and how to integrate the things that annoy me into my daily life, to breathe them in and let them go. It’s foolish to assume nothing will bother me. Of COURSE something will bother me. I’m human (I think). But I need to better learn to let things flow past me-through me and around me. I will be better served by focusing on the good (they’re young! Lucky creatures, and full of life) rather than the bad things (they annoyed the SHIT out of me)

Learning to let go is a lot harder than I ever thought it would be.

8 Responses to “Letting go on the bus and other irritants.”

  1. sweetsalty kate August 19, 2008 at 9:43 am #

    Oh, but my dear, the bus is a test of mettle for everyone. I rode a bus for probably fifteen years and had all the same mixed emotion climbing up those steps every morning. Especially when the wino vomited on my shoes. How’s that for a 7 AM irritant? 🙂

    Be kind to yourself, and remember that the bus can be truly godforsaken. Especially at 7 AM.

  2. badmom August 19, 2008 at 10:51 am #

    While you aren’t better than them, you can rest assured those nurses will get the giggles knocked out of them the first time they walk into a room and a patient of their’s is dead, the first time someone sprays vomit all over their hands, the first time someone releases their urine and bowels all over their shoes, the first time amniotic fluid and meconium splash up into their faces… 🙂 Nursing, is like, teehee, so cool!

  3. cinnamon gurl August 19, 2008 at 11:47 am #

    There’s nothing wrong with being annoyed. It can be good blog fodder. 😉 But it can also be good to use it as a signal to try to consider the annoyer’s perspective. I’m suddenly discovering that I can be really fucking annoying, and I was even more annoying when I was young.

  4. Gwen August 19, 2008 at 11:48 am #

    As I was just telling my mom the other day, it’s not the thought that’s bad, it’s what you do with the thought that counts. But my mom is a crazy Xtian, so maybe that advice doesn’t apply here.

  5. Hannah August 19, 2008 at 2:39 pm #

    And you’ve just summed up for me why I hate hate hate the bus.

  6. Marcy August 19, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    This is the kind of thing DBT has really helped me with — certain exercises like the prompting event worksheet (I’ve posted several at my blog) help me sort through my thoughts and feelings in a thorough but not overly broody way, and arrive at some bit of wise mind at the end.

    Some of what you described — the not judging, the letting things go in and through you — also use the kind of language DBT uses to talk about mindfulness.

  7. March August 19, 2008 at 9:58 pm #

    that kind of people are so truly annoying indeed.

    but on the other hand, you know there is such a thing as poetic justice… what goes around does come around.

    I think you’re doing great focusing on the things that make you happy during your ride and those things you’re thankful for. So many times we let our gripes take over and shadow negativity on our day.

    it’s work to focus on the positive and to remain determined to have a good day, but it’s worth doing that work and not letting small people ruin it for you.

  8. Cynthia Page August 21, 2008 at 9:24 am #

    Last night, I went to the grocery store. The grocery store is a trigger for me – the time I’m mostly likely to feel hostile and have rather hateful thoughts about other people. I don’t act on them and I don’t say anything, but I feel like the GRRR is damaging me. I want not to think things like:

    “FUCK, it this your first trip to the grocery store? Are you fucking new?.”

    “Pay attention to your screaming banshee child. Perhaps she would stop screaming if you got off your cell phone and paid her some attention you oblivious moron.”

    “Old bag, run into me with your cart again and don’t apologize and I’m going to give you whiplash.”

    “Stop bitching and moaning about waiting in line. It doesn’t speed things up and it annoys the crap out of me and the stressed out cashier. SHUT UP.”

    (I feel less guilt about nasty thoughts about people who are rude to cashiers. I find it especially upsetting that asshole customers seem to target the youngest, meekest cashier. Sometimes I wish I was brave enough to confront the bully – as it is, I usually just act extra sweet to the cashier and loudly say I’m sorry they have to deal with rude people.)

    In any case, I think ugly thoughts about people and I feel like that makes me uglier in the process. I remember reading something once about how resentment is like swallowing poison and expecting the other person to die. I’d like to be able to chill out and stop feeling so much GRRR.

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