I awakened just as the daylight began to filter through my bedroom window. I donned a pair of sweatpants, threw on a hoodie and made a bee-line to the beach. Once there, I watched a breathtaking sunrise spread out over the water. I took a few Facebook-worthy pictures and returned home in a great mood—and why not? Life was good.

bits and piecesIt was my first day assuming the duties as the assistant director at the assisted living facility where I am employed. Like most good things (and bad) I didn’t see it coming. When I returned to work, after visiting my west coast family, my employer offered me a promotion. I said “yes” in a New York minute, wouldn’t you?

I was geared-up and excited; squaring my shoulders, I took one quick look in the mirror and headed out the door that leads into the garage. I pressed the gadget that opens the garage door and nada! I heard a humming sound but the garage door wouldn’t budge. When I tried to get back into the house, I realized I had locked the door behind me. I was stuck inside the garage. Me and “stuck”? Not! I told myself not to sweat the small stuff and ruin my day. Folks, I was not only sweating —literally, but on the verge of “bad mood walking.”

Somewhere in the deep dark recesses of my mind, I remembered that there was this “rope thingy” that hung from the garage door track and pulling on it would release the garage door. The rope was red and visible and like magic (well, not really magic, but for one who is mechanically challenged, it took on a magical quality), the garage door opened. I heaved a huge sigh of relief, pulled out into the driveway, made a call to have the door looked at and got to work on time.

As it turned out, it was no biggie. The temperatures were below freezing and something on the tracks that opened the garage door froze. Truthfully, I am not exactly sure what was frozen, except for my own brain freeze. I don’t do well with being stuck.

Did it ruin my day? No exactly, but it could have. I suppose the excitement of starting something new trumped a “bad mood walking” kind of day. It was one of life’s annoyances—things that happen that are not the end of the world, but are annoying, nevertheless.

How many of us, are driven up the wall by life’s irritants? I can almost hear you out there in cyberspace groaning with recognition. An interesting study carried out by a British building society, revealed the average person gets annoyed by something that is beyond their control up to seven times a day—seven times a day!

I was a tad surprised by the numbers, but when I started to mentally list the things that annoy me to the max. It was an eye-opener. Here are my top-10 pet peeves that can turn this relatively free-spirited gal into a bad mood walking type of gal aka as “The Celia-nator.” (A name given to me by my kids when I cop an attitude.)

10. Manicures are great and relaxing. However, I get a tad bent out of shape when under the nail dryer, the gal sitting across from me is a “Chatty Cathy.” My disinterested “Uh-hu” does not deter her prattle. I usually cut the drying time short, hightail it to my car, turn the key in the ignition and “damn” smudge my polish!

9. Washing machine mishaps. When unloading the washing machine, and I find my clothes are covered with bits if tissue, I wonder how it got there. Huh? Who else but me! Disappearing socks. This phenomenon defies logic. I put a pair of socks in the machine and only one sock emerges. Rarely does the other sock reappear. My missing socks are officially deemed a “cold case”.

8. Computer malfunctions. Although I am getting better at fixing some things, I have my IT guy’s cell number fixed in my memory. I once had my computer crash without saving my work. Forget about it —the “bad mood walking “ gal morphed into psycho gal.

7. Paper cuts. C’mon, we all know those little buggers hurt like hell. I know a big burley guy who belly-ached about a paper cut ad naseum!

6. Losing the remote. I swear the remote disappears from time to time into the “land of lost remotes” or maybe it gets paired up with the missing socks. We are bound to our remotes but they are not bound to us. God forbid we have to get up to change the channel!

5. Poky folks on the supermarket line. OY! They will rummage through their wallet or handbags looking for their coupons, credit cards or the exact change. If they dole out the exact change—nickel by nickel, I find myself hyperventilating. I always seem to choose the slowest line when I don’t have a minute to spare.

4. The blizzard drops two-plus feet of snow, and two days later we get another three inches. Should it matter at this point? It sure does!

3. I thought that answering question with an upward inflection or uptalk was “Valley Girl” speak and native to California. Not so! It’s made its way to the east coast. Uptalk is making statements that sound like questions. It goes like this: “Tell me you name again.” The gal will answer, “Margaret? “ Is she unsure about her name?

2. One of my kids calls will call from the west coast: “HI Mom, don’t worry but”…then we lose the connection. Nine times out of 10, the “don’t worry” is accurate, but Moms will be Moms.

1. Without question, my major-league annoyance is being stuck — any kind of stuck.

In his book, titled, “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and It’s All Small Stuff,” Dr. Richard Carlson instructs us on how to keep little things from driving us crazy. It’s as relevant today as it was when published in 1997. One of the gems from his book that I particularly like is: “Will it matter a year from now?” It usually never does, right? It’s something to ask ourselves when we are ready to scale that wall.

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Iannelli Celia 2014

Celia Iannelli is a native New Yorker enjoying a second career — in ‘retirement’ — as a freelance writer. She lives in Jamesport.

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Celia Iannelli is a native New Yorker enjoying a second career — in 'retirement' — as a freelance writer. She lives in Jamesport.