Tag Archives: Boston

Get Over the Small Stuff and Live Better: #4 Rude/Inconsiderate People

Snow! Please, stop.

If you’re mildly interested in weather news, you’ll know that Boston has endured the ire of Old Man Winter these past two months, especially February. Don’t know what the city did to deserve such an onslaught of snowstorms one after the other. Er, wait a minute, I take that back. This is Boston.

The last snowstorm convinced me that I should indeed leave Massachusetts and seek warmer shores because my blood cannot do the cold, snow, and way below freezing wind chills any more. Neither can my sanity. The only time I enjoy living here is during the late spring and summer. Boston is pretty then. No, really, it is. Take a look.

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Boston Public Garden
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Ah, Spring in Boston. Come back soon!
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Oh flowers, how I miss you.
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I haven’t taken a stroll in the park since forever. 😦

But now it’s winter.

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Stare down into the white abyss!
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The white stuff is everywhere…

With all this snow comes an activity we Bostonians love: shoveling. Not. When faced with my car buried under mounds of snow, I stand and look at it for a moment to figure out what kind of work I’m expected to do. I wake up a little later to deal with the shoveling because I’m a teacher and get snow days. I use these wonderful days off to write my ass off because I have very little time to do so on a regular schedule.

When I stepped outside to shovel my car out for the millionth time, I noticed a huge huge pile of snow behind my car. It was snow created from my neighbor’s snow blower. My temper began bubbling up in my chest at this blatant, inconsiderate move from this woman. Not only did I have to shovel nature’s wintery treasure, but I also had to move a new mountain of snow courtesy of my neighbor. I wanted to swing my shovel against her car. A quick whack to front. Bam!

My car...sigh. Can you find it?
My car…sigh. Can you find it?

I took a deep breath and swallowed by anger.

I told myself two things: 1.) Blowing up at my neighbor would waste a lot of energy that I needed to conserve for snow shoveling. 2.) The world had enough darkness in the world without me adding more to it with my unnecessary rage.

Yeah, my neighbor pulled a jerk move by giving me more work to do, but I decided to let it go.

I went back inside my house to get my cell phone, put my headphones in, and listened to some rocking tunes as I shoveled out my car. And guess what? My neighbor stepped up and joined me. She helped me shovel away the large mound she created with her snow blower. She then helped me remove my car from the driveway.

We exchanged no words about what she had done earlier but it taught me something: one of the best ways to say you’re sorry is through action. And my neighbor apologized by helping me. Also, silence is more powerful than you realize when faced with anger inducing situations like rude or inconsiderate people. Sometimes people expect you to be angry or they want to get some sort of heated reaction out of you. Don’t give them that satisfaction. Hold on to your peace and pile coals on their heads by showing compassion; you’ll be surprised how differently people react to kindness or silence instead of horn blaring anger.

How about you? How do you deal successfully with rude or inconsiderate people? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Stay amazing,

Sammy

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Also check out: Get Over the Small Stuff and Live Better: #3 Road Rage vs. Road Peace

Get Over the Small Stuff And Live Better: #3 Road Rage vs. Road Peace

Seriously, people, use it!

When I get behind the wheel, I’m pretty much convinced that I’m the best driver out there (ten years driving and no accidents yet, knock on wood), and everyone else got his or her license out of a cereal box as my good friend would always say. I live in Boston, and the drivers here drive. Me. CRAZY. But not as crazy as before when I suffered from a serious case of road rage. Every drive would be a nightmare because someone would cut me off, drive too slowly, or simply forget basic road rules.

And the rotaries.

OMG, don’t get me started on the rotaries. If you have the fortunate luck of never coming across these circles of perpetual annoyance in your home state, then thank your lucky stars; there are no faults written there. Some Boston drivers do not know what to do around a rotary. Others think it’s the best time to start driving around from another direction at the same moment when I’m driving—the moment when it’s clearly my right of way. I keep driving and dare the idiot to come crashing my way.

via chuck.goolsbee.org

Expletives used to fly out my mouth as if they were eggs hitting the other driver’s windshields. Shaking fists, exasperated sighs, gritting teeth, severe eye rolls, and the long WTF-were-you-thinking stare at the driver upon the red light.

BUT, not anymore.

My road rage was out of control and adding unnecessary stress to my brain and my life. Yeah, people out there were bad drivers, but that didn’t mean I had to lose my cool over it. Why should I let idiot drivers ruin my day and turn me into this angry bird? Why should I sacrifice my peace for something so insignificant, especially when there are no accidents involved? Why should I work myself up into a whirlwind of negative emotions for dumb drivers?

The answer: I shouldn’t have to.

Anger is a powerful emotion that should be reserved only for moments where it can be harnessed intelligently to create meaningful change like in unjust circumstances where people are being physically or emotionally hurt or displaced by others. Anger has no place in our every day lives. Allowing anger to fester in the presence of simple annoyances shows a lack of control and reveals deeper problems from within—problems that should be dealt with so one can find peace, the optimal state of mind.

My poor anger management stemmed from past disappointments and rejections that I hadn’t been able to release. I held on to these failures so tightly because I didn’t know what else I could do. It was as if letting go would nullify all the hard work I put in to achieving the results that I so desperately wanted. When those results failed to come true, I felt stuck, hurt, and angry all the time. My anger seeped out when I drove, interacted with family, or did every day tasks. I had no peace.

It wasn’t until that I confronted my anger head on, unpacking its deeper meaning and sources, that I was able to become aware of how I was hurting the people around me and myself. I finally let go of my failures, rejections, and disappointments, and consciously decided to learn from them and move the hell on.

And with that came peace. So, now when I drive I’m a lot less annoyed and angry. I experience peace and take joy being behind the wheel. But I’ll be honest. Sometimes that one driver will drag an eye roll out of me because Boston. But it’s not that serious. 😉

How about you? Do you have road rage? How do you deal with it? Would love to hear your thoughts!

Stay amazing,

Sammy

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Also check out: Get Over the Small Stuff And Live Better: #2 Commuter Rage vs. Commuter Peace

Get Over the Small Stuff And Live Better: #2 Commuter Rage vs. Commuter Peace

bus
Why are you always late?

It’s 8:05am. According to my trusty Google Maps app, the 66 Bus to Harvard Square should arrive around 8:13. I eye the Dunkin Donuts to the left of the bus stop and decide that I have enough time to grab a much needed cup of coffee if I am to face my students and not poke my eye out with a dry erase marker. I get my cup of coffee and return to the bus stop. I leave my coffee unopened because I remembered what happened last time I vied for a sip. While on the bus, the coffee spilled all over me in glorious fashion thanks to the most abrupt stops in the world. So I keep the top closed over the scalding black liquid.

It’s 18 degrees. Windy. A smatter of snowflakes falls to the ground. I bury my face in my black infinity scarf. My breath fogs up my glasses and I can’t see. I wipe the lenses my finger and quickly retreat in into the warmth of my gloves. Boston winters don’t play.

Despite the cold, I’m somewhat self-satisfied because I made it the bus stop early this morning, which means I’ll have thirty glorious minutes to do some prep and relax before my classes start at 9am. I smile, a miracle considering it’s morning, and I hate mornings with the fiery passion of a million burning suns. I check the time:

8:15am. Um, okay so the bus is a little late.

8:25am. What the hell is going on? Seriously, why can’t MBTA get its sh** together! Do they know that people need to get to work? Why the hell would they increase the damn fare if they can’t even get buses on the street? I crane my neck and look out for the bus every three seconds.

8:27am. The bus arrives and it’s full to the max, people sandwiched together, touching each other so close that faces are rubbing against faces. I think how there’s no way I’ll be able to get in. Bam! The driver doesn’t allow me in. Just as I thought. I want to hurl my bag into the brick building behind me.

About ready to hitch a ride like these guys.

8:31am. A second bus arrives and it’s just as full. Eff this! I make my way to the back entrance and enter, making space where none exists. I look at the seats longingly but know it’ll be impossible to get a seat. I stand for the whole bus ride, thinking endlessly about how I’ll be late for work. Traffic is bad.

I’m late for work.

My head curses enough to shame a sailor and sends out rays upon rays of negative energy into the air. I hate Boston. I hate the MBTA. I hate the traffic. I HATE EVERYTHING.

All of this negative thinking ends up creating a terrible day.

Pause.

Rewind to 8:15am. The bus is late. It’s okay. I won’t be late for work today, however.

The bus arrives at 8:23am. It’s full but I can get it in, and I won’t even have to stand long because I’ll get a seat soon. I get into the bus and one stop later, a lady steps off and I claim her seat. I sit comfortably in the crowded bus. My mind is at peace and I focus on the music pouring into my ears from my headphones. I’m not worried. I’ll get to work on time. Not as early as I wanted to, but I won’t be late.

8:50am. I get to work with ten minutes to spare. I have a great day.

Both these accounts are true stories. In the first scenario, my mind was full of negative thinking and anger, and it ruined my whole day. When I decided to shift my thinking away from negativity and anger, my world changed, as if responding to my mind.

Don’t underestimate the power of the mind to influence your world. I realized that we all make a choice to accept negativity and reinforce it or reject it by stating affirmative statements and thus, driving negativity away.

Try shifting your thinking at any point in a bad day and let me know what happens.

What are some things you do to get over commuter rage?

Stay amazing,

Sammy

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Also, check out: Get Over the Small Stuff And Live Better: #1 Late Text Replies