Back on the 21st of February, I published my usual Thursday edition of What Annoys Jeff this Week. It took me a few weeks to noice that the link for that post ended with /what-annoys-jeff-this-week-365.
It took me even longer than that to recognize the implication of what I was seeing. Somehow, I’ve managed to post a full years worth of weekly annoyances as part of the “blogging to keep myself sane” program instituted here long, long ago. Just let that sit there and sink in (or fester) for a moment.
Saved here in the never-really-goes-away electronic universe are 365+ weekly posts dedicated to telling the world what trifling ridiculousness has earned my ire that week. I mean you could read one a day starting tonight and not read the last one of the batch until some time in late March 2020.
Friends, that’s a lot of being annoyed, I can promise you that. Even so, what’s recorded here is just the stuff that made the cut on any given week. I shudder to imagine what the totals would look like if I bothered to write down everything that was ever in the running. Is it possible to clog the the internet with the sheer volume of bitching and complaining you’re trying to cram through its tubes?
Based on the comment section of most major news sites, I doubt it somehow.
Anyway, I’m currently taking an inordinate amount of pride in the amount of annoyed I’ve managed to rack up. I’m not quite sure it’s a badge of honor, but it’s something.
1. Refinance. I’ve had two deals blow up in the last 45 days. One because of obscure federal regulations governing how many condo units have to be owner occupied and one because the appraiser used a nearly-unrelated set of comps and low-balled the house value. So now basically I’m out $850 with nothing to show for it but a shit ton of paperwork and the exact same rates with which I started the process. Some days it’s not at all hard to imagine why people don’t trust, like, or particularly want to do business with large financial institutions.
2. Party Planning. I’ve once again assumed my mantle as supreme party planner. Feel free to talk to me about event registration, catering, party tent reservations, name badges, parking, shuttle bus service, cash bar socials, menu planning, and all of your party, wedding, or other event needs. When I walked out if the gym at dear old Frostburg State with a shiny new social science degree in hand this is not at all the future I had in mind. Let my life experience serve as a reminder to you all that just because you’re good at something doesn’t mean you’ll have any interest in doing it. But don’t take my word for it, go ahead and spend a few months each year doing something you loath. It’s sure it’s character building or something.
3. All the other things. Perhaps capping off the list of annoyances this week are all the small things. That’s what life is made up of, really. The day-to-day, moment-to-moment instances. Usually they pass by unnoticed and unremarked… until they all start fraying at the same time. This has been one of those kind of weeks, where even the easy somehow makes itself hard to do. If I make it through Friday afternoon without verbally expelling what’s really on my mind at anyone I’ll consider it one of my greatest personal and professional accomplishments to date.
Having been back for almost a day, I have exactly two clean-ish rooms to show for it. I say clean-ish because with Maggie and Winston around nothing is really ever what some might call actually clean. At best, you can say they majority of the hair, dust, and random crud has been removed… but that’s not really the point of this post.
The point? It’s simply that after less than a week away from the office I’ve been reduced to bitching and complaining about household dust and dirt. I have no idea what’s going on in the world – and what’s more, for the most part I really don’t care. I wouldn’t have known it was even Sunday today if my phone hadn’t made a point of telling me that when I woke up this morning. Maybe I’m too much the cynic, but I think there might be a life lesson in there somewhere.
I’m sure some people have a hard time adjusting to the unstructured life of not punching a clock twice a day. As I’ve long suspected, that’s not going to be a problem I’ll suffer when the time comes. For some reason a clean kitchen fills me with a greater sense of accomplishment than all the powerpoint briefings I’ve ever built. That’s one of those fun facts I’ll file away in the “good to know” file.
I’ve never been good at simply being satisfied with things. Even on the best of days, there was some improvement that could be made at the margins. Some people would call that being a pessimist. I prefer to think of it as being a realist, but that’s really just a matter of personal preference.
What do you do when it seems most of the things you wanted have started falling into place? Of course I’m good basking in the glow of things accomplished… for a while… Ultimately, thought, I want to know what’s next. Where’s the next challenge? This one isn’t even behind me yet, but my attention has moved elsewhere. I have a sneaking suspicion that things are not going to unfold exactly as I had them planned out. Not necessarily better, not necessarily worse, just different. I’m not usually alright with that, but perhaps in this case I’ll make an exception.