Sunday, June 17, 2007

Turning Annoyance On Its Ear

My next-door neighbors had a few people over last night and fueled their celebrations with music, alcohol, and loud talk.
A particularly loud, obnoxious voice awakened me and annoyed me enough that I couldn’t get back to sleep.

I tried meditating/self-hypnosis, but couldn’t concentrate enough to suggest that external noises didn’t bother me. I tried to focus solely on the lovely, steady rhythmic fall of the rain, but partying won out.

My annoyance simmered for quite some time. I asked the Universe to convince the neighbors to call it a night.


Finally it occurred to me to flip this over and tickle its tummy. If there’s something in this to be grateful for, then I want to know it.

Instead of being irked over loud noises, I thanked the Universe that I can hear.

Instead of being upset over partying, I’m happy to live in a land where people can gather and are allowed to enjoy themselves on their own property.

I’m grateful my neighbors have an active social life and can burn off steam. A quiet loner next door might ultimately be a tragedy in waiting.

I’m grateful it was raining because it kept them indoors instead out on the balcony.

The volume was fairly low as compared to some of their partying last summer. It was turned down even more by around midnight. I’m thankful they were considerate enough to do this.

Interestingly, once I expressed gratitude the partying seemed to calm. I think I even drifted off a few times before midnight and I didn’t feel anywhere near as annoyed as I had earlier.

Gratitude works in mysterious ways I’m finding. And I believe that the more difficult it is to express gratitude, then the more important it is that I do so.


Crabby McSlacker said...

Wow, I'm so impressed that you could turn it around like that!

I try to do things like that too but I don't know if I could with something so irritating like that. I can feel myself getting angry just thinking about it.

Fortunately I have quiet neighbors. But when staying at hotels or motels, sometimes people get noisy--I tend to bang on walls or call the management. Not the most neighborly way of handling things. Perhaps gratitude would work better for everyone--(but I know me, I'll probably keep banging on walls!)

Dawn said...

No, no, no, Crabby! She didn't "turn it around". She "flipped it over and tickled it's tummy"! I have already stolen that line!

Leah J. Utas said...

Dawn, I'm so pleased you've stolen the "tickled its tummy" line.

oh, Crabby, the gratitude thing take some work when I'm trying to sleep, believe me.

Virginia Lee said...

I could've used this post yesterday afternoon.

There was a soiree with an electronically amplified out of tune gospel choir below us in the community room for over an hour yesterday. I thought I would lose my mind. I don't mind the out of tune singing so much as the amplification.

I shall think of this post the next time such an event occurs.

Thanks, Leah. I'm so glad I read this.

Leah J. Utas said...

"electronically amplified out of tune gospel choir"

Oh, my. What a way to spend an hour. I'm glad my post may help you in the future.