Frustration & Impatience Rearing Its Ugly Head
As an avid NASCAR fan; I just recently found myself in a very awkward and unusual situation during one of the most important races of the year – The Sprint Cup Championship in Homestead Florida.
Here it is – The Sunday that will televise a race that the winner takes all! It will be the end to year of fighting, pushing, crashing, winning, & losing. It will be the end to all the hard work that these race teams and drivers have managed to achieve through the unpredictable weather that graced itself through the heat, cold and rain while the ever so magnificent unkind words ferociously used towards one another to projectile themselves into the atmosphere of the agony of defeat. It also turns out to be the last race of a very respected driver – one of my favs – after over 700 races in the past 25 years and the incredible tribute to him and his lifetime achievement he will get into his #24 car for the last time on this very day on this very broadcast.
My wonderful, new technology, extraordinary UNIVERSAL REMOTE CONTROL device, that is responsible for not only the TV, but the CABLE, DVR and the SOUND SYSTEM, just decided to take it’s own life and took a plunge from a high shelf to the tile floor; therefore ending it all – to life as we all knew it to be. A life where it freely gave of itself to get used and abused to such a degree that it felt it was the best timing to accomplish it’s mission; never to be forgotten; always remembered as the one Remote that could do everything for everyone!
The destruction of the most important device that existed in my living room at this very important time obliterated any hopes of being a part of the NASCAR Championship and the live tribute to one of the last oldie but goodie drivers left on the track.
I scrambled to and fro to use my, what I considered ‘intellectual’ mind, to not only make an attempt at putting ‘humpty dumpty’ back together again, but simultaneously work on my computer to see if it was showing live somewhere or if I could operate my DVR and at least tape it somehow and watch it on the internet on my computer ‘live’ from my cable company website – ANYTHING! But to no avail….as hard as I tried…no dice! Nothing was working! Nothing!
I finally figured out a way to manually operate the DVR itself with the help of a flashlight but it was very limited as to what I was able to do; equally as frustrating. I was able to get the Race taped via the cable website and felt a sense of reprieve. Couldn’t fast forward or rewind; but I just had to deal with it. I mean; after all, can’t we all remember a time when we weren’t even able to do that with anything we watched on TV. How spoiled we’ve become!
There was a long 2 hour rain delay at the track in Florida….so much for working my magic. But when if finally started I was so excited! Life was getting better and the race was well under way. I even was able to set the DVR to record the next couple of shows so I wouldn’t miss the ending. I mean, after all, the ending is the means to the end – so to speak. The race was quite eventful with one of the nastiest drivers taking out an all time favorite driver; himself and a few others. I would suppose he thought, since he wasn’t going to beat the best and didn’t have the points to get anywhere winning this race – like the championship (way to detailed to explain; let me tell you!) Then he might as well just go down and take some people with him! What a complete jerk! But that’s racing for you. The replays spoke for themselves.
(Too bad the NASCAR driver that decided to take everyone out didn’t follow my blog and understand what to do when you’re ‘frustrated’ and ‘angry’ If I only could’ve written it in time!)
Nearing the last several laps of the race – going through all sorts of feelings and reactions to the intense seriousness of the drivers; crew and fans – the taped show ended! I knew I had taped a few shows after that to cover this type of thing happening. I kneeled down to the DVR and manually tried to get to the next recorded show, when….as limited as this machine allowed a manual intervention; IT COULDN’T BE DONE! Needless to say; I was scrambling again; similar to the way the old TV’s used to scramble the channels for viewing. Running around like a crazy woman…trying anything and everything I could think of; once again; to be able to watch the end of the most important race of the season. I even worked on the remote again and got it put together and actually working – batteries and all….but it just wouldn’t operate any of the electronics it was supposed to.
I was so frustrated that I was ready to KILL the remote myself rather than the way it committed suicide earlier! By the time I got done trying so hard; the race was over and I had to go online to see who won. Keeping in mind this was Sunday and there wasn’t any Cable offices open to retrieve a new remote.
This is what I missed “LIVE” my friends that I had to catch later online! NOT THE SAME — even so — GREAT RACE!
The last few laps and the adrenaline rush of the WIN! Gotta be a fan to understand…..especially when it’s embedded into your soul!!!…..
It makes me all frustrated all over again just re-reading this blog!
As a matter of fact; here’s the rest of the story: And you thought it was over??
In the middle of writing this blog – to top it ALL off – an explosion was heard from miles around in my neighborhood and instantly there was a major power outage in over 300 homes! Including mine! Thank God I was smart enough to save what I had written; but the thoughts that were flowing began to diminish without the help of the computer I was using. Several hours later after regaining consciousness; a midst the anger, frustration and lost thoughts…I finished writing the post.
And what I want to share is that Frustration; Anger and Impatience is just NOT worth it in the end! WHY? It feels good to express yourself that way at the time.
Frustration is an emotion that occurs in situations where a person is blocked from reaching a desired outcome. In general, whenever we reach one of our goals, we feel pleased and whenever we are prevented from reaching our goals, we may succumb to frustration and feel irritable, annoyed and angry. Typically, the more important the goal, the greater the frustration and resultant anger or loss of confidence.
External frustration may be unavoidable. We can try to do something about it, like finding a different route if we are stuck in traffic, or choosing a different restaurant if our first choice is closed, or even trying desperately to fix a REMOTE….but sometimes there is just NOTHING we can do about it. It is just the way life is. Our goal in dealing with external sources of frustration is to recognize the wisdom of the Serenity Prayer…”God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
Here are several methods that I use quite frequently – even in this prime example I’ve shared here – believe it or not – I applied some of these principles or things, on that Sunday, would have been drastically worse!
1. Avoid your triggers as much as possible….Knowing what tends to touch a nerve will help you recognize when these feelings are likely to strike and avoid the trigger as often as possible. Triggers are often automatic reactions, so simply knowing your triggers can often help control when you’re presented with one.
2. Practice stress-management breathing. Relaxed, regulated breathing changes the chemistry of the brain so activity is dominated by the thoughtful neo cortex, not the fight-or-flight amygdala. This is how conscious, focused breathing can help you to avoid impulsive action or rash words. Breathe deeply. Before you act out of anger or frustration, pause and a take a deep breath. Count to five slowly as you breathe in, then count to five again as you breathe out. Repeat until you feel calm.
3. Manage your expectations of others. Other people can be very frustrating, because humans can be amazing and wonderful. People can also be irrational, self-centered, unfair, and inconsistent. It can be infuriatingly frustrating. You can always control your own reaction, but never their behavior.
4. Check in with yourself. Frustration is a stressor that causes the release of adrenaline and other neurochemicals, which can act together to make you act impulsively and even aggressively. Before you shout, make a rude gesture, or insult someone, stop and mentally go back over the relevant events. Check that your response is neither excessive nor insufficient. The goal is not to let others walk all over you, while not over-dominating and walking all over others yourself.
5. View frustration as “delayed success” rather than “failure”. How you frame your situation will change your reaction and emotions. If you see your situation as a setback that you will get over, you are more likely to know immediately you can overcome the frustration.
6. Treat yourself. Frustration can build tension and anxiety, which can have deleterious effects on our mood, sleep cycle, and general body chemistry. By improving your self care–especially care of your body–you can relax and let go of the feelings that were stirred up by frustration. Seriously consider taking a bath, going for a walk, baking a nice loaf of bread, or reading a book. These slow, soothing activities can help change your body chemistry from alarmed and dysregulated to calm and focused. All of these ideas work very well for me – try them; you’ll see.
7. Exercise to reduce stress. Physical activity can relieve tension and stress caused by frustration, especially if you exercise in the right environment. It releases the endorphins that have you all wound up in the first place. Walk, jog, or hike outdoors in a natural environment if possible. If you are not used to exercising regularly, take it slow so you feel refreshed, not exhausted.
8. Fight procrastination. Frustration can cause apathy, or severe lack of motivation. This can result in spending hours on activities that are neither productive nor enjoyable, or failing to meet goals due to procrastination.
9. Change your course. If a personal project or repeated task is frustrating you, find another project or hobby to work on for a while. If you are frustrated at work, brainstorm ways to make your work go more smoothly, or request a shift in your work duties or scheduling.
10. Recognize negative behavior. Frustration often leads to thoughts and behavior that only make the situation worse. Try to catch yourself when these negative events occur, and immediately take a break using the advice above.
Day 8 – Coming right up!