Tag Archives: frustration

All Worked Up (for Nothing)

This week, I got all worked up. For nothing. A few times!

When I realized just HOW nothing these matters were (and how wrong I was in each case!) I had to kind of giggle. Really glad that I didn’t complain publicly or tell anyone off, I filed my misstep in the back of my mind for future reference.

Before you have a cow, make sure it’s worth having.

Back in the 70’s, Gilda Radnor’s Saturday Night Live character, Emily LItella, would get ALL worked up over a subject.

My friend Renee Kantor LOVES this character and this week I WAS this character. Going on and on and on and on only to stop, think, and say “Never mind.”

My first “Never mind” involved an appointment with a contractor. “I’ll be there between 12 and 12:30,” said the text.

At 12:45 I was harrumphing! The nerve!

When dear old Sam arrived, Mark said, “Yeah…I saw him driving around in front of our house for fifteen minutes, but figured it couldn’t be the contractor because he kept driving past our house.”

Sam meekly said, “You texted me 6852 S. Lockwood Ridge Road.”

I replied, “Yes! 6852 S. Lockwood Ridge Road.”

Mark looked at me like I had two heads.

“Honey, that’s not our address.”

Oh my God! It’s NOT!

Now, back in 1990 I lived at 6852 Clover Lane in Upper Darby, PA. But that was 30 years ago!

This is a classic example of mental-pause, but for the life of me, I don’t know why I would conjure up that old address.

Sam went from being on my #$#%@ list to being the recipient of several mea culpas.

Next, I got into a fight with Google.

I’d been humming the song “Sweet Life” all day and finally asked my Google Mini, “Hey Google – play Sweet Life by Paul Stewart.”

It said, “Okay. Here’s a playlist from the 70’s of lite rock hits.”

I don’t want lite rock hits. I want a very specific lite rock hit!

Maybe if I say the artist first.

“Hey Google! Play Paul Stewart’s Sweet Life.”

Some godawful song that was CLEARLY not Sweet Life began playing.

I thought if I said it more forcefully, Google would finally obey.



My blood pressure rose. The lovely lyrics and the melody that made my heart smile all morning was GONE.

I was pissed off at Google.

A good twenty minutes passed before it even occurred to me that maybe I might be wrong.

I shifted from my verbal orders to an online search of the song “Sweet Life.”

By Paul Davis.


This song fills my heart with gratitude for my sweet life, shared with my Mark.

When I finally said it correctly, Google began playing to perfection.

I went from being all worked up to chair dancing and singing loudly:

This old world seems to be in a hurry But darlin’ we’ll just keep on takin’ our time ‘Cause we’re livin’ such a sweet life Oh what a neat life Sharin’ my love with you We’re livin’ such a sweet life Oh what a neat life Makin’ our dreams come true We’re makin’ our dreams come true


As Mark Twain so perfectly stated: “I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”

This quickness to frustration, even anger – it’s not my normal way of responding to life. It likely is somehow related to this eternal pause button we’re ALL on right now, in the midst of a pandemic that has disrupted every plan once held for 2020.

What can you do when you get all worked up?

Take that little step away from the instigating event and think (sooner than I did) that perhaps YOU may be at fault.

And if you are, laugh at it. Apologize. (Though Google doesn’t really care, Sam sure did.)

Getting worked up is a choice. I want to expend precious energy on things that later don’t make me say, “Never mind.”

Our WOW was “relaxation” and there I was, getting all worked up! How did I resolve it? Well, the story is to be continued, but here’s a start:


On the other side of letting go is FREEDOM, and that’s what I want to fill my question mark with. What about you?



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Detours to Clarity and the New WOW

Our mother-daughter shopping adventure began miraculously.  We landed at a bridal salon called “The Perfect Dress.”  When mom described what she envisioned wearing to her granddaughter’s wedding, the lovely lady assisting us nodded with recognition.

This was a good sign.

She pulled out a gorgeous, flow-y, chiffon dream of an outfit.  It was simply stunning and mom looked just amazing in it.

The look of joy on Mom’s face made me say, “Ole Jed’s a millionaire!  We hit the jackpot on the very first try!” I began snapping photos and texting my sister with the good news.

Surely, I lived a charmed life.

Until they brought out the color swatches and her hoped-for shade wasn’t available.  And to order this perfect outfit would mean biting our fingernails to see if it could be delivered in time; equally unsure that it would not require alterations.

The potential angst led us to decide that with all of the yet un-tried shops in Sarasota, there had to be something on a rack somewhere that fit the bill perfectly.

Let me just say that the sheer fact that mom and I didn’t off each other in the process of driving hundreds of miles, sampling dozens of outfits and speaking to scores of retailers is a minor miracle.  We did Sarasota, Venice, Fisherman’s Village, Bradenton, University Park.

A tipping point was when one not-so-helpful clerk said, “Gees…if you couldn’t find anything in Sarasota, you’ll NEVER find anything.”

Glares ensued.

The frustration built to a crescendo until a moment of…CLARITY.

Wait a minute!  Why don’t we go back to that very FIRST shop and see if we can pull that magical outfit right off of the rack and take it with us?

(By now, the color was inconsequential.  Nothing else made her feel as wonderful as outfit #1.)

True, there were no guarantees that the store would allow us to buy a sample .  But I was willing to slit my wrists, hand over my American Express, kneel and plead to take that @#$%# outfit out of the store.

We left, outfit in hand.

But the point of the story is that sometimes it takes TIME to have your “aha” moment.

Wouldn’t it be great to just wake up in the morning and know EXACTLY what you needed to do, what to say yes and no to and how to navigate the day?

I’m still waiting for my script to show up.

This wedding reception outfit story is simply meant to encourage you NOT to give up.

At some point, you’ll know.  And when you know, you can DO.

There are far more important decisions in life than what to wear.  Along those lines, here are my parting thoughts on CLARITY as well as the new Word of the Week (which you’re gonna LOVE!!!):

Oh yes, friends.  I am celebrating a successful trip with mom and that a gorgeous outfit is going home with her today.

I’m also looking forward to celebrating every little thing this week.

Won’t you join me?



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WOW – Word of the Week for 8.23.15

Oh boy did surrender play out in a special way this week!

I’ve written before about my dear friends, Steve and Renee Kantor.  Steve wanted to surprise his bride for a landmark birthday this year, and decided to fly me up to make a special guest appearance at a dinner on Thursday evening.  What a treat for ME, right?

I departed Sarasota for a quick layover in Charlotte.  Flight was delayed; no biggie.  I love sitting in airports, having random conversations with people, making babies smile, drinking Starbucks and reading magazines that have NOTHING to do with personal or professional development.

As boarding time approached, all of a sudden I heard a whoosh of murmuring – and not happy murmuring.  I look up and see in red letters on the screen, “FLIGHT CANCELLED.”  A throng rushed the US Airways counter for help and we all simultaneously called the 800 number to try and snag the next flight to Philly.

Turns out one was readying to leave in a half hour about 10 gates down.  Glad I was wearing flip flops, I sprinted like OJ in the old Hertz commercials to said gate.  Only to be told “not a chance.”

But wait!  There was a 5:55 PM departure another ten gates down.  I could get on stand-by and maybe even make dessert!  I comically ran, tripping over my carry on to secure my stand-by status, then settled down with my magazine, maintaining the hopeful stance that all was going to work out great.

I kept in constant contact with my benefactor, whose best laid plans to surprise his wife were disintegrating with every passing moment.  It would be a while before I’d know if I was actually going to BE on this flight.  My blood pressure was spiking.

And then I remembered the WOW – the Word of the Week:  SURRENDER.

This was all going to work out the way it was meant to.  If that meant I’d get to PA in time for dinner with my friend, so be it.

As the stand-by flight screen suddenly flashed “FLIGHT CANCELLED” it was evident the universe had other plans.

Which included an unexpected overnight stay in Charlotte, North Carolina and a wake-up call for 3 AM so I could get on the next flight to Philly.

Renee had a fantastic dinner with her closest friends (except me) – and she didn’t even know to be disappointed, because she had no clue I was en route.  I even called her from the hotel, acted like Duane was in the background shouting “Happy Birthday” and kept the ruse going.

Hey, a surprise is a surprise…even if it doesn’t go exactly as planned.

As she readied her morning coffee and was sending me e-mails to tell me about her birthday dinner, I was pulling into her driveway.  Steve said to her, “Honey, one of your gifts was supposed to be delivered yesterday but it just arrived.  Can you come to the kitchen?”

Thinking it was flowers, she entered the room, looked around – and there I was.  Her response?  Priceless.  Happy tears all around, and a beautiful day spent together in celebration of a life and a friendship that means the world to me.

You know what they say; for a writer, everything is “material.”  And though it wasn’t how I planned my Thursday to go, it made for a good story and an example of the choices we face daily to surrender (or scream.)

Since I seem to be living out these WOWs in spectacular fashion, I am SUPER excited to live out THIS week’s word.  Here it is!

So, I want to LOL, guffaw, giggle, smile and chuckle this week.  Tickle my toes (and my funny bone!) Tell me a wacky story!  I’ll tell you some of mine.

Bottom line?  It’s a week to LIGHTEN UP and find the humor in every circumstance.

Even if it involves cancelled flights, missed parties and unexpected overnights in an unplanned city!

What’s the latest funny thing that’s happened to YOU?



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