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I Finally Figured Out Why I'm So Tense

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IMPATIENT BOOMER WOMAN
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This article was originally published on Better After 50.

I don't like anything in life that takes more than an hour and a half. I don't like my time wasted. It's hard for me to accept or tolerate delay, difficulty or annoyance without getting a little peeved. In short: I'm impatient.

Last week, my daughter was in town. I treated the two of us to a blow dry at a local salon. "I'd like to pay for both of these together," I told the cashier.

She proceeded to ring up one blow dry.

"Can you put them both on one transaction?" I asked.

"I should be able to," she responded. "Let me ask someone." She went to the back, came back after about a minute, and tried again. A manager yelled instructions over the hum of a blow dryer. More trying. No success.

"I'm in kind of a hurry," I said (I was not in any particular hurry.) "If this is really difficult for you, you can ring it in as two transactions."

"No... it's no problem," she said. She continued to fiddle with the computer. The phone rang, she answered it. She booked an appointment. She chatted with the phone customer.

And that is where I might have lost it if my daughter was not by my side, because why does the person on the phone ever trump the customer in front of your face? You know I am right, don't you?

"Mom," my daughter said, picking up on my body language, "Stop being so tense!"

And, 'Mom, stop being so tense!' became a theme for the weekend. We noted my impatience with: a) the driver in front of me who dared take a left turn without putting on his blinker ("Oh, come on buddy are you kidding me?"); b) a slow waitress; c) the cashier at the market who decided to have a nice little chat with the person ahead of me; and d) my inability to find a parking space downtown (I have no parking karma).

"You should try being with your breath more" my daughter (a yoga instructor) suggested. "Or take up meditation. It can work wonders."

"I have no patience for that," I said.

"Exactly."

But am I normal?

I went online to see if there were any "impatient" quizzes that I could take. I tried three different quizzes. One had stupid questions. One had too many spelling errors to be taken seriously. The third stopped me in the middle to take a survey.

Epic fail.

With all the stressors in my life -- my job, my kids, my spouse, my mother's health -- my impatience seems to be my worst enemy. There will inevitably be delays, traffic jams and incompetence. I know, that's life. So why do they bother me so much?

I'm open to suggestions. Do you let these petty annoyances roll off your back?  What's your secret?

Please comment immediately.  And make it short. I've got things to do.

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