Day 549: Things that make me go “grrrrr”

Hundreds of posts ago, I wrote Day 75:  Things that make me go _____.” That post included things that make me go


(image found here)

and things that make me go



(image found here)

Absent from that emotionally oriented post were things that make me go “grrrrr.”

Let’s remedy that now, shall we?


Things That Make Me Go “Grrrrrr”

1.  Unexpected, seemingly arbitrary changes.

I like to think of myself as somebody who can welcome and embrace change. However, if a change is

  • unexpected,
  • forced upon me and
  • worsens my experience,

my response is


(Image found here)

Recent examples of this?  New, unexpected versions of Spotify (my choice for playing music on my iPhone) and WordPress (my choice for blogging), which have disoriented me and worsened my experience.  As a result, I’ve needed to take extra time and care, constructing work-arounds to get my musical and blogging needs met.



2. Broken promises (especially unsolicited ones).

Promises made + promises unfulfilled = disappointment

Personally, I especially go


(image found here)

…. if the promise was something I did not ask for. My growls get fiercer and louder if somebody elicits a need in me, then leaves me hanging.

I’ll give you an example.  Last year, somebody at work volunteered to make me a CD of Kurt Elling tunes,  because we both like that singer.  This person, who was just an acquaintance,  insisted they wanted to do it.  And they never did.  And that made me go


to a rather puzzling degree.

I don’t know why I had that reaction. I could have framed the situation in a more helpful way, like

  1. appreciating the person’s wish to connect,
  2. recognizing that other things got in the way, and
  3. letting it go.

But, for a long time, I didn’t. Instead, I kept growling (instead of growing).

Recently, I had the same experience — unsolicited disappointment — on a grander scale. And this morning, I’m still growling.

I’m not sure why I get so upset when the unfulfilled promise is something initiated by somebody else.

It might be related to my having trouble asking for what I need. I mean, it’s bad enough asking for something and then not getting it. The last thing I want, apparently, is somebody creating a need I didn’t even know I had, and then dashing THAT, too.

3.  Carelessness.

Yesterday, I had a jam-packed, pinpoint-timing day, where I

  • did a full morning of work (individual and group therapy),
  • went to a hospital to get an IV of antibiotics,
  • got a filling fixed and a teeth cleaning at the dentist, and
  • drove my son to a play rehearsal

and all before 5 PM!

I got all these things done, in reasonable time, despite

  • pre-July 4th preparations in Boston, affecting traffic and
  • no parking spaces, due to the filming of a movie starring


(image found here).

Instead of focusing on all the successes of that day, I kept thinking about one thing: While I was eating the food they gave me at the IV infusion center


… I spilled some salad dressing on my skirt.




I realize this, now. Instead of being angry at my own carelessness, and picturing that stain for the rest of the day, I could have focused on a more helpful image, from around the same time:


That’s Angela, who was my IV nurse yesterday.  When I admired her very cool snake earrings, she told me that snakes

  • have been her totem animal, since she was 10 years old,
  • connect her with all the mother goddesses of the world (since they all carry snakes),
  • indicate change,
  • suddenly showed up, in a group of 7, when her husband was very ill, and
  •  have nested in every house she’s lived in.

Angela, if you’re reading this, thanks for the snakes (and for the IV, too).    They all helped, yesterday.

Okay!  One more thing that makes me go “grrrrrrr” (and hiss) ….

4.  Not getting enough sleep or food.

Last night, I woke up at 3:30 AM. My thoughts and feelings went many places, including here:


As a result, I had trouble falling back asleep.

Lack of sleep and food can definitely increase anger, don’t you think? I can’t do anything about the sleep, right now, but I can help myself to some leftovers from Tuesday’s dinner (courtesy of bf Michael):


Somehow, I’m feeling much better than I did when I started this post.

Before I end, I’d like to continue the feel-good trend, by asking you two fun questions: Which photo in this post is your favorite?  Which one do you think is mine?

Thanks to Felix the cat, Johnny Depp the actor, Angela the IV nurse,  and Michael the boyfriend; to tigers, snakes, and other fierce creatures; to those who cry, laugh, and have all their feelings; and to you — of course! — for whatever sounds you’re making today.

Categories: inspiration, personal growth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 32 Comments

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32 thoughts on “Day 549: Things that make me go “grrrrr”

  1. Thanks, as always, for making me smile and think… and go GRRRR! too. I too find promises not kept, especially unsolicited, grrrable.

  2. Grrrrrratitude for the things that are in our control 🙂

  3. Unsolicited promised unfulfilled are grrr-worthy, Ann, if the open-endedness goes unexplained. I don’t think that feeling needs any adjustments on the reaction-knob.

    My favorite picture is the Boo-Hoo girl. She makes me want to pout, hey-hey, hey-hey!

    Your favorite picture is Angela and her totem snakes?

    Have a good lead day to the Fourth!

    • Thanks, Mark, for this validating comment. I did find that writing about the UPU’s (Unsolicited Promises Unfulfilled) allowed me to let it go, in a very helpful way.

      I like your favorite pic …. and another perfect guess from Mr. Bialczak!

      My wishes to you for a grrrrrrrand Fourth.

  4. I’m completely with you on all mentioned that make you go grrr. Marine’s daughter that I am, they usually make me swear. 🙂
    The snake earrings are awesome!

  5. Angela’s pic is the totem image of the post. Because there’s no grrrrr in it at all. And because she has so seamlessly slipped away from every negative response to snakes our culture dishes out and found a totally ungrowling and forward-moving application of the consistent serpentine presence in her life!

  6. In the Stillness of Willow Hill

    Consistently not getting enough sleep was the worst Grrrrr time I’ve ever had in my life.

  7. I live with one who does not keep “promises” so I am learning not to depend on others’ words for words are really “cheap”. When I see action, that is when I know they mean what they say. Have a great holdiay weekend, Ann!!! Great post again! Love, Amy

    • Thank you for all the actions you take here, Amy, including being so encouraging to me. Love and good wishes for a great weekend.

      • Oh, Ann, I don’t think I do enough here. My time is so critical at times, and I feel as though I am running a marathon getting to all those I touch. There have been many days I want to stop and read what you have written, and I feel so “bad” that I only like your post. You put so much effort into what you do, that you honestly deserve more then a like from me. Have a great weekend, friend!!! Love, Amy

      • Amy! There is so much to do, but I think we need to give ourselves credit for what we ARE doing.

        I, too, feel bad about not reading or commenting and grrrrrr at myself about that. I would like you to know that I appreciate all you do, and I expect no more than what you are giving, which is so much!

      • Then I receieve with humility all that you have said and I will not be so hard on me. How’s that? (smile) Love, Amy

      • Grrrrand!

      • 💞🌹💞

  8. Gene Phillips

    “Are you growling rather than growing?” is a great question that I will try to ask myself in those grrrr moments. I might ask others, as well, but only with great care If I am reasonably sure that the moment and circumstances are just right because sometimes you just need to growl a little and the last thing you need is someone offering you unwanted “help.” I would certainly have guessed the picture of Angela was your favorite, not only because of the great earrings, but also because she is a positive person in your life. The picture I like best is the one of the plate of food, mostly because of the wedge of cornbread…yum. I think I need to make some this weekend.

    • It’s true, Gene. I definitely enjoy a good growl now and then. I am so glad you liked the plate of food, especially since the cornbread was my breakfast this morning. Yum!

  9. T answer your last question, Angela and her earring. She has a beautiful profile. I grrr quite a bit, it feels like a very natural reaction, but often to non-human things like computers.

    • Thanks for this lovely comment, Hilary. I guess we grrrr at whatever we’re interacting with — human or otherwise.

  10. I can see why all that makes you go Grrr…
    A BIG one for me is broken promises.
    The key to that is to expect nothing & everything you do actually get fulfilled that’s promised (or not) is a BONUS! 😉
    Took me a while to get that through my thick skull. But – I did & it works wonders!

  11. Pingback: Day 550: Independent musings | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

  12. Craig


    • Here’s a response that, at first, makes me go “huh”? Then I think: “Oh! That’s Craig answering one of my questions at the end of the post. Which one?” Then I think, “Maybe Craig is answering everything, with one word.” That makes me go “wow.” Thanks, Craig!

  13. A lot of things make me Grrr, too! I think my chief irritation is when I’m trying very hard to be flexible with other people and they don’t keep commitments or run very late–that’s my time they’re wasting! But I recognize that in me, there’s a strong need to control time…hahaha! Like I can really do that, right? I like your list, quite frankly! Isn’t it good to have a blog where you can unburden yourself.And I’m here to listen. I like a good “get it off your chest” moment. 🙂

    • I am SO glad you are here to listen. And I appreciate your open and perceptive thoughts, very much. Those are things that make me go “YAYYY!”

  14. Pingback: Day 611: Saying No | The Year(s) of Living Non-Judgmentally

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