But It’s Pretty, Right?

pintipYesterday morning, I was annoyed. The snow had started too late for school to be delayed. When I opened my car doors, flurries of snow rushed inside, only to melt on the floor mats. My neighborhood roads were a mess, and I slipped and slid out of my driveway. There was so much traffic on 495, it took me THREE times as long to drive my kiddo to school. So, even though we left early, we arrived late. (Although: not really. We got to school after the bell, but *everybody* was late, so no tardy slips were given). Needless to say, I was not happy with the white flakes fluttering from the sky.

But then, I passed another mom dropping her student off. She smiled at me and said, “But it’s pretty, right?” These four little words made all the difference in the world.

Let’s unpack this sentence a little bit. She didn’t say, “It’s pretty!” with so much Pollyanna cheer someone (not me, but you know . . . someone) might be tempted to punch her in the face. “But” at the beginning of the sentence acknowledges all the annoyances of the morning. “Right?” at the end involves me in this observation, inviting me to affirm or disagree. When backed into this corner, I was forced to agree. It was pretty. A blanket of pristine snow, unsullied by dirt and footprints. A continuous sprinkle of flakes, transporting us to the winter wonderland of a snow globe.

It was pretty, and as soon as I appreciated this, my annoyance disappeared.

Amazing, isn’t it? I was so impressed with this change in my mood, I’ve decided to apply this little trick to my future frustrations.

My manuscript making me want to bang my head against the wall? I’ll think, “But you love writing, right?”

My children fighting for the umpteenth time about something ridiculously insignificant? I’ll tell myself, “But they’re cute, right?”

Traffic on 495 backing up at completely random times of the day? Well. If you come up with a sufficient come-back, be sure to let me know!

What about you? When was the last time you were annoyed, and what did you do to combat the frustration? Please share!

11 thoughts on “But It’s Pretty, Right?

  1. Pintip,
    I was one of those saying it was pretty. BUT I was inside my home and looking out the window. 🙂 It’s funny how one small comment can change the course of our day. Sometimes it’s a bad change, where you take one comment and internalize it and analyze it, and it practically defeats you. Other times it only takes a smile to change the course of your day. As writers, I think we are more affected than others. We’re so freaking sensitive. So, I’m glad it was a positive comment that made you appreciate the small things.
    When I see traffic backed up on the beltway, I try not to get irritated. Especially if it’s an accident. When I know it’s a bad accident, I always get this awful feeling in my heart. Somebody’s life changed drastically while I was bitching in traffic. Maybe somebody lost their mom or dad in a car accident. Or somebody lost a child. Or maybe nobody died but they’ll be going through physical therapy sessions they can’t afford.
    Even if it’s boring construction or they’re fixing gigantic potholes left by cleaning up the pretty snow, I guess we should appreciate the fact that the roads are being taken care of. It’s all how you look at it. 🙂 See! I did it! haha

  2. Good one, Kim! I’ll think about that next time I’m in traffic. Sometimes, unfortunately, I think it’s neither of those things. Sometimes, it seems to back up for NO REASON at all. “But, it could be for a good reason, right?” There. I did it! Thanks for helping me come up with an appropriate come-back!

  3. Wow Pintip. Beautiful post. Beautiful writing. A great reminder about perspective. And you’re right, sometimes it’s words, but sometimes it’s noticing the world around. I remember one time Julia and I were at the mall and she was whining about something and it had already been a long day, and I was already tired and my patience wasn’t where it should have been. I was about to snap at her when I noticed a mom with her daughter. The girl was probably about 10 years old. And bald. The kind of bald that comes from chemo. And in those two seconds, the tiredness, the whining, the patience clicked into perspective. So I kissed Julia on top of her head and told her we’d talk about it later.

  4. Nothing will make 495 better! 😉

    My dog has changed my view on bad moods. Every time I come home he’s happy to see me, doesn’t matter how I’m feeling. How can you not feel great when you get some Harry lovin’! 😉

    1. I love this, Kerri! I’m so glad you have Harry in your life. Unconditional love is so crazy precious.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, K.M.! I hope you are able to turn your next frustration around. It’s the little things in life, right? Right?!

  5. Hey, Pin – I was thinking that when a snow squall attacked on my way home this evening. Sudden high winds had snow at near white-out conditions. I wasn’t afraid to be on the road, since it was still dry, but the snow and the wind made the coolest patterns. It was an adventure!

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