All My Pets are Named Peeve

This is my dog Jett

It’s true. Mostly. I have a cute little puppy named Jett.  That’s short for his registered foo-foo name of Jett Sun’s Joie de Vie Song. Pretentious, pompous, and hard to spell. His registered name reads Jett Sun’s Joie de Vie Son­­g.  Joie de Vie is a French phrase meaning Joy of Life.

But I digress. 

But all other pets are named Peeve.  I was asked to list them once not so long ago but ran out of time and space. 

I don’t claim to have an all-time top favorite peeve; about the time I decide to name it as such, another one comes along and pushes it out of place. 

For instance, anyone who melts food in Tupperware in the microwave really gets my goat––my goat named Peeve.  For a long time that one took home the Blue Ribbon; and a close second was the disappearing lid. Like socks gobbled by the washer, where do lids go?  I suspect the washing machine or the garbage bin. There’s a possibility they are in cahoots.  

For years these were the only true peeves I thought I owned.  Then I encountered my first Costco parking lot. Ugly plastic dishes move aside, parking lots are numeral uno. Peeves shape-shift. 

I suppose ye ol’ grammar complaints of the misuse of you’re/ your and the improper use of there/their/there are common peeves, but the most annoying to me is the mispronunciation of important said as impordant. Highly educated people say it all the time. I don’t even enunciate the first t clearly; I just kind of skip it.  But I never say the as d. I don’t know why it bothers me; it just does. Grammar peeves are not just for grammar tyrants. 

I know someone who has a peeve named Litrally. I tell her how I interpreted her message litrally and she replies how impordant it is to not do so. 

It’s possible that I grate the nerves of listeners when I Oklahoma-fy the washing machine. I never wash the clothes. I warsh the filthy critters. 

Other peeves include but not necessarily in order of importance:

Wobbly table legs. 

Having to listen to a public one-sided phone conversation. Most people talk extra loud too. UGH! 

People who talk in slow-mo. 

People who talk in warp-speed. (Yes, call me Goldy Locks). 

Slow internet.

People who stare at my face while I talk then ask me to answer a question that I had just explained.   

People come to visit you and spend the entire time texting or scrolling through social media. 

Speech givers who promise to make a point but go down a gazillion rabbit holes and never return. 

People in proximity that sneeze without covering the mouth.  YUCK!

Kissing sounds.  (shudder)

People who keep walking behind my car while I am backing out of a parking space, sounding off alarms.

People who walk down the middle of parking lot drive space.

When the spacing feature bugs out on my word processor program.

People who have more than 14 pet peeves. They are grumpy gills.  

This is Peeve

A Chansonette

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Here begins this chansonette.

This may be higgledy-piggledy,

A verse prone to rejectamenta,

A bit of flapdoodle-doo,

With lots of squiggle-diggle-ty.

I nearly spewed my mawkish tea,

While expanding my vocabulary,

The word-of-the-day’s speciality,

This assignment is now

quite ready to go, you see? 

yet I have mispronounced thee. 

Please forgive.

Most of this piece

does not rhyme.

But if I can do it,

I will find and make

the thyme

for this silly little

chansonette.

Please forgive.

Ye Ol’ Switcheroo

The Relentless Search For Balance

Twenty Minutes to Eleven

My most recent post of eons ago, I wrote of my journey that began in the early months of 2020 of developing new habits; tasks performed daily in increments of 20 minutes each day. I slapped the tongue-in-cheek title “How I Changed the World,” due to a rousing motivational speech by Naval Admiral William H. McRaven. Prior to viewing the speech, I had read the book 5 Things Successful People Do Before 8 a.m. by Terri Savelle Foy. Needless to say, this proved to be fodder to cancel my couch potato life and strive to accomplish a few goals. But never before 8 a.m. It is not for lack of trying: I am, after all, a retiree!

It doesn’t really have to be 5 things; it can be as many or few as habits one wants to form. The commonality between the most successful ones, according to Mrs. Foy, choose exercise, meditation or prayer, and reading in 20 minute increments. This is referred to as the golden hour. (I noticed there is no mention of where coffee places, first or after, but I place it first and foremost!) I chose to include the habits of writing and tracking things I am grateful for each day.

But I made changes to that schedule in 2021. As stated in my previous post, I learned of forming habits in shorter time frames. I assume this for people who like to brag about the tally of mini habits they keep each day. Based upon that theory, I made a decision to reduce the minimum time to 11 minutes. It was an arbitrary number pulled from the thin, gray air of winter––the January doldrums.

I began my new system thinking I had relieved myself from some imaginary and self-imposed burden. (I am slowly realizing that I have a time-management problem.)

Yet something I had not accounted for began to manifest the very first day. Chalk it up to the Middle-Child Syndrome. Yep, the drive to achieve beyond that of an older brother and a younger sister in order to get NOTICED. Allow me to digress.

Growing up, it was futile to try to outdo my brother; hard as I may hindsight has revealed I was only kicking against the pricks, as Apostle Paul was fond of saying. Being the baby, almost literally, my sister was the “cute one” as she so dutifully reminded anyone is earshot. I guess Mom and Dad (God rest their souls) thought so too. I was reminded every Christmas when brother got something shiny and new like a red bike, sister got a pretty pink blanket while mine was diaper yellow color, or a 3-foot-tall deaf and dumb doll. I was not the I-want-a fake-baby-kind of little girl. My imagination spectrum did run in the vein of making plastic babies come alive, no matter how tall or short.

So what was going on with to 20 to 11 switcheroo?  One should be overjoyed to know time commitments down from 20 minutes to 11 minutes to be freeing.  The problem is pure and simple; the old it’s not good enough mindset. The backstory (a semi-fancy word meaning to digress) is that my childhood report card grades were always honor roll worthy. If I got a B+, Dad always ––and I mean every stinking time––asked why it wasn’t an A. If an A-, why not an A, if an A, why not an A+?  The memo was loud and clear: my work was never good enough. I’m sure my father was completely unaware of the silent message transmitted. I think his motivation came from a place that didn’t want me to get “too big for my britches” as these types of things were often said.  He wasn’t my loudest cheerleader. But again, I digress. 

For me, the simple solution of extending time beyond those 11 minutes never seem to quite work out. I tried that a few times and went to the far-beyond side like into the evening. Ok, that’s pure hyperbole.  You go too far, a complaint I have heard a few times. It has been a frustrating and vicious cycle of searching for balance. 

It wasn’t but two days into the new time that I realized 11 minutes of exercise isn’t going to profit the body much, so that I did relent and returned to 20-minute sessions. The dirty little secret is that I really don’t exercise every day: usually 4 days of the week. SHHHH!

Reading and writing sessions were difficult to adapt because when the timer sounded, I was just getting to the meat of the story––time to quit. Torn between patting myself on the back and that inner monologue “this isn’t good enough” created major tension. Why is that stupid, self-incriminating voice in my head? 

Guilt and self-condemnation because I did not carry out each task for 20 minutes? Unbelievable. Who sets the bar?  Oh, yes that’s right: I did. Who lowered the bar? Hmm, let me think. 11 minutes wasn’t good enough with or without self-permission. Does this perception relate back to that not-quite-good enough, middle-child syndrome? Or is this phenom much more sinister?  Probably. I suspect I am not the only one to deal with this, and why therapists are making lots of money. And I realize I may have unconsciously passed this onto the next generation. Sorry, kids! 

I went back to YouTube and viewed the original motivational speeches that inspired me to buy the book about 5 habits, etc. I have my tube settings set to auto play the next video and low and behold! It is titled “Goal Setting: 11 minutes that can change your life.” Fed up with it all, I chose not to watch that one but feel free.

Go figure. 

I did mention previously that I would report on a goal for 2021 to form the habit of eating dinner at the table, just like the old days. That lasted about 7 days. Why? Because the OLD habit was so ingrained in my mind that the pure comfort of the Lazy Boy Reclining love-seat proved too powerful that I just plain forgot. Try again in 2022.

After working through the many drafts of this piece, I have come to the conclusion that maybe less IS more. Maybe it’s true I am my own best psychiatrist. And maybe, just maybe, it is better to do and develop habits NO MATTER if 20 minutes, 11 minutes or 5 minutes. Some famous film character once said “Do or do not. There is no try.”

Admiral McRaven’s Rousing speech:

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