August 19

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Want to Feel Better & Increase Productivity? Don’t Ignore This

This has been a pretty momentous week in the Siebert household – my daughter started kindergarten. Oy!

She’s doing it online from our living room, but still. I’m feeling all the things. 😉

Also (albeit less cool and exciting), we recently got a visit from the maintenance folks.

Just a Little Irritation

See, two and a half months ago, the toilet in the upstairs bathroom started acting wonky. As in, it was flushing all weird, the water pipe was stuck, and it took just under an hour to fill up the water reservoir thingie.

So we just stopped using it.

Now, this is a very minor “problem” to have, right?

I mean, we are incredibly blessed to have another bathroom downstairs. Shoot, we’re blessed simply to have clean running water.

I’ve lived with folks who used outhouses and didn’t have running water in the main house. And my deployments during Army days made me especially grateful to be able to walk to the restroom without getting fully dressed. 

But even though it wasn’t a show-stopper, it was still an irritation.

We tried to fix it… 

Flooded the bathroom (picture that scene in Paddington where he flooded the bathroom, but with more water spraying the ceiling)…

Stopped trying to fix it… 😉

Put in a maintenance request.

And, we waited.

At first it was kind of annoying. Even more so than having to walk down the stairs to use the restroom, I was frustrated that the acknowledgement / action on the maintenance request was less than what I was hoping for.

But then something interesting happened….

After about a month, I stopped noticing.

I stopped thinking about having to go downstairs. I stopped hearing the water run during those oddball times when someone would actually use that bathroom.

The irritation didn’t go away, but my awareness shifted.

Until the maintenance guys came and fixed it last week. Then I remembered, “Oh yeah, that was a thing….”

How Irritations Impact our Ability to Reach our Goals

THAT’S how every irritation in our lives works.

Something will annoy us or inconvenience us. And for a while, it will frustrate us. And if we let it linger, eventually, we’ll stop noticing.

It will no longer seem like a big deal.

But the problem is that it IS a big deal.

Because those irritations in our lives do more than just frustrate us. They also sabotage us in ways we don’t see. 

They tell us on a subconscious level that we’re:

  1. Not worth having something better.
  1. Incapable of creating something better. 

Because if I can’t fix/improve this little irritation, then I can’t have fix/have better in more important things.

It trickles down to how we approach our goals and daily to-dos. How we feel, how easy it is to do things, and how productive we can be.

That may sound silly, or like I’m making a mountain out of a molehill. But I invite you to experiment with it.

Take care of a couple irritations or incompletes in your life, and see how much better you feel.

I’ve been doing one little thing each day since the maintenance victory, and I feel much lighter. 

Okie dokie! Time to dive into the One Fish Two Fish book I bought my daughter to celebrate the start of kindergarten.  🙂

Until next time!

Jewell “Handling Irritations” Siebert


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