I was going to write about aggravations this week. You know, just like every week.
I even have an extensive recitation of all that’s gone wrong recently. I can stand one or two things going wrong at the same time. But three major things crucial to modern life go awry (think car, computer, and telephone), that’s when my coping skills begin to crumble. This list got up to seven things. I started feeling as if last month’s vacation had been a mirage.
The most pressing problem was my 93-year-old father’s admittance to the hospital for a blood clot on his knee. When you’re that old, no matter what you’re admitted for, new problems appear. Going to the hospital is like winning the booby prize in a contest, with the heightened chance that more booby prizes await you.
At the same time, I finally got fed up with my broadband wireless service and nervously switched back to AT&T DSL. My trepidations were not ungrounded. I had to make three technical support calls in the first 24 hours to get the service working properly.
Then there was the issue of the mortgage payments. Don’t get me started on the ongoing aggravation of our credit union, but suffice to say in addition to penalizing you if you make a mortgage payment late, it also penalizes you by making a mortgage payment too early, in that it doesn’t recognize it as an actual payment. It just thinks you’re giving them money for the fun of it.
Then there was the fact that I decided after the fact that a couple of closets really should have been recarpeted, which meant emptying the closets and moving things like digital pianos and revolving bookcases from out of the way. Concurrently, I had an inordinate number of hassles with clients – over invoices, and projects I couldn’t wait to see end, and micromanaging … and so on … and so on … and so on.
But my father was eventually discharged from the hospital and is back in his apartment, only slightly the worse for wear. The third time was the charm on the DSL, and it’s been working fine since. I still have to aim for a certain window in which to pay the mortgage, but all in all, the credit union still hasn’t sunk to the depths of the Bank of America. The invoices got fixed, the project I couldn’t wait to see end ended. The micromanaging – still a problem, but I can’t expect utopia. Well, I can, but I should also be realistic about ever getting there.
I say I was going to write about this litany of aggregated aggravations, but when the time came, they had already begun to dissipate in memory. Am I finally getting old enough that the hassles of life don’t bother me as much? Am I finally achieving equanimity in my middle age? To paraphrase my quote of Helen Hayes a couple of weeks ago, “When you get older, there isn’t a lot left to be angry about.” I wish I could have been this way when I was younger, but better late than never.