• Janel

Short-fuse; aborting combustion

Updated: Apr 24, 2019

What makes you angry? What is it that sets off that "anger alarm"?


This morning my husband woke me up too early. I had planned out my day the night before assigning my "to-do list" to blocks of time throughout the day. I have resisted doing this for awhile now. I know myself well enough to know that when I schedule my day out, I have a tendency to become inflexible with it. I suddenly NEED my day to go EXACTLY as planned. And, when it doesn't (notice I said "when"!!), I become short-tempered and irritable. However, my to-do list had suddenly increased from my normal daily activities and I needed to make room for additional items. I decided to go for it anyway. I also decided that no matter how the day unfolded, I would remain flexible. No biggie, right?


My day begins at 6:10am when my husband wakes me. We are a 1-car family, so I (happily) take him to work every morning. He typically wakes me by "releasing the hound"; opening the baby gate that keeps or 8lb chihuahua/cocker spaniel out of our room at night. She races in, leaps merrily all over me, he sits on the side of the bed and kisses us both. awww. Sweet, right? It's awesome. Except this morning when I asked what time it was (it just FELT earlier, ok?), and he responded that it was 5:50 in the a.m....adrenaline surged through me. I felt my heart start racing and I was pissed. 20 minutes early. 20. freaking. minutes. Have I mentioned yet how important sleep is to me?

I had already had a difficult time going to sleep the night before. When my husband is physically hurting and/or congested (work side effect), he snores. I had massaged eucalyptus oil into his back and chest to help him sleep better (you can read, "less noisily" lol) enabling me to sleep peacefully, which meant it took me longer to get to sleep, which meant I was barely going to get my (desperately needed) 8 hrs, and now he's waking me early! Instantly upset!

I love my husband dearly.

It is important to me that he not have to start his day having to deal with an upset wife, so I kept my feelings to myself. But when I returned home from taking him to work, I could feel my heart racing and my thoughts telling me how he'd ruined my day. (Seriously need 8-9 hours of sleep, people! When I try to function on less than this, my health almost immediately begins to suffer.)

Time to make a choice.

Do I allow my scheduled day to be altered? Are the things on my list more important than my health? Is the timing of my day more important than how I approach my day? In other words, can I still use my plan, but as a guideline versus a regimented order? Yes. Yes, I can do this. I can do this because...when I am inflexible, I am short-tempered. When I am short-tempered, I am no fun to live with. Ultimately, this makes for an unhappy life for both of us.

I sit drinking coffee and writing now, having gone back to bed, sleeping for an additional 2 hours...looking at my list differently. There are things that can be dropped that will not be the end of the world if they are not accomplished today. There are things that genuinely are a priority and need my attention today. Feeling peace wash over me knowing I have adjusted my attitude and my chore list and will still be productive. But more importantly, I will not be subjecting my husband to an irritable wife. At least for today :) There will be more lessons for me tomorrow.


I am lucky to have the kind of schedule that allows me to go back to bed and get the sleep I have missed. It's because my husband works so hard that I get to do this. Did you find yourself annoyed at me because I have this luxury? Did you feel irritated that I would make such a big deal in this scenario? It's ok. Our lives are different and we have different kinds of lessons to learn. What's yours? What ticks you off consistently? How do you treat your loved ones or the people around you when you get this way? Is there something you can "tweak", or something you can let go of as being SO important, that it could shift your perspective and thus, your attitude? Maybe give it a try? Just for today. Tomorrow is another day.

Want to talk about it? I will listen.

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