Saturday, November 13, 2010

Frustration Tolerance

Life is made up of all these minor annoyances during our days: water heaters break, rude sales clerks, having to wait in endless lines, people who cut us off on the road and then give us the finger... In regard to that last one, can we please all grow up and just stop that? Can I call for "No one giving anyone the finger day" for one day a year? It is so rude and unnecessary. Anyway, you get my point.

This past week I've dealt with my share of frustrations. I'm trying to get my oldest son a new acne prescription that requires this pretty confusing and complicated registration process. We tried getting it for him in the spring and I eventually gave up. After a month of endless interactions with the drug company, the doctor and Walmart pharmacy I couldn't take it anymore. I figured it was no longer my job to try and figure it all out when the other professionals couldn't get it together and do so.

- We have a new doctor and are going through the same craziness. I spent one whole day earlier this week on the phone with the drug company and the doctor and made two trips to Walmart as well, hating that I used the gas for nothing. I also had to get a new prescription from the doctor which the drug company says wasn't needed but Walmart required so that was another trip to the doctor and Walmart. What I am told by the drug company is that my son is inactive in the system and needs to be reactivated. The doctor's office then calls the drug company and/or goes on line to register my son and are told he is reactivated and all systems are go. Then Walmart can't fill the order and we go through the whole process again.

- In the meantime, I took in my prescription for my anti-anxiety pills and the order couldn't be filled because the doctor hadn't put in a quantity. So I had to wait about a week for the refill because the doctor is only in the office a few days a week. I made it through but noticed that I was having trouble sleeping again not taking the pills and as my frustration increased with my son's prescription not getting filled I started wanting a pill to take to help calm my nerves.

- Wednesday night, 9:00 p.m., my oldest announces that he needs to wear black pants and a black shirt to play in a Veteran's Day assembly the next day. Thanks for the heads up! Thankfully, I try and wash his "good" clothes immediately after they are worn and hang them up so they were ready to go in the closet. Had they not have been, I'd had to stay up throwing in a load of laundry, just my favorite task to do at 10 p.m.!

- My oldest tells me that the oil light has been on in the van for a number of days and he needs an oil change. I become somewhat frantic worried that the van's engine has been burned out because of this. I speak sharply to my son and have to come up with $20.00 we don't have for an oil change, although I used a coupon and that helped save some money. In the end, the car guys said the oil was fine and it turns out my son noticed the oil light coming on when he started the van. It was never on when he was driving but it worried him. So, again, we could have made it through a couple more weeks without this extra expense. But he feels more secure driving now and we don't need another oil change until February. But talk about needing an anti-anxiety pill (Klonopin)! I truly thought we were headed for even more car repair bills.

- My youngest asked for my help with a craft project for school (extra credit for Chemistry). Go figure, crafts in Chemistry. I went to JoAnn's for felt, glue and pipe cleaners. Again, this former craft queen cringes having to spend any extra money for crafts right now. In fact, after the project was completed I went back to JoAnn's, which is next to Walmart anyway, to return two unused pieces of felt and a small bottle of tacky glue. I got back $1.26 but worth it to me. Those dollars and even pennies add up when you're living under reduced circumstances as we are. The sad part of this story, however, is that after significant effort helping with this silly project, my son failed to tell me that the animal we had to make out of felt needed to be stuffed. While working on the project there was even a bag of stuffing out on the chair beside us! As a result, my son only received 20 points out of 30. I know it is not my fault and all, it was just disappointing to learn of this oversight!

- I am leaving the best for last following my oldest son's statement to me that he is out of deodorant. I was in bed ready to go to sleep, when my youngest came in and threw a pair of jeans on top of me, saying, "Here is a contribution to Goodwill." I replied, "That was very rude of you to throw those on me like that." He stomped out of the room with a reply of "You're rude!" Yes, the fun of parenting adolescent males!

I'd say this is a fair share of little inconveniences and frustrations that happen to all of us. I think, however, that there are then the "bigger" ones looming in our lives. We have to balance between the day-to-day annoyances that pop up as well as the ongoing difficulties going on in our lives. In my case, the need for a new job and the job search, dealing with grave financial limitations, needing to get my sedan fixed but not having the extra funds to do so. We're short this month because of the $600.00 in car insurance that was due.

I dealt with frustrations pretty well when I was married - the smaller ones were easier to brush off and forget about and with my husband, we were always able to come together with solutions for the more major challenges. Now on my own, I don't do to well under the pressure of the little stuff combined with the big stuff. There seems to be something always to worry about and the small stuff is harder to just ignore.

At least I've figured out the best times to go to Walmart without having to wait in line with another 13 people! Yes, 13 people have been in front of me, more than once! Don't hit Walmart after work, between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. or on weekend. And I learned how to get my photos off my phone onto the computer and then to my blog (all by myself, I'll add!). Yeah, non-techie Mom!


  1. I hear you. Sometimes I feel like I'm playing Whack-a-Mole--as soon as I smack down one little task or annoyance, another one pops up to take its place!

  2. Love the reference to Whack-a-Mole. The mole was the animal we needed to create for the extra credit project! And a dressed up mole with clothes at that! Ha, ha!