CNN is not the greatest news source out there, and despite where you might think this sentence is going, I’m not providing an exception here. The article I’m linking to isn’t news. It’s helpful, and it’s health-related and general happiness- and stop-hating-the-world-related, but still not news.
How to stop being annoyed by life
My tolerance for petty bullshit is, as you can probably tell by my phrasing, LOW. So is my tolerance for incompetence, willful stupidity, and intolerance. I can still be patient with people. I’m still patient with LOTS of people. I don’t seem to have as much patience, though…and then I get irritated…and then I get frustrated…and if I’m lucky, I remember to stop and wonder just what I’m so irritated about. Is it important? Does it matter? Can I do something about it? I’m rarely that lucky (to remember to stop and think), but I think I’m getting better about it. Things like that article help. Sitting in a chair in the backyard for a few minutes during the workday helps. Reading helps.
Why am I not reading? I’m pretty much always asking that question.
So I was thinking about all that on my bike ride this afternoon, pedaling along the path by the river, enjoying the sunny day and the stiff breeze that made me work a little harder, when BAM! Something small and sharp and OW PAINFUL IT HURTS hit me in the upper arm. I never saw it, it was gone immediately, like it bounced right off, but it felt like I’d been stung. Can you get stung at that speed? Can a bee or a wasp or some other flying (I assume flying) insect hit you at just the right angle at approximately 15 mph to sting you and then get away? I shouted a few things, maybe startling a duck, and pulled over to look. It did kind of look like a bee sting (although the last time I was stung was on my knee in Chesapeake Beach in 1985 or ’86, so how would I know what it looks like?), and there was a tiny dot of red in the middle, and it hurt like crazy. I considered going home, but I was mostly done (6 miles left!), so I figured I’d keep going unless it started to hurt more or I started to go into anaphylactic shock. (WordPress doesn’t think “anaphylactic” is a word. Screw you, WordPress, I spelled it right on my own!) Would I recognize anaphylactic shock? If it started, would it be too late at that point to get home? Why was I worrying about this? I didn’t die when I got stung when I was 6, so I’m probably not allergic to bee stings now. Shut up and bike.
So, yeah, I think I got stung. It stopped hurting as much, the swelling started to go down and spread out, like more of a welt, and now (an hour later), there’s hardly anything to see. I think I’ll live.
Moral of the story: I didn’t get angry or irritated or frustrated by it. No, that’s a TERRIBLE moral and has nothing to do with anything. Getting stung by a mystery insect on a bike ride is not in the same category as the things that annoy me. What’s to get annoyed about? Nope, this story only barely escapes being a non sequitur, and it’s only a sequitur because the bee sting literally followed my thoughts on that article. It’s a LITERAL SEQUITUR.