My pet peeve, exposed

First of all, I have to say I am VERY upbeat and optimistic. I’m not a half-empty kind of gal, nor a half-full one. I happen to be of the “glass is full” mentality. While we’ve all lived through a ton of crap, and I’m no exception, I happen to think life is inherently fun and good and I like waking up in the morning and seeing what the day has in store for me.

happy person

Going along those same lines, I don’t think there are many things worth getting upset over. For example,

The car breaks down for the fourth time… well, we can fix it for the 4th time, sell it and get a new one, take mass transit, walk, etc. The solution is within in our control.

The doofus in front of you on the highway is going way too slow and you can’t get around him. Sure, you could get on his bumper and lay on the horn and gesture and raise your blood pressure… But guess what. That makes you feel worse and the situation doesn’t change! So this solution is controllable too. We can put on our favorite song and blast it and sing at the top of our lungs till the car turns off. We could get off the highway and go a different way. We could start writing our next blog in our head. We could grin and blow them kisses until they see us and they think WE’RE wierd and they speed up to get away from us. Bottom line, we can control that mini-situation in a way that’s most beneficial to us.

So what does tick me off? Only a few things really seem to be able to get to me. Here’s one.

On most mornings, I go for a walk or run somewhere around my neighborhood. I change the location daily to keep it interesting. This morning I was on my way down a trail; it’s a beautiful spot. I was admiring the lush foliage. I could hear tons of birds through my iPod headset (well, they were not IN my iPod but they were louder than my music!). I could hear the sound of the river and I glanced over to see how high it was this morning, and all at once my irritation levels rose.

Coffee cups, lids, candy wrappers, plastic bags, cigarette cartons, soda cans, all sorts of garbage was in the river, tangled in the plants; stuck in the mud; in other words, there was garbage everywhere. I paid closer attention the entire length of my walk. Not only were these items in the woods, in the river, along the path, but so were other things. 1/2 a toilet. How do you just happen to misplace half a toilet? Or paint cans. Oooops, where the heck did I put that paint can? Maybe it fell out of my pocket? Full bags of garbage don’t just “happen” to fall into the middle of the woods.

garbage

People!!!!!! There’s a place for garbage. There are garbage cans and dumps and incinerators. These things are everywhere. At rest stops and homes and stores and malls. That’s where garbage goes. It doesn’t go wherever the garbage is made.

I personally can control my own garbage and my own space, and I can control what I do when I see garbage. I have picked up after other people in the past, and I’m sure I’ll do it again. But I can’t control thousands of people who think nothing of throwing stuff out a car window, or think nothing of leaving garbage wherever they are. If someone carried a full soda can into the trail, it’s LIGHTER when they’re done and it’s EASIER to carry back. What necessitates leaving it in the woods? Is the garbage fairy going to come clean up after you? NOoooo!!!!

So here’s what I’ll say. If you happen to be on your way to the hospital to get a heart transplant, and you happen to kick something off the gurney by accident and it falls on the ground, LEAVE IT THERE. I will pick it up – just tell me where the incident happened and I’ll take care of it. Obviously you can’t pick it up, and the people with you are more concerned about your health, rightly so, than about garbage on the ground. But if you are in any other situation and you drop something on the ground, pick it up. If you’re about to throw something on the ground, think of me, and please stop. You’ll notice that the only areas of the earth that aren’t beautiful are those that we’ve messed up, so let’s do our part to keep our towns, homes, yards, trails, etc., clean.

It really doesn’t take a lot of effort.

And now back to our regularly scheduled happy-go-lucky, upbeat nature. Life is great!

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