The Wisdom of Annoyances

Before the sun had risen, I knew the roads would be icy.

My gloves were still wet from yesterday’s sleet. And I decided to take my morning walk inside.

There’s no gym on the island, or treadmill that I know of. I’d walk in the kitchen; it’ll be like a moving meditation, was how I sold it to myself.

I began. Stairs to bathroom, turn, bathroom to stairs, turn. Between the stairs and bathroom, I got some nice forward momentum going. Then I’d hit the wall and all that speed was gone while I turned.

Soon, I was really resenting the turns for slowing me down. And I got all ginned up over what a stupid, dumb hassle they were to me.

Huh, thought a less explosive part of my brain. There’s a lot of energy and power in this feeling, isn’t there? Could there be wisdom in this thing that’s annoying you?

Nope, came my first and fast answer.

Okay, okay, I thought, but let’s stay with this here. Maybe there’s something else waiting to be known.

So, I walked, walked, turned. Walked, walked, turned. And what I noticed when I stayed with it was that when you turn, you have to look around you, not just in front of you.

And around me, the sun was hanging high in the sky. Out in icy earth, a grove of leafless birches stood bare and strong. Snow from days ago shone, shone like it had fallen just to do that.

And there, out beyond resentment, I found awe.

Hold this, I told myself. Awe is so much more freeing to live with than resentment.

But hold these ideas, too. That there’s real beauty in interrupting our forward momentum. There’s freedom buried in the things that annoy us. And there’s wisdom, if we slow down to see it, waiting in all corners of this life. 

The Lightning Notes is funded by kind donors. If something here strikes you, I’d be grateful if you’d consider donating. Click to Donate!