Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Pet Peeves

By Suzie Carr

I have a pet peeve confession.

I dislike when people litter. When I see litter, my blood pressure spikes.

Case in point: I walk my dogs through my neighborhood every morning at 3 a.m., and I see the same things each time – empty soda cans, paper plates, candy bar wrappers, plastic cups, and so many more items it'd take me all day to type them. This trash litters the sides of the road, clinging to sewer gutters and spilling over onto my neighbors’ pretty green lawns.
This morning, faster than I could react, one of my dogs scooped up a chicken bone from underneath a crumbled up take-out bag. She smacked her lips, working quickly to swallow it. Thankfully, I’m fully alert at 3 a.m. and I was able to jump to her rescue and safely remove the bones before they could splinter and choke her. For the rest of the walk, I felt like screaming. My dog could’ve gotten seriously hurt because someone was too lazy to toss their garbage in a trashcan. Instead the person just opened his/her car window and tossed it out for someone else to deal with.

Who wants that job? I've tried, believe me. I've toted a trashbag along on many walks, plucking up litter only to find even more in the same spots the very next day. Let’s face it, picking up litter is about as satisfying a job as is laundry or dishes because as soon as you turn your back, more piles up.

Okay, enough venting. I'm about solutions.

Did I have a right to be angry? I think so. Would it help the litter problem? Absolutely not!

I can’t control the actions of others. I can only control how I react to their actions. So, I needed to shift the focus or suffer the consequences.

On my drive into work, still stewing over the chicken bone fiasco, a thought sunk in that if I gave in to the anger, I wouldn’t be giving justice to anyone who does respect common decency. So, I chose to smile at the grounds keeper on my way into the building and strike up a conversation with him about planting flowers. The result, by the time I logged onto my work computer my anger was gone and replaced with a good vibe.

It all comes down to focusing on the good things people are doing.
Do you have a pet peeve that rattles your nerves? How do you deal with it?

Here’s to working together in keeping our world a beautiful place,

I feel it's critical to support the community, and so I've committed to donate a portion of my book sale proceeds to the NOH8 Campaign (


becca said...

that's a pet peeve of mine to especially when they drop it on the ground and A trash can is only like two steps away

Lucien said...

Great blog and I too feel your pain in regards to the litter! Every single piece of trash I see is signs that people do not take pride in their surroundings and most likely, themselves either.

I believe in action. Seeing something and just being critical is too easy. If you talk the talk, you have to walk the walk.

In my town, I started a group. We go around and clean up the streets, bridges etc. Its fun and we joke around with each other. This spring we have decided to take our merry little band of cleaners to the elderly. We all have a person on our street that is older, not well or just cannot afford to do much. We are going to mow lawns, sweep walks, trim bushes and make some older person happy. So far we take care of 2 people's yards. They are both overjoyed!

Take care and see you in Twitter-land! Lucien

Suzie Carr - novelist said...

@Lucien what a fantastic thing you do! Thanks for sharing that idea. You have just inspired me;))