Are We Still Cranky in Midlife?

I always thought that when I got older, I would mellow out.  Especially when the day-to-day pressure of being an everyday superwoman subsided once I got off the hamster wheel.  While I do think that I am more patient overall, I am sometimes shocked at how certain situations make me really, really cranky.

  1. Slowpoke drivers who insist on staying in the left lane.  This happens ALL the time in my city of over 4 million people.  It makes me unreasonably cranky; my blood pressure skyrockets.  Why?  Our roads are congested, full of cars and trucks.  Slowpokes in the left lane slow down traffic for many kilometres behind them. The left lane is for passing!  If you cannot drive as fast if not faster than the speed limit, stay out!  If you feel fear every time you get on the highway, take alternate routes.  The combination of aggressive speed and slow/fearful drivers on the highway is a lethal mix.

2. The word “like”.  It is a very useful, multi-functional word that can be a verb, preposition, conjunction, noun, adjective and adverb.   But I have noticed that an extraordinary number of young people use it as filler.  For example, “She was like where did you go?  And I was like, I had to go to a doctor’s appointment like at 4 o’clock”.   I swear some people use it in almost every sentence, sometimes multiple times. I grew up across the street from a professor who gently advised me to stop using filler words (I think it was “you know”).  At the time, I was embarrassed but his lesson has served me well as an adult.

3. Bad grocery cart etiquette.  I have a regular shopping list of things I buy at Costco.  It is not a place to dawdle, it is always insanely busy.  Even though I shop on weekdays, I am amazed at the number of people who leave their cart in the middle of the aisle and walk away.  Sometimes they leave their kids in the cart too,  or worse, let their kids run around unsupervised.  The pile-up around the sample stations makes me want to ram other carts or say rude things.  But I don’t.  I grit my teeth, pick up my things and get the hell out of there as quickly as possible.

4. Web ads that know what I’ve been looking at.  Even though I have learned that web developers load “pixels” and “cookies” to follow your online activity, I really find it creepy. Companies track your online behaviour and know a lot about you.  For example, if you look at a pair of shoes online, you may see ads for those same shoes on many sites you visit afterwards. Facebook and Google know the most and have the ability to share that data with other companies.   It’s a little frightening.  Do yourself a favour and watch the movie “Snowden”.  It’ll make you think about how little online privacy you actually have.

5. Over-blown holidays.  Don’t get me wrong, who doesn’t love Christmas time with the family?  I’m talking about the unnaturally BIG events that most companies and retailers blow out of proportion.  For example, Valentine’s day.  While it’s lovely to celebrate your love for another, it has become a pressure-filled event with rampant commercialization that starts right after New Years.   The advertising makes you feel like you’re a loser unless you buy the the biggest present, a dozen roses, fine chocolates, expensive jewelry, and a fabulous dinner out.  Spend spend spend! This scenario repeats itself for other events like Mothers’ and Fathers’ days, Easter and Hallowe’en amongst others.  Bah humbug!

So the answer for me, is that I can still get pretty cranky and impatient but I think I hold it in better than I used to.   And some things have actually stopped bothering me (like streetcar travel).  I wonder what it’s like for others?

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10 thoughts on “Are We Still Cranky in Midlife?

  1. I am almost terrified each big Holliday because it feels like one never can do “enough” somehow. I wish we could all just tone everything down a little and make it more about the people we spend our time with.

  2. I have wanted to use my shopping cart as a weapon but never have (thank goodness for some self-control!) These days, I just try to avoid busy days.

  3. I had a lady literally ram into me while I was in line at the electronics department of our local Wal Mart when I was a kid. Another time, again at wal mart, a man grabbed my mom’s cell phone (this is back in the late nineties when they were less common) and tossed it. Made some comment about how she was blocking the aisle. That was a man with a pet peeve, I wonder how he feels now? People get frustrated at stores, I enjoy the experience and the people, for the most part. But then, like you say, there is that time that that lady with like six kids wandered off blocking the entire aisle for those few seconds that feel like all of eternity! haha

  4. The larger the city, the worse the traffic. I used to spend a lot of time on the road too. You have to be aggressive to get anywhere, I agree.

  5. I like to describe this as “walking with purpose”. I get you, people dilly-dally in their own little world with no clue with what is going on around them. It’s so much worse these days.

  6. Yes – cranky as hell about PEDESTRIAN slow pokes! I am a fast walker, I like to be swift wherever I go because time is more important than money to me. I am very tolerant of people with mobility issues but if you are blocking the way because you are texting in the middle of the street, not giving a sh** about people stacked up behind – I am going to get MAD!

  7. Oh gosh, yes. The driving thing kills me. Cause, even though I live in a rural town now, I spent 8 years of my life in Los Angeles and another 4 years of life in the Bay Area and I am an AGGRESSIVE driver! Haha 🙂

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