In my estimation, I’m mostly a positive and cheerful person. I think my record is fairly clear on that. But like most people, there are some things that I truly hate. Some I avoid, others are necessary evils.
7. Pecans, walnuts, cashews and other atrocities – You can keep your trail mix and Waldorf salads. And while I’m not allergic to any of these nuts, I do find them to be gross. I think it’s the filmy and slightly bitter aftertaste, if you must know the truth. But just so you know I’m an equal opportunity protein consumer, I do love almonds and peanuts. So there’s that.
6. Finishing a truly terrible book – Life is too short! There are too many books I’ll never even have time to read! To waste the time reading a book I don’t enjoy is utterly distasteful. Luckily, our fiction editor at work is really good at acquiring only fabulous books so I don’t have to worry there. But if I could un-read Great Expectations, I would. Don’t you think I wouldn’t.
5 .Unpacking – Whether it be for a move across the state, across town, or just my suitcase from my latest vacation–I hate unpacking. I actually really love to pack. I think it’s my problem-solving brain that is to be blamed for that. You have a finite space (a box, luggage, etc.) and “x” amount of items to fit into it. I love mastering that challenge and being prepared for all eventualities. But when that same box, so loving packed on one end of the adventure comes back to me? Blech. No, thanks.
4. Responding to a passive aggressive email – GAH! This is so irksome. Because the brilliance of a passive aggressive email is that to the casual eye, the person sending it is being sweet and cordial. So then I am forced to be just as sweet and cordial, lest the email correspondence betray my lack of professionalism. I hate playing that game. Nothing gets a rise out of me faster than an email that says one thing, but means another. Can’t we just all be on the same team, people?
3. Cleaning – I don’t want you to think poorly of my parents. They raised me right. I know how to clean things properly and am compelled to pick up after myself when my messiness attains a certain level. But I don’t like it. I do not find scrubbing bathtubs to be cathartic. I don’t live in squalor or anything. I just think my brand of general clutteriness should be acceptable. It works for me, after all!
2. Spending money on my car – There are SO many things that I’d rather spend my money on than a car repair. Unfortunately, I never pursued my dream of becoming a mechanic, so (tear) I’ll continue to take my car in for its regular check-ups. Just don’t expect a smile of pure joy while I do it.
1. Crying at Work – I really love my job. No, really. I do! I look forward to going to work. I love the authors I work with. If I won the lottery tomorrow, I’d probably still want to come to the office. Now, I’d come to work in a car with a driver and take my lunch breaks with my professional masseuse, but still.
Because I care so much, when I can’t get through my to do list or I feel like I’m letting an author or my colleagues down and I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed, it’s hard not to tear up. I am a girl, after all. I’m not made of stone. Plus, sometimes people say hurtful things in the confines of a meeting, an email, or a conversation and that’s hard to shake off.
But I really hate crying at work. It’s hard to disguise, hard to explain, and makes me feel like all my hard-earned professional work is undermined in an emotional moment. It doesn’t make people respect you and, in the end, it doesn’t help. I might feel slightly better but the circumstances around me haven’t changed. And now I’m less equipped to make progress on them. So I’m still working on the whole “be authentic but wise” thing that I wrote about last week. But until I perfect my poker face, I’m hoping to keep the tissues at bay.
What about you? What do you hate?