Pet Peeves: A Path to Self Awareness


A beautiful sunrise makes everything all right! View from my sister’s back deck.

Did anyone know there is a national “Pet Peeve” week?  I didn’t until I got a note on October 8th from my Northern California ukulele teacher announcing that fact, and asking the group to pick songs for our weekly strumming session that contained items or events that annoy us.

I didn’t even know that National Pet Peeve week is observed on the second full week of October.  I guess I am simply out of the loop on “important things” like this 😜. And that’s a pet peeve of mine, that we even have weeks devoted to pet peeves.  I have enough to think about trying to keep this 65 year old brain in working order, than worry about the flavor of the week.

I wasn’t able to attend the ukulele session devoted to pet peeves, but this is a subject I’ve wanted to write about and the email was the push I needed.


Pet peeve: Traffic jam


Antidote for commutes from hell: retirement

I do have pet peeves, and I often wonder if they indicate what a sensitive soul I am, or if they highlight my failures and exemplify a judgmental personality, ha ha.  I think about things like this!

Pet peeve number 1:

People who walk in the crosswalk, face buried in their phone, oblivious of stop lights and traffic.  (Warning:  “Distracted Pedestrian law” coming soon to your neighborhood 😂)


Big annoyance! She has a red light, but does she care?

Pet peeve number 2:

Yoga practitioners who come into a class late, open up their mat with a LOUD WHIP,  toss their shoes, water bottle and other belongings around haphazardly.  (Disclaimer: this mostly happens in gym settings.  When I taught yoga in a neighborhood community room, I kindly reminded students to please store belongings and shoes at the back of the room.)


No island of serenity here!

Pet peeve number 3:

Going to the grocery store at 6:30 am in the morning and being assaulted with loud music blaring from the speakers. I don’t like loud music at any time in a store, but at 6:30am?  Man, I’m just waking up. Whatever happened to soothing elevator music – oh yeah, we made fun of it back in the day but how I miss it!

I’m going to keep the list at 3 pet peeves and expand on the last one as it reminds me of something my daughter said that has to do with loud noises.  We were going to paint night recently (something we do together as mom and daughter when our schedules permit) and I received a last minute call from her:

“Oh no, Mom. This may not be good night for paint night!”

“Why not?”  I asked.

“Well, it’s opening season for the 49ers and it’s going to be loud in the restaurant/bar that is hosting paint night and you aren’t going to like it.  Don’t you remember what happened  last time?  It was during basketball finals and you moaned and groaned the entire time complaining how loud it was, and you couldn’t hear the teacher.”

Shall I insert that my daughter’s pet peeve is a complaining Mom? ha ha


My daughter is smiling now, but Mom may soon challenge that serene nature of hers!

I promised my daughter I would be good. But yes, one of my pet peeves is crazy loud music or noises that jostle my nervous system!  I’m a work in progress and I’m constantly taking note of where I can improve, and my daughter is right there to let me know which areas need improvement.  Aren’t daughters wonderful?  Yes, they are.

I was having a hard time with my sunflower painting on our recent paint night; I couldn’t get my palette knife to do what I wanted it to do.  I felt like taking the canvas and throwing it out the window. I guess I was grunting and groaning because my daughter turned to me and encouraged me to stay positive.  She was experiencing the same frustration, yet maintained her cool and kept quietly plugging away, concentrating quite remarkably in spite of sports fans’ whoops and hollers flowing in from the adjacent bar area.


We both made mistakes, but at the end of the night, we’re glad we went!

I don’t think I complained once about the noise from the sports fans and I was ready to pat myself on the back,  but the night was not over!  My daughter offered up an observation afterwards regarding my grunting.  She said, “Mom, you don’t even know you are doing it!”  That’s probably correct, I’m embarrassed to admit, but I’m working on self awareness.  Slowly but surely.  As I tell my grand kids, “Slow and steady wins the race!”  They love to hear that and ask, “Nana, what does that mean?”  I then segue into a long story about a turtle and a hare!


Yes, this sign was staring me in the face on paint night. My daughter had a good laugh.

My family members laugh about my groaning and astutely observe, “First Mom has to get it out of her system and then she rallies and is a real trooper and A-1 helper.”   My life philosophy regarding my shortcomings is this:  if I were perfect, I would be in a permanent heavenly home.  The fact that I find myself on this planet means I still have work to do and God has given me that chance!  And God only knows, I mean well!  🙂

Here’s some lovely flowers we worked on once upon a time – I think we were both happy with this project:



Meghan is the better artist, and I’m proud of her. These art nights are her therapy.  Writing this blog is my therapy!

So now that I’ve managed to get through a paint night without complaining about all the whooping and hollering from bar patrons, my next task is to become more aware of the sound effects emanating from my own mouth!  I’ll report back after next paint night with daughter.

As I look at my pet peeve list, it’s a chance to get to know myself better and also serves as a reminder to keep my side of the street clean and to not get caught up in others’ dramas. It’s also an opportunity to practice detaching from external cacophony and instead work towards becoming an island of serenity to myself.  Easier said than done, but heck it’s about progress, not perfection and all I can do is try.  I believe that is what God asks of us – to become aware and at least try!

“If I am being hard on myself, I can stop and remember that I deserve gentleness and understanding from myself.  Being human is not a character defect! Today I will be gentle with my humanness.”  (Courage to Change, page 151)


Aah, now this is peace! Hetch Hetchy reservoir, California.  Photo taken by my son Ryan. No pet peeves here!


Do you think he’s bothered by a messy yoga mat next to him? I think not!

What are your pet peeves?  I’d love to hear about them.

Happy Fall.  May your moments of tranquility and beauty outnumber your moments of pet peeves and annoyances!











31 thoughts on “Pet Peeves: A Path to Self Awareness

  1. Hi, Susan – Your daughter is gorgeous! The artwork that each of you has produced is very impressive. I went to a Paint Night one time with friends. I came home and immediately tossed my painting into the bin. But I had a great time, so all was well.
    I am with you disliking loud noises — especially in places where this is unnecessary.
    To my pet peeve list, I would add rude behaviour, selfishness and putting others down. Oh, and people who say there is no Climate Change. I still don’t get that!
    Thank you for letting me rant. I am pretty sure that I didn’t moan out loud…I’ll need to work on that! 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Donna,

      As always, it’s wonderful to hear from you. Yes, my daughter is a very special young lady and I’m so proud to be her Mother. The paint nights are wonderful and although I would love to throw many of my creations into the bin, I have fond memories surrounding each and every one of my creations. Sometimes it’s my sister, daughter and me – and we have a blast giggling and comparing notes. I bring my paintings home, prop them up against a wall, study them and say “hey, that’s not as bad as I thought.” My daughter and I also have a great time viewing other’s creations because each person’s interpretation is completely unique. It’s amazing and more often than not, *quite comical*!!

      Recently I went golfing with a much older woman who had trouble on every putting green, bending over and picking up her ball out of the hole. I started picking up the ball out of the hole for her. Pretty soon, my golfing partner started doing it for the woman also. The point being, our choices to be kind and thoughtful can ripple out. Okay I digress a bit but that addressed your pet peeve regarding selfishness etc. I also allow other people to have their own views on the hottest of hot button issues, so that’s not on my pet peeve list. But screeching modern music? It’s hard for me to stay open minded about that, ha ha.


      Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m in complete agreement about noise that is too loud and obnoxious. I’m not normally up, let alone in a store, at 6:30, but yes, give me peace and quiet, please. I agree with Donna… your daughter is gorgeous. Her picture reminded me of another pet peeve of mine: when beautiful, thick, wavy hair genes were passed out, I apparently was out of the room. I love that you have such a wonderful relationship with your daughter and that you enjoy spending time together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Janis

      This was a much lighter fare for me to write in contrast to my last blog which dealt with tragedy. And I was able to share the relationship I treasure with my daughter. People would be shocked if they knew what she does for a living. I will just say she is in law enforcement. She’s a wonderful person who has a very challenging job, is a wonderful mother to three beautiful children and somehow finds time to volunteer as a soccer coach. When I am spending time in my old hometown, helping out with my mother or my grandkids, my daughter always finds time to have lunch with me or go on a hike. I am deeply grateful.

      She got her tresses from her father’s side – I’m
      envious too! I tell her, “Never cut your hair!”

      I’m up early (my husband has woken up at 4 AM for most of his adult life) and my husband and I have a long history of going to the market to skip the crowds. I used to call it our date 😂. My complaint used to be that the shelves weren’t even stocked yet, ha ha!
      Today we were a bit off schedule and went to the market at 12:30pm. Screeching, heavy metal music was coming over the loud speakers. I whispered into my husband’s ear a few complaints. He claims he doesn’t hear it so maybe it is true that I have a more sensitive nature 😉.

      At any rate any time that we can bask in quiet and beautiful surroundings is a good thing to restore our nervous system! That is why I normally love yoga – it turns my focus inward and usually beautiful, soothing music is played which is right up my alley.

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting and I hope you have a beautiful, peaceful weekend.


      Liked by 2 people

  3. Interesting Susan!!
    I never really thought about it much,
    don’t have any pet peeves I guess:)
    I don’t let things annoy me anymore,
    life’s way too short for that 😍

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Maria,

      You are a great friend and role model. Thank you so much for reading and commenting! I love it that things don’t annoy you and you are at peace with yourself and your surroundings. I guess most people do have pet peeves otherwise there would not be a national week devoted to it ha ha. For the most part I am at peace too; but when I am disturbed it’s always an opportunity for me to go within and look at myself. I guess I’m called on to do that…a lot, so God has a plan 😄



  4. Susan, I have a few pet peeves, which probably says a lot about me, but here goes; drivers that block the left lane (passing lane) on the expressway, people who give back-handed compliments to me in front of others, but don’t have two words for me otherwise, workers who don’t show up on time and fail to call, (having a lot of that with the kitchen remodel), wet towels on the floor. That’s just to name a few. What that says about me; I play by the rules and am annoyed when others do not.

    Fun post and beautiful photos of your mother/daughter painting outings. My daughter and I tried it once. Both paintings went under the bed, and eventually into the trash, but it was a fun experience to share.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Suzanne,

      I LOVE your humanness and honesty. I love your list and agree! I try to be a thoughtful person but not everyone is this way, but like you I continue doing what’s right in spite of it all!

      Your list reminded me of another pet peeve: I had a so-called “friend” who promised to call me to schedule a visit to help me while I recovered from a knee operation. I never heard one peep out of her!
      You see, I could never promise to do something for a person and then not follow through without any kind of explanation. Yes I felt bad, but I did my best to give the benefit of the doubt and move on! You find out whom you can rely on and trust and whom you can’t. I’ve also let “friendships” go where I am doing all the work and it is a one-way street. For me that indicates self love – I love myself too much to allow myself to be abused!

      Thanks so much for your great thoughts! My daughter is such a good artist that she is able to adorn her wall with her art work and her kids are so excited to see what mom brings home and they fight over her paintings! It’s quite cute!



  5. Susan,

    Wisdom and reflection as always! Hope you are well and getting some good family time.

    Hope to see you in PS when I’m there in February 🌴

    Pet peeve? People who drive in the fast lane and are not going fast.

    Have a great weekend,



    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Pat,

      I always love it when you stop by. Thank you for your kind comments and may I say that your demeanor and attitude are always inspiring.

      I have to agree with you on your pet peeve! Get out of the fast lane!! 😂

      Please stay in touch re your travels to the desert. I go back north in late February so hopefully our schedules match up.

      Much love from your ol’ college pal,



  6. Your sunrise photo is exceptionally beautiful, Susan! It sounds like your ukulele teacher has a great sense of humour:) Too funny on how this now becomes your Pet Peeve:) I am nodding my head, yes, yes, yes to your Pet Peeves. Our yoga studio is very strict on rules and now I understand how we all appreciate this. No one is allowed into room late. No extraneous supplies, including cell phones, socks, keys.

    Re: loud music/sound in restaurants and stores. I am the person who (politely) asks (tells) them to turn down the music.

    My daughters and I have a continual joke on how I am constantly saying “I am not perfect.” There is even a T-shirt gifted with these words.

    I get it on the Mother/Daughter stuff/communication:) The time together priceless!

    Beautiful words, and beautiful photos, Susan! Gorgeous daughter, and I can see where she gets it💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear E,

      I love your comment as it helps me to feel that I am not all alone in my human foibles and struggles. Yes I try to take life as it’s dealt me, and yes I try to do the best I can to maintain positivity and hopefulness, but once in a while I think I need to scream, ha ha. This was a fun blog to write and probably one my daughter had been waiting for, as she asks me from time to time with a sly smile, “when are you going to write about complaining?” So this is dedicated to her! And it naturally segued into our paint nights together. That’s a funny thing about the creative process that we’ve both spoken about…I start out in one direction and inspiration takes me to a place I didn’t expect. I love that!

      My sister Linda takes photos of sunrises and sunsets from her back deck and shares them with me. So I shared it with the world but she gets all the credit.

      When my daughter and I walk into a store and the music is uncomfortably loud, she gives me the eye as in “don’t say anything Mom.” Ha Ha.
      I try to give feedback to store managers as well but I feel most of the time I am tilting against windmills. Once I was in a sushi restaurant and annoying hip hop, R&B, was flowing right down over our table. My son, who knew of my sensitivities, kindly asked management to turn it down. Wow, I was so happy that I didn’t have to say a word. And the music was turned down and we went on to have a nice family dinner. I

      Thank you so much for reading, commenting and the kind words . I figured you could definitely relate to the mother-daughter dynamic. I’m so grateful to have two big strong sons, but there is something so special about having a daughter. She calls my husband and I almost every day and if she doesn’t, I ask “what’s wrong?” hee hee


      Liked by 1 person

      • A huge, yes, Susan, starting in one direction with a story and inspiration taking us to a place we did not expect.

        Your sister lives in a gorgeous part of the world. Thank you for sharing the beauty. I do believe it creates a ripple effect.

        Family dynamics are interesting. I believe we are both in each other’s lives for a reason.

        Also, how our paths crossed and connected, Susan.💝

        Liked by 1 person

      • I love your writing and the things you write about. Yep, Miss Donna from retirement reflections changed my blogging life and was instrumental in us connecting! Both you and she are generous, giving, vibrant souls!


        Liked by 1 person

  7. I didn’t know there was a pet peeve week. Thank you for making me aware of that. I’m with you, I’m annoyed by random loud noises [that aren’t an alarm to tell us to be safe]. My pet peeve is the fact that people around here put flag holders on the back of their mailbox posts, then place the American flag so that it waves toward their houses instead of out toward the street. Historically you follow your flag into battle, it leads the way. You do not aim your flag back at yourself and impale yourself on it. That’s just plain stupid and looks so wrong to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Ally,

      I love your comment and I’m going to share your astute observation re the flag attached to mailboxes with my son-in-law, a US Marine reservist, who is always up on flag protocol.
      What this says to me is you have honor running through your veins.
      Thank you for sharing your pet peeve with me.

      Ever since a lady continually came in late to yoga class (at a family gym) throwing her stuff noisily all around next to me, I’ve been wanting to write about pet peeves. I simply noticed how annoyed I became by her rudeness. Although I was there to cultivate serenity, I let myself get ruffled. It was a moment of self awareness, and although inwardly I was not proud of my irritation, I realized at the same time that I am only human and trying my best. And perhaps this lady was not fully aware that her actions might be disturbing to others (although her bracelets were clanking loudly😂). The good thing is I can laugh about it now – and humor alleviates annoyance – to be sure!

      Thank you for understanding, reading and sharing your own irritation. It’s wonderful to be human and share our vulnerabilities with each other.


      Liked by 1 person

  8. How did I miss pet peeve week? I loved reading your pet peeves and seeing the photos of you and your daughter. You are both so talented!

    Here is one pet peeve: waving to another runner or saying “Hi” when we are passing on a path and having them ignore me. Really? We are passing within one foot of each other. We are both running. You mean you can’t expend the energy it would take to breifly acknowledge me? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Laurie,

      My daughter and I have a lot of fun (when I am not groaning) on these paint nights that provide an opportunity to satiate our creative urges and to laugh!

      I love your pet peeve and completely understand. My husband walks everyday and says hello to everyone. Once in awhile he will keep coming across a “Grinch” on his route, and although he’ll give them the benefit of the doubt, he will soon adjust his behavior if it repeatedly happens. He’ll save his breath.

      Having said that, please continue to be your warm, friendly, waving self! Most folks will reciprocate but once in awhile, we come across a grinch. We inwardly wish them well and don’t allow them to disturb our cheery mood or serenity.

      Wave on!!



  9. Hi Susan!

    I have many pet peeves, but the one at the top
    of my list is when people are sick 🤒 and are out in public ignorant (or not) to the fact that they are passing their “bug” onto others. I hate being ill; it robs me of a day (or two, or three) of active living. The last thing I want to do when I am sick is give my germ to someone else. I never hesitate to reschedule a busy week of appointments, even if it means being assessed a cancellation fee, so that I don’t infect others.
    Presently, I am at home suffering from cold symptoms. I wish I knew the moment that cold virus entered my body and from whom it came so I could tell him/her how very selfish he/she is . Please! Get off the “merry-go-round” of life when you are contagious and jump back on when you are healthy again.

    Yikes! Cold and flu season is around the corner. Beware of what lurks in the grocery line!

    As always, I enjoyed and laughed while reading your blog. You have a wonderful writing talent. 👍🏽 Thanks for inspiring us all!

    Your friend,


    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Friend

      I’m so glad I gave you a laugh! I would much rather make people laugh than see them cry! I’m kind of a germ-a-phobe but not to the point that I won’t shake people’s hands. However, if they are sniffling or coughing, I put distance there! I so understand your pet peeve because the last thing I want to do is infect others. You are a considerate person and I wish more people were like you! A friend today said she almost feels like resorting to wearing a mask when she travels. Now you know why I don’t travel too much. I don’t like crowds and germs !! 😉



    • Dear Bonny,

      Thank you so much for reading and commenting! Since I’ve written this, I’ve thought of so many more pet peeves that I have, ha ha. But so glad I limited it to 3. Who wants to read about me bitching? No one, especially my daughter, hee hee.



  10. I loved this post!

    It was so neat to see the paint night stuff. You both are great artists and the fact that you can do that with you daughter. What a gift
    Wonderful post and thanks for sharing Susan! I liked the light nature of it and the self deprecating humor.



    • Dear S.H.

      I so appreciate the kind comment regarding my artistic ability or lack thereof 🙂 The most important thing is we have fun and it satisfies a creative urge. In this day of addiction to technology, it becomes even more important IMHO that we channel our creative abilities in any way that appeals to us. The blog is my way of tapping into inspiration and see what comes out on the other end.

      My daughter is a much better artist and it really is therapy for her. I’m so glad that she can do it because she has a very stressful job and I think these art nights are a really healthy pursuit and activity for her.

      Thanks for seeing the lighter side of this piece and its humor – it was certainly a contrast to my last post which dealt with tragedy. That’s life, isn’t it? Some days are filled with tears; others with laughter and many days with both!



  11. Dear Susan,

    Thought provoking! And I applaud your bravery in being so genuine.

    What was interesting to me is that those things that annoy me (when I start to list them) are the very things I’m guilty of, too.



    • Dear Suzette

      As always it is an honor to have you here and to receive your lovely comment. I wish we lived closer and we could pick each other’s brains more often!

      I don’t walk in a crosswalk texting at the same time; I try to be mindful in a yoga class; I like gentle music – BUT I do agree… the things we don’t like in people are most often the things that we need to work on ourselves. If I don’t like a bossy person, BINGO, perhaps those are traits I possess which are annoying to others. That is why our dislikes and annoyances can reveal so much about ourselves. Not always easy looking at ourselves but doing so can bring self knowledge, clarity and forgiveness for ourselves and others.

      I told someone that I look back and laugh at the woman who came into yoga late all the time, bracelets clinging and clanging! I look back now and smile. It’s kind of funny and reminds me to endeavor to keep my own cool and not let people annoy me with petty stuff.

      AS ALWAYS, thank you so much dear friend for your love and support.



    • Dear Pam,

      I so appreciate you reading and commenting! I have a friend who read this blog and now every time she sees me, she comes up with a new pet peeve to share with me. I think I’ve created a monster, ha ha!

      Your pet peeves are justified- they indicate to me that you are a thoughtful, dignified person!



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