One of the columnists I read regularly, who has some important stuff to say, is Stephanie Dowrick. She is a writer and interfaith minister and I suppose the columns I read could be described as short lessons in personal development.
Today, Ms Dowrick described a scene where a mother who generally feels undervalued by her family has had a long working day followed by a trip to the supermarket. On arriving home she asks her son for some help unloading the groceries. He is sending a text and asks her to wait a moment, she feels that her request is being ignored. Being already overstretched she reaches her breaking point and has a bit of a screaming fit (my words there). The son is bamboozled by Mum's outburst and feels that he is expected to jump at her every whim, leading to his own screaming fit.
It happens in every family, doesn't it?
Ms Dowrick goes on to suggest that when faced with these situations we should examine our own actions and reactions from the other's point of view. She suggests that the more difficult it is to follow this process the more important it is that we do.
It got me to thinking about my own trigger points. One is at dinner time. I can be cooking, I ask for the table to be set, a little later I ask again, as I begin to serve I ask again. By the time the meal is on the table the table might be ready or it might not. I might have to add cutlery or sauce or salt....
Depending how I'm travelling on the day I might be quite wound up by now.
It might or might not bother me when I personally carry all six plates to the table while every one watches.
IT WILL ABSOLUTELY BOTHER ME WHEN, HAVING DONE ALL OF THAT I AM THE ONLY ONE SITTING AT THE TABLE.
It will test me to the limit when I am hungry and the food is going cold and someone is still playing the PSP, someone else is on the computer, someone else gets up to get a glass of wine, someone else is just getting out of the shower and another has disappeared into thin air.
It will tick me right off when I have bought the food, prepared it, served it and no-one can be bothered to be there to eat it.
I don't expect help, I don't expect compliments and I don't expect thanks. I just expect to eat hot food. Together.
Do you have a never fail snapping point?