broken but not crushed

Helping each other live successfully and abundantly in the face of brokenness.

Location: Columbus, Central Ohio, United States

Thursday, July 06, 2006


I’ve learned to growl.

No, it’s not the menacing growl of a Rottweiler or the fearsome growl of the German Shepherd. It’s not even the “Do Not Enter” growl of a Terrier who thinks he owns the house. Mine is more like the under your breath growl of the big old cuddly English Sheep Dog who knows he put that bone out there somewhere but just can’t seem to find the thing.

Yes, my growl is the growl of frustration. I’m convinced my growl is a good thing, though, because when I vocalize the “grrrrrr” it helps me get past the initial irritation of the moment and allows me time to think of a solution to the problem at hand. My growl is very useful to me, and though it isn’t exactly socially acceptable in public places, I kind of like it. I scared a couple kids the other day when my wheelchair got stuck in a crack in the sidewalk, and while trying to figure out a way out, I growled. You should have seen the look on their faces! I’m still giggling under my breath.

Really, though, I am a person who thinks more clearly out loud, which I do acknowledge, isn’t always the easiest on those around me. I think my wife is learning to growl too, except her growl of frustration is at me growling! When I growl out loud she usually rushes to help me fix whatever is wrong, or at least calls out “what can I do for you?” Bless her heart, she is really trying to be a great wife, and she does a pretty good job of it. But truth be told, most of the time I’m just growling to help me think more clearly and her coming to help really doesn’t help. I don’t want to think about answering a question, I just want to solve the problem.

So I growl again – no, that’s not a good plan. But frustrations can really weigh down the thinking process. When I’m working in my woodworking shop and I’ve got a handful of ‘project’, I don’t want my chair’s wheels to get turned against each other. I have to stop cold, put down whatever’s in my hands, wiggle the chair until the wheels line up, move back to where the stuff was I put down and pick it up again and then try to maneuver across the room to the tool I was headed for in the first place – GRRRRRR!!!

My friends, I’m not going to try to tell you that you need to learn how to growl like me. It just so happens that a simple grrrrr works for me. But what I AM going to tell you is that if you keep every frustration bundled up inside you they will grow and fester and eventually explode sometime, somewhere, on someone - and from my experience, those occasions are not pretty. We all need to find ways to release those seemingly petty every day frustrations into the thin air so they can blow away without hurting us – or worse, causing pain to someone we love. We dare not allow an accumulation of nuisance aggravations grow into life defeating roadblocks that make us ineffective and unproductive.

Please, PLEASE learn to growl, or some other form of release that suits you, and refuse to allow frustration to paralyze your mind, freeze your soul, and stop your progress.

So, just for fun, why not try a good "Grrrrrrr!!!"

Growling along,


Blogger swedishgrammy said...

It's a challegne for the spouse of the growler also.


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