WHAT IS frustration? I am tempted to look it up - "google" it as what most of us have the luxury of doing these days. Have you noticed how internet technology has made us both physically and mentally idle? We no longer get to lift those heavy dictionaries, thesaurus or encyclopedia. When we need to get the meaning of something now, we look it up on the web. When we want to find some data or information about anything we think of, we simply enter the keyword into the search box of our favorite search engine, and voila! We have a million or so websites literally right at our fingertips. That's why when we do not know something now, we no longer search for it, or research for it, we now simply "google" it.

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Anyway, focus back to frustration. Unfortunately, as much as I am tempted to google the word, I am presently limited by a very important factor: idleness. Yup, my own. I'm enjoying the sound of evening showers by my bedroom window and would not want to ruin the moment by shutting down my laptop and turning on our internet-connected PC. Too comfy for that. So let's just settle for a chat on frustration, making use of what we have on hand - experience.

What can be frustrating?

Standing for hours in a long queue, and when it's time for your turn you realize they have ran out of the product you intend to buy or for some reason the system breaks down and the service you should be getting is no longer available. That's frustrating.

Studying for long hours and even days, memorizing terminologies and reading so many textbooks on a subject, only to find out that the examiner asked so many questions involving concepts that all seem alien to you. Frustrating.

Getting up so early to prepare your kids to school only to be caught in heavy traffic, and having your youngest child cling on to you, wailing and not wanting you to leave her in pre-school. Doubly frustrating. And yes, very familiar. (*sigh*)

Waiting for months (seven, to be exact) for the opening date of the latest movie from the Twilight saga - Eclipse - only to find out the day before the supposed opening day that the regular screening is cancelled, but that you can still catch the special premiere, a one-time show, at 12 p.m. - you read that right, 12 MIDNIGHT - at SM (Baguio) Cinema 4. (HU-WHAAAAT???!!!) Very frustrating. I am fond of conspiracy theories, and my take on this is that it was an evil ploy to make sure the midnight premiere is packed. (Postscript: I was right! The regular screening pushed through after all! And it is no longer in my schedule for today. Aargh...this is beyond frustration I tell you, and I may have to take this issue to the Volturi!)

I honestly think frustration can be a positive thing, though. It makes us realize what is wrong and forces us to take another course of action to thwart that thing that frustrates us. Frustration is something beyond mere disappointment, but thankfully not yet in the same level as desperation. No one should allow his frustrations to get into that level of hopelessness. That is never a good place to be, and I think no one deserves to be in that state.

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"See the positive possibilities. Redirect the substantial energy of your frustration and turn it into positive, effective, unstoppable determination."

-Ralph Marston