Ever since I moved back to my apartment, there has been an ant pile out next to the sidewalk right where my parking space is. I found it REALLY irritating. I'd notice it every time I was out there, and I'd kick it over sometimes, or drop water on it if I was adding water to my car, and I didn't bother watching where I walked unless there were a LOT of ants out, and only then to avoid getting bit myself.
Some days, it would set my mood for the drive, or for the next several hours.
Then I accepted the first precept: I will avoid taking life.
It was actually a few weeks ago that I started trying to practice the precepts. At first, the ants left my awareness all together - I was focusing on the bigger animals to start with. About a week went by, and insects and lizards and other small animals started to register more with me - usually right after I'd squashed a mosquito or fly. With the smaller animals, I'd find myself going out of my way to try not to scare them anymore than I had to - if you've ever seen one of our little anole lizards take a header off the second floor balcony, you know why. It looks like it hurts when they land!
The past few days, I've become aware again of the ants. It's a different awareness. I try to avoid killing any of them if possible (sometimes there are a lot, and they're moving fast, so when I start to put my foot down, the ground is clear, but when my foot gets there, an ant or 2 have run under it), and when that happens, I think a little thought wishing them well on their next rebirth. Rather than an annoyance, they are simply kindred living things, doing their best to make it through their day, as I am trying to make it through mine.
It is a very different way to live and look at the world than the way I've been living and looking. I find that I am happier, more peaceful, and have a better understanding of myself and my world.