In lieu of the tragedies in the world at large
and serious events in our individual lives, I’ve been making a concerted effort to limit my complaining.
I have, after all, a great life.
Our home is in a nice neighborhood.
My husband and I are healthy. After so many trips in our first two years together that an orderly quipped, “I’m giving you a frequent flier card, my man,” Alex hasn’t been in the hospital since 2011. I contend with hypothyroidism, but with the right prescription and vitamins, I’m kicking its butt.
We have fun friends we treat with the casualness of family. We have family we treat with the gentleness of our friends.
I’m fortunate as can be to write full-time.
Alex and I travel as much as we can.
Life is good.
Still, I find it in me to whine about this and sometimes about that. I disappoint myself when I complain about stupid, uncontrollable, unimportant things like winter or driving in Pittsburgh. Or drivers driving badly in bad Pittsburgh weather.
Perhaps I’m somewhat more reasonable when I shriek, “Eek!” for Alex to be my hero and save me from:
- Brown, squat spiders roaming the kitchen.
- Squiggly thousand leggers invading my office.
(It’s not that I can’t save myself, but hey he likes being my knight in shining armor. For real.)
- Or even to chase away the gang of deer that eat our laboriously planted flowers. The day after they bloom.
This is the stuff I frequently grouse about. None of which is worth voicing the words over, right?
I observe a lot.
That statement is the first sentence on the “About Me” page on my website.
Jackie often wishes my brain would shut off for a while as I spout observation after observation. She’s been officially listening to me rant about stuff longer than anyone else in our family. We always shared a room, which means when I learned to talk, I started prattling on about life as a toddler and never stoped.
I often say, poor Jackie.
Then I snicker.
There’s so much beauty to see and kindness to remark about. How can a person go through a day without noticing? Observing? Commenting? How, I beg you to tell me how?
Ah, but at times it is easy to make what I’ve seen be griping. To confess a stupid one, going to the grocery store aggravates me. Yes, really. It’s too big and it takes too long, and there are too many choices. Seriously, RoseMary?
Working to be different
It takes a lot of practice, but when I catch myself being negative—about the store and other silly things—I work to counterbalance with a positive.
- I hate the grocery store.
- I am grateful for money to take to the store to find any number of different food choices. (Particularly important when you are as picky as an eater I am!)
- The morning the crows cawing woke Alex too early. Complaint?
- Or say how nice is it to sleep with the windows open and hear the birds?
- Our sunny, rainy spring means mowing two times in one week!
- Mowing twice a week is a hundred times better than shoveling snow once a winter.
These are small perspective changes that help me be thankful for the marvelous life I have. So much better than being a negative Nellie about the occasional inconsequential unpleasantness.
Especially when my bad is minor compared to what survivors of too many incidents in our current world are challenged with daily—mentally and physically.
I’ll consider myself changed for the better when I can get in my car, drive across this haphazard city, singing at the top of my lungs to MercyMe and not make my usual quips about the drivers around me.
What do you want to stop complaining about?