Well, maybe I am.
No, I’m not.
Okay, you caught me. Yes, I’m complaining.
Although I’m not speaking about complaining in the sense that something was underdelivered or overpromised, as if my hamburger was still mooing on the plate or charred to perfection like an overcooked hockey puck.
Even if that were the case, I’m not certain it ever feels good to complain. Do we really enjoy listening to one another complain all the time?
So why do we do it? Why do we allow ourselves to be sucked in by something so destructive, when all it seems to do is tear us down?
Well, it could be we don’t feel well. I sure know what that’s like. I seem to have caught the cold of the century. Almost everyone has had it or is presently consumed by it. It just won’t go away.
Or perhaps someone incited a negative thought. Check! Been there, done that.
Or unrealistic expectations may also provoke a feeling of pessimism.
Uh, do we really have to talk about this?
If we’re truly tired of hearing ourselves whine and moan, than maybe we do.
You see, when we complain, what we’re really saying is we’re not happy with the way things are.
Maybe we’re not happy with ourselves. Maybe we’re not happy with others. It doesn’t really matter. Because for the most part, this “thing” is something we are unable to control. Yes, there are some things in life that are beyond our control. And for those control freaks out there, myself included, it is the one “thing” that can drive us nuts!
But there is something we can control. That is our perspective. We, and only we, control what we choose to focus on. So every time this underhanded need to complain bubbles forth, we can make the conscious effort to change our attitude and how we view “things”.
And it will also help us gain a greater sense of gratitude.
Now there’s an interesting word.
It is a feeling of acknowledgment that one has received or will receive something to their benefit. It is an emotion that expresses thankfulness for what we have. It is an attitude that will generate acceptance and appreciation.
When we adopt this outlook, we are less likely to become frustrated, stressed and overwhelmed. We seize the opportunity to feel empowered rather than disempowered.
In a nutshell, we’re less apt to complain.
And that thought inspires me.
Forget the cold. Forget the negativity. Forget unrealistic expectations. I want to remain grateful. Grateful for my family. Grateful for my friends. Grateful for this day, this new year, no matter the uncertainty it will bring.
But I’m not complaining.
Well, maybe I am.
No, I’m not.
How about you? Do you feel like the grass is always greener? Is it easy for you to fall into the sinister throws of complaining? If so, what do you do to stop the cycle? And what are you grateful for?
Cheers everyone! I hope that life is treating you well. And, as always, thank you so much for all your support and wonderful comments!
I hope you’re feeling better now, Karen. Maybe even for the (barely audible) complaint. I think of it as letting off steam…it’s gotta go somewhere, and better outward than inward. Love to you xo
Hi Alarna! Feeling better is an ongoing experience that one never knows from day to day just how he’ll feel. But yes, it does have to go somewhere, though never to cause any harm or discouragement to another. At least I hope not. Lots of love right back atcha girl! 🙂
Thank you Karen for such creative writing, even when it’s about complaining. But you have such a knack for turning everything into a beautiful picture. Complaining turned into gratitude releasing stress make the heart overflow with positive thoughts. Hope you get better soon. Congratulations on your grandbabies.
Thank you so much Pirkko! That means so much. I work really hard to leave people on a positive note. There’s truly too much negativity in this world. I’m glad you enjoyed the post with no complaints. Thanks for all your well wishes! Take care. 😉
Marvelously written Karen! My mom never complained when I was growing up, maybe she should have! Or, not complain but state her case–so this is what I learned, not to say sh*t even if I was standing in it!
I do not like complainers, but just make sure that you’re standing up for yourself, and don’t accept things that are not in your best interest. I’m still learning this. And yes, I still can always see the bright side.
Amy Kennedy recently posted..THERE ARE NO RULES
Why, thank you Amy! Ah! You learned tolerance. And yet, it is so hard to be balanced and know how much is too much. Then there are others who will never learn to tolerate one another and all they do is complain. I don’t know Amy, that’s a tough one. All I know is I like you just the way you are. I have no reason to complain. You always see the bright side! Love that about you. 🙂
Oh Jeepers, good golly Miss Molly, my husband is the most negative, constantly complaining person I know. Most days I just ignore him and refuse to engage in the discussion when it goes that direction. But sometimes I just want to shake the crap out of him. He complains about EVERYTHING! And his response to almost anything I say contains one or more of these words, “can’t,” “won’t,” except for,” “don’t,” or just plain, “why?” There is always some reaons or other why everything I say is wrong, won’t work, or can’t happen. Sometimes it drives me bonkers. I hardly ever discuss any ideas with him because he’ll just reject them anyway as stupid or unable to happen.
I think I notice it so much because I’m the opposite. I try really hard to find a way to make things work instead of just automatically dismissing it as “impossible.” I believe in the power of positive thinking and creativity. At least let’s try something before we dismiss it as not doable. Right?
Anyway, I’m glad your not complaining, sort of, maybe a little bit, but not really.
I hope you’re surviving all of the wicked weather out there in SoCal. I’ve been wondering about my writer friends down in your area. Stay dry and out of harm’s way.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Patricia recently posted..Why Mississippi?
Lol Patricia! Would your husband be a control-freak/perfectionist? “Sometimes it drives me bonkers.” It’s a good think you lean towards positivity! Opposites attract and all that. But that’s why when we adopt the attitude of gratitude, we are less likely to become frustrated, stressed and overwhelmed and we’re less apt to complain. Oh my, you and hubby must have some interesting conversations. But you’re not complaining. Well, “sort of, maybe a little bit, but not really.” 🙂
I try to be a positive person and practice gratitude, though I do sometimes catch myself focusing on what I don’t have or what I could be doing better. I’m a very goal-driven person, so I often spend too much time thinking about what I should be doing to reach my goals rather than being present. But pausing to be grateful is a great way to connect to the present and spend time with what we have–family, friends, home, etc.–rather than what we’re working toward or what we wish we had.
Denise D. Young recently posted..Slowing the Story Down
Oh yes Denise, you are a positive person and no doubt put gratitude to use. Ah! Yep, it is difficult to stay balance when focused on our goals. And I must say I do not recall ever reading a negative, complaining blog of yours. “But pausing to be grateful is a great way to connect to the present.” Gratitude helps us keep our focus on the more important “things” in our life. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! Now I have no reason to complain. 🙂
Sometimes complaining helps in that it blows off steam. But just a little. After that, it just drags us down further. I had that lousy cold over Christmas, and it made me angry because with adrenal fatigue, it takes me 5x as long to kick something (as I’m sure you know). My husband and daughter had it for 3 days. Me? Two weeks. But I also tried to focus on how grateful I was to have plenty of paid vacation from my job, and that I didn’t have to go to work for that two weeks!
Hope you kick it soon!
Now see, when you complain, for some reason, it doesn’t quite seem like complaining. Why? Because you seasoned it with gratitude. Although I have to say that even if you had the time off, it wasn’t the way you had planned to spend your time off, I’m quite sure. I’m just so sorry to hear you had this because it lingers for so long. I hope I kick it soon too. But who am I to complain? Stay healthy Jennette! 🙂
It’s okay to complain if a lousy cold keeps you from holding two new grand babies. Congratulations to your bigger-by-two family, and get well fast.
Dearest Pat, I am so happy to see you! Thank you, you make a good point. “It’s okay to complain if a lousy cold keeps you from holding two new grand babies.” You better believe it. And you should see those two precious dolls! They’re adorable and I am working on the “getting well” part as fast as I can. But I’m not complaining. Take care Pat! 🙂
Complaining must have some useful purpose. Like a steam vent in a pressure cooker? If the vent gets leaky though, nothing gets cooked. First gratitude today: thank you for the outlet of complaining. Second, thank you Karen for the reminder that so much of what I have just fell into my lap: breath, heartbeat, husband, children, electricity, rain. Well, that’s been falling on my head, but all good.
Here’s to healing, of you, and your tiny grand babies.
Julia recently posted..For Real?
Ooh, that’s a wonderful illustration also Julia! “Complaining…Like a steam vent in a pressure cooker.” Nice! I am happy to provide the outlet my dear friend. And yes, some of the simple things in life are not really all that simple, yet they tend to be taken for granted. Love your attitude of gratitude. Thank you for your well wishes. I certainly hope I heal up soon or I’m going to go nuts! But I’m not complaining! 🙂
Hey Karen, I agree, it is better to be grateful than to complain. Gratitude and happiness are like muscles, the more you use them, the stronger they get. A daily workout is a good thing, no matter what.
Hope this finds you feeling better and ready to take on the world.
Thank you Prudence for your most excellent insight on gratitude. “Gratitude and happiness are like muscles, the more you use them, the stronger they get.” I love your illustration! Yes, we do need a daily workout. And I better be ready soon for something Pru. I am sick of being sick. But I’m not complaining. lol! 🙂
Oh how I now this control freak thing! 🙂
Speedy recovery, Karen! xo
coleen recently posted..Warm Holiday Wishes
*know (see how I’m illustrating it? haha)
Oh yes, I know all about this control freak thing. Thank you Coleen. I hope to be recovered soon. Who am I to complain? 🙂
You’re right, Karen, that there are many things we can’t control, but we can control how we react to those things (advice I’ve heard from some wise people), and applying gratitude is one way to get beyond the complaining stage. I’m grateful for good friends like you. I hope you feel well soon.
Lynn Kelley recently posted..Kissed by an Angel – Our Labor of Love
And I am grateful for good friends like you Lynn. Thank you for the well wishes. I hope to be better soon. But I’m not complaining. 🙂