It’s December 28th and I realize that I have only three days before I go COLD TURKEY on this complaining thing. In the last ten days, I’ve been pondering one question: WHAT CONSTSITUTES COMPLAINING?
Some complaints are obvious. “I wish you people would pick up after yourself, you’re driving me crrazy!”
But some are not so apparent. The sigh. The poignant glance. The shrug.
Which of these am I prepared to relinquish? I can’t answer that exact question — but I can answer another one: I am hoping to abandon ALL complaining. What does this mean? Will I suddenly become Joan of Arc, or Mother Theresa? Do I have to accept any abuse heaped on my head, to avoid complaining? I don’t think I mean to become a saint or a doormat. Legitimate ways exist to let people know that you would like them to consider modifying their behavior. Additionally, a lot of the behavior about which humans complain needs to be tolerated.
So I’ll define my quest as an attempt to go 365 days without complaining and, in the process, I hope to learn to express my requests for modified behavior in a manner that makes the expression palatable to the recipient. This requires me to accept their declination but not their behavior: I can tolerate what they choose to continue doing, or I can remove myself.
It should be an interesting year — which I have heard described as a Chinese curse.