The flags hang unmoving in the serene morning air. With my usual cup of coffee, I wander from the porch to the kitchen mulling over the day’s obligations. A pride of Rotarians will gather in my home at 2, to prepare for an event being held Tuesday. Before then, I have a bit of food prep to do; supplies to organize; calm to gather around my fluttering heart.
My son’s old dog lies on the breakfast nook floor with her face resting on her paws. In a few minutes I will feed her. I’m delaying the process because she eats meat and I do not. My stomach cannot tolerate the sight and feel of her prepared dog food quite this early. The look she casts in my direction suggests that I should reconsider.
The contemplation of life occupies my mind this morning. I tried to explain this quest to live complaint-free to someone the other day. He kept shaking his head and saying, I couldn’t do it. I wouldn’t want to do it! He laughed and reminded me that we’re attorneys, we complain for a living. I conceded his point and fell silent. Finally, I shrugged. Nonetheless, I began. Then I paused, and shrugged again.
What could I say? Three years ago, when someone close to me learned about this blog, he scoffed. You complain all the time, he snapped. You’ll never make it! Why try? You have no idea how you talk to people. You’re so mean. You treat people horribly.
His words stung at the time and their echo still pierces my heart. I wanted to say, fair point, and so. . .Yes, that’s it exactly. I longed to assure him that I might just understand how people perceive me; and because I did, I intended to apply myself to this mission even more fiercely. His scowl intensified. I shook my head and backed away.
My coffee has grown cold. I move around the dog to reach the coffee pot and smile down at her. She exercises a great deal of patience, does my son’s old dog. She knows that I will come around eventually.
It’s the nineteenth day of the thirty-eighth month of My [Eternal] Year [Trying to live] Without Complaining. Life continues.