The measure of the task

Refraining from complaint often comes easier in pleasant surroundings.

From the elegant comfort of Jeanne Foster’s guest bedroom to the casual benevolence,  Marimekko fabric and Victorian writing desk of the guest bedroom in the home of Elizabeth Unger-Carlyle, I’ve been well-tended this week.  Still, I had to bite my tongue when the breathtaking boldness of someone’s dismissive behavior towards me revealed itself yesterday.  I didn’t quite succeed.  Paula Kenyon-Vogt sweetly endured more of my disgust than I wanted her to manage.

I lay in bed just after six today, listening to the Brookside songbirds.  I’m mere blocks from the home in which I raised my son and which I only recently vacated.  I don’t yet have the strength to drive past it, but the rise of the winter trees in this old neighborhood seems welcoming.  My brain struggled against sleep nonetheless.  The constant refrain of my self-examination hammered against the murky edges of my mind.  I finally broached an uneasy truce with myself.  I pledged life-changing measures in exchange for a few hours of rest.  I sank into slumber, surrendering my doubt, though the certain knowledge of my own proclivities awaited with the sunrise.

I can hear my friend Jeanne clucking over this entry.  Along with the rest of my little fan club, she favors cheerful passages.  But I do not feel it.  I confronted the knowledge of my own inabilities yesterday, including the persistent failure to embrace a true abandonment of lament.  My purpose in this effort includes public accountability for my trials as well as praise when I succeed.

So I confess it, again:  The month began with gross lapse into complaint.  Put aside the fact that the person against whom I protested would likely earn your disdain.  It’s the lack of complaint which I’ve intended to embrace.  Those who might deserve my outrage must tend to their own betterment.  Mine still eludes me but in the famous words of Lucille Johanna Lyons Corley, where life persists, improvement can flow.  I intend to forgive myself and start anew.  I might not be up to the full measure of the task.  I started on 01 January 2014 intending to go a full year without uttering one word of complaint and have not managed to do so for more than a few days at a time.  Sad, I know.  But not yet forsaken.

The birds have fallen silent, yielding to the grosser sounds of the city.  I must push forward.  It’s the second day of the fifty-first month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.


2 thoughts on “The measure of the task

  1. Pat Reynolds

    The simple fact that you persist is more than 99 percent of others do. So I still envy your valiant efforts.

  2. Jeanne Foster

    I was taught in the Army (when I was in the JAG Corps), when you screw up, you try again the next day. Giving up or excoriating yourself doesn’t help. And we are human.

    So I think you have a lot of reason to say, this asshole and that asshole are people I wish I had never met, and I know you know who I mean. They were twisted self centered miserable excuses for loving individuals and will likely never have a healthy relationship with anyone, including themselves. It’s like trying to pick the perfect pear, the fact that you thought it was a good pear doesn’t make it your fault in any way shape or form. So, I hope they get boils for hurting you and making you feel bad and forget about them.

    You are a courageous and authentic person who knows true north and has an internal barometer that works and you have encountered more than your share of rotten fruits. I admire you.


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