In Which I Definitely Feel Like Complaining

A beloved project of mine faces sabotage.  I definitely want to scream, shout, and protest.

Complain, even.

So here I stand, halfway through March of 2024, wondering if my quest to traverse 365 days silent of gripe faces doom.  Inevitable, I suppose;  yet I resist.

I scroll through sunset photos on my Google drive, noticing that the sync feature has failed and no automatic upload has occurred for three weeks.  I grit my teeth.  Have I used this photo, I ask myself.  Can I duplicate media posts, I wonder.  Will anyone notice?

A woman recently told me that she has been following me for a while.  She lives out here, in the California Delta, so I found her pronouncement both startling and delightful.  About six years ago now — before the pandemic, in that void we vaguely remember as idyllic — I had an email from someone in Vancouver.  I had to summon a map.  That correspondent told me that she and her book club had been reading my blog.  Not since then have I heard from a stranger. I found it immeasurably encouraging.

I needed that.  Most days I bite back tears and remind myself of the plethora of worthwhile events that arise to fill each day.  Yet an abiding aura of discontent lingers.  I filled the empty hours with the project that now strains against demise.  I struggle for salvation; I meditate on positive outcomes; I make phone calls, send emails, and explore options.  Sand drops through the hourglass.  

A thousand times each day I catalogue my shortcomings.  Lest you think to admonish me, please understand that I’ve been cautioned to employ kinder self-talk.  Yet still the inner dialogue continues.  It feels like a muscle cramp, that astonishing, intense pain that causes us to double over and gasp.  We insist that the discomfort portends growth and improvement.  In reality only exhaustion and collapse follow.  Yet we persist.  We analyze each choice and action.  We compare ourselves to others — to skinnier, taller, richer, seemingly happier folks whose true circumstances we can only suppose.  Next to such pristine facades, our ugliness glares.  

Dawn begins to shimmer its initial feeble light in my transom window, reminding me of days spent writing at my little desk in the eaves of my Kansas City bungalow.  So many miles and hours and years away, yet forefront in my mind as the life that I have constructed here stands on the brink of collapse.  I purse my lips to withhold the anger that I yearn to express.  I hear my son’s gentle voice reminding me, live in the moment; manifest positive outcomes.  I shall try.

It’s the sixteenth day of the one-hundred twenty-third month of My Year Without Complaining.  Life continues.

One thought on “In Which I Definitely Feel Like Complaining

  1. Nicole Thibodeau

    You’re the best! I think this blog could be a great book… if ever you wanted another challenge.


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