Tuesday, June 26, 2012
I hung the phone up and smiled that smug little smile I have when I believe I am superior, not just to those around me, but to the entire universe. A friend had issued a challenge. He asked me to go an entire day, twenty four hours, without complaining about anything. I couldn’t whine about how hot it was outside, the neighbor’s dog, co-workers, children or friends…… Just go twenty four hours without complaining about anything. Turn all those negatives into positive possibilities!!! No problem, not for an amazing guy like me!!!I had some errands to run. I told Joan how wonderful she looked today, how great supper was last night and bounded out the door. “Gosh, I’m on fire!!! There is no stopping me now.”
I unlocked the car and saw the seat had been pulled forward. Our son Tim had used the car and he likes to sit up further than I do. I pushed the little lever to move it back and muttered something to the effect of “You think the little so and so could have put things back the way they were. I got stuff to do!!!” The little voice, which I abhor at moments like this, said “Let’s see, you lasted all of what, three minutes?” (I hate that little voice.) “That one didn’t count. I wasn’t ready.” I started the engine and moved away from the curb only to travel about twenty five yards to a stop sign. In front of me was an elderly neighbor who was taking her time before proceeding through the intersection. You can only imagine what went through my mind.
As the day unraveled I found myself complaining about things I had no control over. It was way too hot for my taste, traffic lights took too long to change from red to green, and why did people with more than twenty items in their basket get into the express lane at the grocery? I worry and complain about the things I couldn’t possibly change so I don’t have to focus on the things I do have control over. Life doesn’t mirror self-help books or fairy tales. We don’t turn on a dime when it comes to modifying behavior. Usually I read a pearl of wisdom only to file it under “The World Needs This Not Me.” I’m the coach. I’m the expert!!!
You have to start someplace and the thought struck me that right around the next corner is a person whose day may be affected by my attitude. I can greet them with hope and possibilities or I can be the proverbial downer. We all carry baggage around and sometimes we forget about a piece or two that affects our demeanor and interaction with other people. My complaints with another person have nothing to do with them. It easy to take those monkeys off of my back and put them on yours!!!
I have to start someplace, so I’ll begin with ten minute increments. I have found that when I focus really hard on solving issues rather than complaining about them the load I carry seems lighter and I appear to smile more often. Least that’s what I’m told
Namaste my friends.