Finally it’s day seven. I’ve been attepting to live complaint free for a week now and this is what I can tell you for sure:
This shit is hard!!!!
(oh crap! was that an observation or a complaint?)
Well, not that this attempt is “poop” but it is one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, save forgive really mean people…nope, actually I think this is harder.
Thankfully the other day, a co-worker mentioned to me her theme song for the last month of tight deadlines and crazed emotions around the office has been this. And I have to say there is much wisdom in that Finding Nemo tune. Not only does it assume we CAN keep going, the choice also assumes we want to MOVE/CHANGE/GROW.
As I simply pay attention to how my internal dialogue responds to life I am realizing why my prayers for joy, peace and happiness during my meditation practice often don’t materialize: because I’m so stuck on how crappy the crap is! Let me give you an example.
This morning, as I was rushing my son and I out the door, I placed my tea mug in my favorite Nine West bag, imagining it would stay upright until I got to the car. Well, in twenty steps between the door of my apartment and the car I completely forgot about the tea, threw my bag in the backseat with Ameen’s stuff, chased him around the car three times before getting him in his carseat, raced the three blocks to the babysitter, grabbed Ameen’s diaper bag (further toppling mine) and half dragged half skipped Ameen up the stairs to the babysitter.
When I came back to my car, it smelled like Tazo Chai. I groaned, moaned and cursed at my stupidity and the failure of the starbucks travel mug design. Not only was my purse soaked in chai, but so was my wallet, eye shadow, iTouch and ear phones, my note journal, a scarf I planned to wear today and my cell phone. I dumped everything out on the pavement and watched the chai flow out. I would have taken a picture, as it looked as melodramatic as my description, but my phone wouldn’t come on.
I drove back home to get a towel to clean off everything and to make another cup of chai. As I wiped off my items I considered not allowing this to ruin my day. (Emphasis on considered, because I was close to tears after seeing the watermark behind the screen of my iTouch.) But I reasoned that it wasn’t worth a whole day of allowing my complaints to overwhelm me just b/c my music player was possibly dead. So I made myself list out five things I was grateful for as I drove to work and observed how I actually felt better… for a few moments. And then I remembered the compliment I received yesterday and felt a little more relief. Then I sang one of my favorite morning songs (check it out below) and felt even more close to happy.
All this to say, this complaint-free living isn’t easy and I’m certainly not perfect at it. But the journey of choosing to focus on the good continues to deliver the goods. So I’m gonna try to just keep swimming.