My New Year’s Resolution is to start writing and stop complaining, in other words, stop complaining about not writing and start. That was sixty-five days ago, I have not done either, which leaves me on the brink of becoming a statistic, joining the 92% of people making resolutions who fail to keep them, or since we are in the first week of March, part of the 80% who give up. Sounds grim.
But let’s think this through, if there are 365 days in a year and we are sixty-five days into the year that leaves 300 days to turn things around, so too early to give up. Right?
On the up side, although I have done no writing, zero, zip, zilch, twenty-one days have passed and I am not complaining about it, well at least not aloud.
Twenty-one days is considered a benchmark in establishing a habit, good or bad.
Sounds like progress, but maybe not really, the complaints stay in my head, and find visual outlets, strong ones.
For example, when my husband (aka Mr. Wonderful) reminded me for the third time to return a friend’s phone call; rather than my ranting he had already reminded me several times, and that I had NOT forgotten but plan to do it later; I smiled and said, “Thanks for the reminder,” then envisioned stuffing ten indoor snowballs in his mouth.
Not the best outcome, but I am not complaining, well not aloud.
Will Bowen author of “A Complaint Free World” deviates from traditional views about complaining and touts this popular American pastime as being helpful. I agree but have failed to convince Mr. Wonderful complaining has value.
Bowen says the first step to a complaint free world is to define complaining. The dictionary definition is “to express grief, pain and discontent,” his; a complaint is “an energetic statement focusing on a problem rather than the solution,” and if we stick to the facts, and remain neutral eliminating negative attitudes, we will engage in healthy communication.
So on Sunday when Mr. Wonderful questions, before noon, for the fifth time, if Ellen is coming on Saturday, I correct him without the “tude” and say, “remember we discussed going to the Funky Pelican for Happy Hour on Friday and the Bass Sports Store on Saturday, there is a free lecture on Fly Fishing. She is coming on Friday afternoon,” feeling I am making progress and understand he has been distracted by the Daytona 500, and Phil Mickleson’s one point off the lead golf performance.
In his lectures, Bowen delivers a strong case that once engaged in discussion that focuses on the solution rather than the problem we will discover how we want the world to really be.
I like his point and realize we do not have to keep quiet about Donald Trump’s tweets nor resort to a strong visual, as Kathy Griffin did, what was she thinking.
The next morning Mr. Wonderful asks again if Ellen is coming on Saturday, I focus on the solution, not the problem and suggest we write her arrival on his calendar.
. . . . just saying