Stop Complaining

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Stop Complaining 

Stop Complaining 

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

 

Potty Singing and Happiness

One of the most powerful forces in human nature is our belief
that change is possible. ~ Shawn Achor

thThe Happiness Series

     I am limping into 2016 determined to make the year less crappy. We retired in 2007 and every year after has had a good deal of crappiness. This year I said, “Enough is enough!” and have declared this year, one of happiness.

     I started by watching Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday television program, hoping to be inspired and I was. The show is a mixture of interviews with and lectures by Spiritual Gurus designed to improve your life. It airs Sundays, on OWN.

     I was most taken by Shawn Achor who along with Elizabeth Gilbert author of “Eat Pray Love” has admitted to crying on the bathroom floor. Shawn has studied the Science of Happiness since his days at Harvard and talks about Positive Psychology and redefining Happiness. I was unaware that Happiness is a science, but what he said makes sense.

     The traditional formula, Hard Work = Success = Happiness, does not work because happiness is on the backside of success. We are always chasing the carrot because it is moved continually . Since 90% of happiness is derived from how the brain processes the world, we can train our brain to be happy just as we train our body to be strong, with exercise. The train your brain exercises he recommends are; a gratitude list, journal about what makes you happy, exercise, meditation, and random acts of kindness.

     You can watch his lecture on Super Soul Sunday or visit his website for particulars.

     While we have heard some of this before, Shawn supports the “Happiness Advantage” theory with findings. He found that people engaging in any of the activities for 21 consecutive days, were happier. In other words, happiness is a habit and good habits, like smiling, make a difference.

     Since writing make me happy, and writing about what makes you happy is on the list, I am introducing the Happiness Series, with “Striped Sweater.”

 

Striped Sweater

      Snow falls throughout the night into the early morning. Soft sugar like flakes that tickle your face then flutter gently to the ground, remind me of creating angels in the snow. We are snowbound. The roads are driveable but it is safer not to. The accumulation is six to seven inches and the air crisp.

     Our eleven-year-old granddaughter is playing computer games with Aunt Janine and doing handstands on the living room floor. The Christmas tree is still standing with scattered presents beneath the artificial branches.

     Alexandria Antonia resembles my side of the family: fair skin, freckles, hazel blue eyes, and her dad’s auburn brown hair. She will more than likely be tall.

     Alex, as she prefers to be called, sings throughout the day, off tune. Her voice is wonderful to hear. She sings, “Striped Sweater, a sweater with a stripe” a song she wrote. There are no other words just this simple refrain. Papa wears an old green sweater that inspired the catchy tune. She denies liking to sing and in between handstands excuses herself to use the potty.

      We then listen to her joyful rendition of Jingle Bells from behind a closed door.

      This is happiness.

. . . . just saying

 

1984 Vs 2035

 259/365 Clock Work by martinak15 (CC BY 2.0)clockwork

Aging & Attitude

Happy New Year!

It is hard to believe it is 2015 but it is.

Mr. Wonderful* and I celebrated by eating at McDonald’s on the way home from Orlando International. We were hungry. We were away for sixteen days and that return flight was our best choice, besides New Year’s is not about fun; we are retired and have fun all the time. New Year’s is about making changes, anyway; it was a direct flight.

One of life’s challenges is change or to move forward, because there is no standing still and consequently we will go backwards or decline. This is evident with aging, and the realization none of us will escape wearing diapers and eating soft food. We can only hope to keep up with the changing world around us. Perhaps these thoughts are the cause of my recent dwelling on the novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” by George Orwell. You must recall the terms it made famous; Big Brother, doublethink, thoughtcrime, Newspeak, Room 101, telescreen, 2+2=5, and memory hole.

Reading the book as a sixteen year old scared the crap out of me. I could not imagine the year 1984, and doubted I would be alive to have Big Brother watch me. And if I were, would insist 2+2 equaled four and be convicted of thoughtcrimes .

It was 1964 and 1984 was twenty years away.

In 2015, I have the same predicament. I cannot imagine the world twenty years from now, and doubt I will be alive.

Not true! Senior Journal reports, “– Happy New Year! If you are age 65, and pretty much average, you should expect to live another 19.3 years, according to new life expectancy projections.”

Well I am pretty much average. In twenty years I will be eighty-seven and Mr. Wonderful eighty-six. Yes, I married a younger man. Our son will be sixty; daughter, fifty-eight and grandchildren in their thirties.

I am considering going vegan or at least eating blueberries for breakfast.

What will the world be like in twenty years? Will we get flying cars, personal robots and travel in space? Some people predict a Utopia existence free of pollution and poor health. Mandatory ID chips inserted in our brains will provide education and track our location so there will be no forgetting where you parked or left your keys. Right, we won’t need keys, nor be parking.

So now I am rethinking my New Year resolutions and changing my expectations. How important is losing five pounds?

 

. . . . just saying

*Mr. Wonderful aka, Bob, my husband

2014 Weight Loss Resolutions

New Year’s Resolutions

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