“I try not to complain on Fridays.” – Sandy
That little quote above was told to me by a kickboxing buddy. She’s great lady with pleasant outlook on life. When she told me that she tries not to complain on Fridays I was struck by how simple the idea was. I mean, honestly, why would we complain on a Friday? It’s the end of the work week, for most of us, with the weekend bringing a little reprieve and maybe some freedom.
The odd thing is this quote also struck a funky cord with me. It reminded me of how much I might actually complain. After this last year, it may be hard to spend a day watching what I am saying. I created a habit out of complaining. Not on purpose, but it happened.
This last year has rolled by in a blur. A year filled with a crazy amount of emotional turmoil, restlessness and change. It wasn’t all bad and I would never change a thing, but it was hard. I had some lessons to learn and some truths about myself to uncover. I can see, now, that it was good for me, but I hated a lot of it.
I am so lucky that I haven’t had to go through it alone. A good friend of mine was going through something similar. Together we got mad and self-righteous, later working our way into acceptance and understanding. We learned what our part in these situations were and soon we were laughing at how ridiculous the whole thing was. I find that I am relearning how to be grateful. If I’m in a place of gratitude it is really hard to boohoo about life.
In a lot of programs they talk about dealing with life one day at a time, and it works. With the habit of complaining I have found one hour at a time to be more helpful. Humans are so reactive and it’s easy to find things to complain about, even when everything is going well.
In the book Illusions, one of Richard Bach’s characters explains that the situations we are in are only for entertainment or education. No matter what we are doing or going through we are either being entertained or we are learning. I feel this is a great perspective. For me, it takes the frustration out of living and allows me to see things in a less personal way. Maybe the world isn’t out to get me.
So, if I can think about everything I am going through, or have gone through, as entertainment or education, I can see everything as happening for me and not to me. This perspective can go a long way into changing my internal narrative. Maybe that internal change will help me not gripe externally to anyone who will listen.
One way to slow the complain train may be to ask myself “How can I stop my first reaction and give my best response?” I get mad at myself when I complain, but that isn’t helpful, so I am also learning grace and compassion when I screw up. I screw up a lot and whine-free-Fridays are a good place to start.
This system is not perfect, but awareness is my number one tool for combating habits I’m not a fan of. Seeing the issue, writing it down, and figuring out action steps will help. Even if I don’t follow through with the new plan I will have something set up for when I am ready. Progress is still progress, even if it’s invisible to others.
This month’s habit to tackle is complaining, so I am going to try not to complain on Fridays. Other days are bonus days, but Fridays are good days. So much better than Mondays.
I wonder how much my outlook on life could improve with this change? Maybe the people around me could be happier, too.
How are your Fridays looking?