Often I think we do not even realize we do it. We complain about how little sleep we got the night before, the guy that is driving too slow on the road, how a co-worker treated us. We might complain about the wilting lettuce that came on our salad, or how cranky we feel. It is almost second nature for us to complain. I am just as bad as the next person. I think about it though. I try to watch myself and see when I am complaining. I wonder what life would look like, feel like, or sound like if we did not complain. Would we all sound like Pollyanna?
This Fast Company article, “What It’s Like to Go Without Complaining For a Month” is an interesting idea. I know it would not be easy to do, and yet why not? Does the Pollyanna vibe feel odd to us because someone who does not complain feels fake? Does that mean that our society is so immersed in the idea of agonizing over the hand that we were dealt, that it is almost very strange to imagine not sharing our qualms, experience, and drama with our co-workers, family, and friends? Is it the drama that encourages to complain? Or is it the storytelling and community that comes along with going into all the gory details of all you went through getting your take out last night at your neighborhood Chinese restaurant?
Often I think individuals do not realize they might be complaining. We are all storytellers at heart. I am an addict of a good story. I love to laugh and while I am not one to make fun of someone’s misfortune I do love when a story weaves and explores what someone might have had to go through – even if it all happens in the process of complaining.
While I do not think I have it in me (yet) to go an entire month without complaining. I am going to *try* to be conscious about my complaints. For someone who is very free with my thoughts and what is on my mind, I could do a better job filtering the complaints. I should probably spend some time thinking about the list of ideas in the Fast Company article that are tips for complaining less.
“Say what you want to say.” I love this line from a Saturday Night Live skit. How many times in life do we say what people want to hear? Do you want to go out with me? Inside you are saying: “I am too tired, you bore me, I just need some time to myself.” Instead of being honest with others, we say yes, we go, and sometimes we wish we had just stood up for ourselves and said no. This skit shows how exhilarating it would be if we just said what we were really thinking.
Do you feel invigorated after watching? While I am someone who is more often than not going to tell you no and be completely blunt and direct about it. However, even for me there are times when it feels awkward, or when it feels like it is the right thing to do to say yes and go along with things. Usually when we are in those situations we feel how wrong our decision was and that we should have listened to our gut the first time. It is better for us all to: “Say what you want to say” rather than say what we think others want to hear.
We all do it. We dance in front of the mirror, in the closet, in our kitchen, and probably more often in our car while listening to the radio. I guarantee you will enjoy this video. I cannot get over this guy. A Dover, Delaware police officer is caught on video inside his squad car dancing to Taylor Swift’s “Shake It Off.”
I love when he sees someone he knows he stops and does not dance, and then when he passes them he goes right back to dancing. Even better is his specific dance moves throughout the song. It sure makes me want visibility to other police officer squad car videos. Bring it. Dance. If you are sitting on your ass in a car driving around, why not dance it off during your shift? As someone who has a “Dance Naked” print framed, I am all for dancing, loving life, and getting in the groove. ENJOY!
Each year Doritos has a contest for the best ad to air during the Super Bowl. (See my blog last year for the “Finger Cleaner.”) Individuals can submit their own Doritos ad and Doritos will select 10 finalists that are put up for a vote leading up to the Super Bowl. Think American Idol meets chips. While I am a lime chip girl, and rarely eat Doritos, I am always curious about what clever idea someone will come up with each year. I always have a good laugh. My favorite finalist this year is “Selfish Sneezers.” Maybe because it is spot on for what a bunch of guys would do in order to make sure no one touches their stash.
“Middle Seat” is a close second. Can you believe that first prize in the contest is a job at Universal Pictures plus $1,000,000? Does that make you want to start your Doritos video for next year?
Occasionally (Chris would probably rebut that comment and say often), I talk in my sleep. He thinks it happens when I work too much and have tons and tons of information coursing through my mind. Yet, the most recent occurrence happened around the holiday, when my brain was mush, and there was a tiny fraction of thoughts flowing in my head. My recent middle of the night rambling:
[Tami rolls over in bed.]
T: Put them in a pile. Put them in a pile in the middle of the floor.
C: Put what in a pile?
T: The sticks that are meant for play. I think I know what I’m talking about.
C: Ok babe.
Chris has learned it is best to agree with me in these moments. We have been married for 11.5 years. He has learned over time about my late night babble. It is like an alter ego comes forth via my subconscious and I can snarl, cuss, and disagree. Since everything makes sense in my unconscious mind while I sleep (it does for everyone, right)? Early on in our marriage I would talk and he would find it fascinating and ask me questions about my babble, if he disagreed with me I got a bit aggressive back at him. For example: if he said you cannot put sticks in a pile, I would snarl and get confused and frustrated as to why not.
Over time he realized that I would wake up in the morning and have no remembrance of our conversation, what I was talking about, or my reaction. He decided he would just agree with me. So if I said there are sticks coming out of my head, take them out. He might say something like: “okay, I did, is that better?” Agreeing meant that I could babble all I wanted, but not have to process why it was not logical or made no sense (thus last week’s ramble).
My husband is a saint. I think he should start to write down all my middle of the night ramblings, and we can compile and publish them together. A coffee table book?