I have been entrenched – all day – editing and preparing two wonderful videos that Sarah made of Pepper. It is new software that I am learning as I go along, thus it has stolen my day away. I hope to finish it by tomorrow in time for it to be tomorrow’s post. If not, you will get another “redux” from my pre-WP days! BTW, TIOOMIP (This is one of my ironic posts; as you can see, I’m still working on my Lexicon. . .)
I have a dear friend, Laurie, who told me about a book she was reading (“A Complaint Free World,” by Will Bowen) that has to do with creating new and good habits, and eliminating bad ones, particularly the habit of complaining. The author contends that in order to “hard-wire” a new habit into your behavior, you must practice it continuously, without break for 3 weeks (21 days). In order to begin this process, he suggests that you place a bracelet on one of your wrists. Whenever you behave contrary to the behavior you wish to establish within yourself, you change the bracelet to the other wrist, restart your “21-day clock,” and try again. After you have completed the 21-day cycle, supposedly you have created that new good habit (or bad if you prefer!) that will last for your lifetime.
I tried starting this during Lent last year. The habit I was trying to establish involved both “un-learning” an old one, and “learning” the new one – consequently, I was doing two things over the Lenten season – both “giving something up” and “taking something on.” I was no longer going to complain (about anything), and I was going to establish the habit of looking for the positive aspect(s) in any situation or occurrence that I would normally (and habitually) complain about. Much easier said than done to this seasoned complainer – primarily because the thing I complain about most of all is myself, and unfortunately, “I” am ever -present! Wish I could tell you how many times I changed my bracelet over that season…can’t count the times; but I will say that as the 21-day period kept extending, and long after the Lenten season came to a close (which lasts 40 days, minus Sundays), the time period between changes did begin to increase. I was sort of succeeding. There was one snag in my plans, however. The bracelet I was wearing broke (all those changes must have weakened the sterling. The author suggests and offers one of those rubber bracelets – probably should have gotten one of those!). Once it came off, it wasn’t long before I started noticing that I was complaining again. Maybe not quite as much, but the amount didn’t matter to me, it was the fact that I would hear myself complain about things – particularly those things over which I have no control. And if it’s something that I do have control over, then why not do something about it instead of complaining? The answer is that it’s easier to complain than to do. Complaining is the easy way out. It makes it seem as though you are concerned, perhaps even motivated, yet powerless – sort of a “poor me,” “poor us,” “poor country,” “poor world” attitude.
I’m also finding out, since I’ve begun a modified “change your bracelet” program (I don’t wear a real one, just an imaginary one – the kind that doesn’t break), that complaining doesn’t really accomplish anything anyway. If I complain because I hurt, the pain doesn’t change – it just makes other people more aware of it, thus draws attention to myself – the kind of pity I definitely do not want!. If I complain about how much I have to do, and don’t get done; well, the work I’m complaining about really doesn’t get done (too busy complaining about it), so therefore I look foolish and lazy to boot – and if someone else did the work for me, I’d probably have the nerve to complain about the way it was done! I’ve found myself complaining a lot lately about Congress. I am so sick to death of all the ying-yanging and childish behavior on both sides, the false rhetoric, the misinformation that some people accept as Gospel truth…well – there I go again! And did you notice? Nothing in Washington changed. Now is this the sort of thing I have control over or isn’t it? You decide. I have some housework to do (UGH!), and my back and arms and legs hurt! Oy! And another thing…
I’ve got to change my bracelet.
That should be enough. . .