Go a Day Without Complaining

Posted by: Lisa Shea

Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/19/13 01:41 AM

I was inspired by a book I just finished to embark again on a no-complaint quest. Here's the idea. You don't want to be a doormat smile. You don't want to be used. However, as Anthony D'Angelo says:

"If you have time to whine and complain about something<BR>
then you have the time to do something about it."

Not only that, but the stress in your body caused by complaining actively harms you. Those stress hormones eat away at cells, reduce sleep, cause blood pressure issues, and much more. It's so much better to be free of all of that!

So here's how it works. You make a goal simply to be *aware* of when you start to complain. Then redirect that energy. You don't want to bottle it up. You also don't want to indulge in it. Find a way to handle it. If there's someone else involved, find a way to constructively work with them to fix the problem. You can absolutely "up-manage" bosses and "re-train" family members. I've seen it done. I'll post all sorts of tips in these forums to help with those issues.

If it's something completely out of your control, like "this sucks, it's raining" - then being stressed or complaining about it is useless! smile. It's out of your control. It's a fact of nature. Accept it and find a way to work with it. Find something else to do. Maybe this is an opportunity in disguise! I'll also post tips on those.

Post in here with your challenges and achievements!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/19/13 04:48 PM

Starting fresh today. So far it's going well. Things are fairly quiet here, Bob is off playing golf, so it's me, the cat, and the parakeet. Laundry is running, dishwasher is running, Scooba is cleaning the kitchen floor, so lots getting done.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/19/13 09:46 PM

Well, I was doing well until Bob came home and was cranky, and I was cranky back smile. Still, a generally good day, and I'm making progress! So I started fresh after that.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/20/13 03:10 PM

Starting a fresh day of no-complaining! Let's see if I can make it through just this one day smile. So far so good!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/20/13 11:42 PM

OK restarting my no-complaint day. Bob complained about my handwriting on a recipe and I complained back smile. Still, I made it a while!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/21/13 06:06 PM

My no-complaint day had a minor hiccup midday but is going smoothly since then smile At a lovely lunch with my family, I drank all my water. I asked the waitress for another one. And waited. And waited. I got fairly thirsty. So I asked my Dad if I could have his, since he wasn't drinking his. Someone at the table commented, 'hadn't you asked for a fresh glass of water?' And I said, "Yes, I asked a while ago, and she never brought it." I realized that that sounded sort of grumpy so I added "not that I'm complaining" - but really, there was a hint of a whine in there smile. So I will own up to that.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/22/13 09:47 PM

Today has gone incredibly smoothly! I may make the whole day! smile
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/23/13 02:34 PM

My no-complain-project yesterday *almost* made it through a day! I was fine until the very end. I was fine through Game of Thrones. Then there was only watching Castle, and bed. It was all the food commercials during Castle which did me in, I finally complained about them smile Yes we were on a DVR but I still had to see them while fast-forwarding. They were causing unnecessary, bizarre cravings smile

Today is a fresh start!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/24/13 01:55 PM

I have achieved Day 2 of my no-complaining project! Yesterday was a victory! Bob fast-forwarded through commercials for me, to hep out smile It turns out the "triggers" for the past three days had all been food / thirst related, so I am being more attentive about those things. So we'll see how Day 2 goes! So far so good smile
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/25/13 08:21 PM

The USPS delayed the delivery of my priority-mail origami doves and now they won't get there for the peace conference. The USPS said too bad. I was already practicing patience using their automated phone system, which is atrocious, and then the customer service rep wasn't much better. But I did not "complain" - I stated clearly my issue and why their system and response did not match my expectations. They need to know that, maybe someone actually tallies those up. I can always dream. So my day 3 is still complaint free.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/26/13 07:33 PM

Today is the 4th Sequential Day of the current "round" in my no-complain project. I need to think of a better way to describe that. I.e. if I complain I start fresh on Day 1. What would that be termed? If I just say Day 1 it sounds like I just began - but that's not it.

In any case, yesterday had a spot or two where I could have complained, and I made a conscious effort to instead express my feelings in a supportive / informative way. So I am content with that.

So far today had a huge potential trigger - my camera's memory card failed on me and lost multiple days worth of files. Including all the daffodil videos I painstakingly took yesterday. But I did not complain or get upset. I have faith that software can recover most / all of them. Plus I had been *told* by my digital photography instructor at the beginning of the class to regularly reformat all my camera memory cards, to prevent this from happening, and I ignored him. So this could have been prevented. I tried a number of free software options but they want me to pay $40 to $70 to actually get the files. So Bob will look into this for me when he gets home.

I had a friend Debi over for a little while, and that was lovely. And we planted some more snow peas, and rinsed our bean sprouts, and I've had two veggie shakes. So all in all even with its hiccups the day is moving along nicely.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/27/13 03:55 PM

No Complaining Project - Reboot 5 Day 5 - a sunny delightful day, I'm mixing up hummingbird nectar. I haven't seen one yet, but I'm hopeful!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/27/13 05:37 PM

oops! Just complained about a scheduling snafu. My mom tried to schedule my graduation party on the day of Bob's gig out in Charlton. Ooops. Starting now on Reboot 6 Day 1 smile. One day at a time!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/28/13 04:54 PM

No-Complaining Reboot 6 Day 2 is going smoothly. Gorgeous sunshine, my schoolwork is set, the clothes are washing, the dishes are too.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/29/13 03:39 PM

No Complain Reboot 7 Day 1 - restarting due to a minor glitch smile. I was pulling out supplies from my origami shelves, a box tumbled, and a complaint ensued. One day at a time!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 04/30/13 07:11 PM

No Complain Reboot 8 Day 1 - today was a massive project clearing out all the pricker bushes mixed in with the forsythia. I'm proud that I only complained once smile. It was a long swath along a stone wall, and I got it all cleared and neat! Now we're going to put stone edging around the forsythia, and perhaps plant some chocolate chip bugleweed in front of the stone wall as ground cover, and it'll be lovely . Happy happy.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/01/13 09:02 PM

No Complain Reboot 8 Day 2 - so far so good! Maybe because I wasn't out digging through pricker bushes all day smile. Making lots of progress on various projects, enjoying a berry-filled Champagne Cocktail, parakeet is warbling, life is good smile.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/02/13 05:02 PM

No Complain Reboot 8 Day 3 - sending reminders out about the upcoming Mused Literary Review deadline on May 8. I love working on Mused smile
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/03/13 11:10 PM

OK restarting on No Complain Reboot 9 Day 1 - we had to race to get my three photos to the location in time to register for the art show, and I ended up complaining. There was no need to race either, if I'd planned the day out a bit better. So I need to be aware of that. No need to cause myself extra stress.

The rest of the day was smooth, though, so overall I'm content. And this is my third art show this year, so that is exciting for me. I'm enjoying them. This one had a flower theme, and I love flowers.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/06/13 12:51 PM

No Complain Reboot 10 Day 2 - had to restart yesterday when I complained a bit about the initial placement of our new fire pit smile That's all right, one step at a time. I do like having it! Very serene. How are you doing in being aware of your effect on the world?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/07/13 10:15 PM

No Complain Reboot 10 Day 3 - a gorgeous day. The fire pit is in a new spot and I adore it there. I'll post a photo. I had dinner with a friend and delicious dessert. A lovely, lovely day.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/08/13 06:52 PM

Ooops - No Complain Reboot 11 Day 1. I was pouring my artichoke liqueur for my Champagne cocktail, trying to add just a little. The bottle isn't meant for pouring small amounts apparently smile. I ended up with it all over the table. I might have been a bit exasperated by that.

Starting fresh! smile

How are you guys doing?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/12/13 05:05 PM

No Complain Reboot 12 Day 2. Yesterday I was running late for a formal dress dinner event and complained a bit in the process smile. Still, the event was fantastic and I enjoyed it immensely!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/15/13 11:11 PM

No Complain Reboot 13 Day 1 smile LOL. Still aiming for that 5 day elusive goal. Today it was that the kitchen was so full of plants, dirty dishes, printers, old stereos, etc., that there wasn't one clear spot to put down the mail. I snapped smile.

And then I took a deep breath, and Bob helped out. We got all the plants outside, now that the last cold night has finally passed. I did two loads of dishes. I have all the printers and stereos documented on craigslist now and they're going upstairs to wait for the requests to come in. I hung up the jackets. So now I'm really happy, because the kitchen and dining area are in great shape.

So I have to learn to take that deep breath when I hit the challenge, and pause. Really, in the grand scheme of things, having a temporarily dirty kitchen isn't that bad.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/17/13 02:53 PM

No Complain Reboot 13 Day 3 - still aiming just for my five day goal for now. So two more days to go. I am learning new patience and "pause" skills every day, which is great. Today looks sunny and lovely. A great deal of things on my to-do list, but I'll take them one by one.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/22/13 04:09 PM

No complain Reboot 14 Day 4 - getting close to that five day mark! I will strive to be peaceful, calm, and supportive today.

How are you guys doing? Are you becoming more aware of triggers that disturb your peace?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/23/13 08:31 PM

No complain Reboot 14 Day 5 - if I can make it through today, I have a new Lisa record! I can do it! smile smile
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/24/13 05:34 PM

LOL that's OK, I had a glitch.

It involved driving in pouring rain, trying to answer the phone while driving in said rain, being late, and being scolded for being late.

So note to self - just don't answer phones while driving in rain smile.

So I'm on No Complain reboot 15, Day 2. Which is fine! Today is a fresh day.

How are you guys doing?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/26/13 10:28 PM

A lovely weekend with my son visiting has me on No Complain Reboot 15, Day 4. Still aiming to make it past 5 days. We'll see!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 05/31/13 05:13 PM

Taking life one day at a time really does help! I'm now on No Complain Project Reboot 15, Day 9. I was expecting that my stressful day in New York City would have me complain, but Bob and Dad did such an awesome job of nurturing me that I made it through without a complaint! Yoga and meditation absolutely help.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 06/05/13 03:28 PM

This No Complain project is helping me immensely. I have become much more aware of when I start to feel a little unhappy / cranky and to figure out why. Often I'm either dehydrated or my blood sugar levels are low. When I address that, I feel better again.

Looking back over my times I complained, it was usually because I was "out of sorts" to begin with and then snapped when something happened in life. When I'm feeling all right, I handle those hurdles with much more grace.

Today I'm at No Complain Project Reboot 15, Day 14. So I'm nearly half-way through the 30 day goal!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 06/14/13 09:00 PM

An update for me. I am now on No Complain Project Reboot 16, Day 5.

Backstory: About ten years ago one of our cats, Oscar, briefly caught on fire by walking on the bed headboard when we were in bed and had a lit candle there. We of course put him out promptly, but we no longer use real candles in the bedroom and are quite sensitive about candles near the cat.

So on Sunday I was tired, hungry, and working on my photography class assignment. I was trying to take a photo of a lit candle in darkness. I decided that the ideal place for my test would be to put the candle on the futon to get the fabric wrapping beneath it and then up behind it smoothly.

I put the unlit candle on the futon. Julie the cat immediately leapt up next to it, thinking I was going to do something on the futon. That is "her spot" to snuggle with us.

I got annoyed / upset at her being near the unlit candle because there was no way I would light it with her on the futon. So I removed the candle. She hopped down. I put the candle back onto the futon. She hopped back up. I vocally grumped smile.

So clearly this was silly of me. The futon is HER place. This is where she likes to sit! She was being natural and normal for wanting to be on the futon. I should have chosen another place for my photo shoot of a live candle. Which I did end up doing. And it was fine. Why should I be grumpy with Julie for doing what a Julie is known to do? How could she understand that this one time she wasn't supposed to come onto the futon with me?

Really it stemmed from me being tired, hungry, and in a rush. I knew better than to let myself get into that state. The more I am aware of those warning signs, the better I can be about solving them proactively.

Still, I made it quite far before that point, and I am fine to start fresh and put my learning to good use! Sleep well. Eat healthy meals in small, regular doses smile. Don't rush.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 06/25/13 07:04 PM

OK I made it to 15 days before complaining, so that isn't too bad! That means I am now on Reboot 17, Day 2. Yesterday was just SO hot, and I knew I was tired and cranky. And then my FTP software wasn't working, and I was worn down and frustrated. So I complained about it. So lesson to self - when it's hot, drink more ice water! And turn on the fan. Life gets so much better smile Really, the FTP issue wasn't a huge deal. Bob gave me a hand, it got fixed, and life went on!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 07/09/13 03:49 AM

Do Not Complain - Reboot 18, Day 2. I think I'll be easing the show "whodunnit" out of my schedule smile. Just a bit too inane for me.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 07/18/13 10:43 PM

No-Complain Reboot 19, Day 1 - the heat got to me. Bob now put the AC in my office window and I feel SO much calmer and relaxed smile Still, I'm going longer and longer between reboots. That in itself is a lovely thing.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 07/29/13 09:31 PM

Reboot 20 Day 2 -

I do still hit hiccups, and they are informative, to help me review my life and what my "triggers" are. So I did hit a hiccup last night, and it began with the quite messy state of the house, me tripping over something that has been in the kitchen for at least a month, and being grumpy about it.

Clearly, having a mess everywhere impacts my serenity. So I need to take more proactive action to get this mess cleaned up and put away.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 08/07/13 09:26 PM

Reboot 20 Day 11 -

Bob and I get into intriguing discussions now about what exactly constitutes a complaint. If I make a request, but it's in a frustrated tone, is that a complaint? He'll ask - and he means this genuinely - "could you have said that in a different tone?" And I'll stop and think about it. And often I do see that while I worked to choose healthy words, I still let frustration color them.

Certainly one could say "If I am frustrated I should express it rather than bottle it up". And that is true. But then the next step should be, "why am I allowing this to frustrate me? Is it really worth sapping my energy and health levels over this? How can I deal with it in a positive way?"

Case in point - the mess in the house. It's not rocket science. The mess makes me cranky. But griping about it clearly doesn't help smile. If I just keep griping, that won't lead to a positive outcome. Action needs to be taken. The mess won't clean itself smile. So I need to map out a plan, and implement it. That would be a far better use of my energy, and would lead long term to a much happier Lisa.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 08/31/13 03:53 PM

Reboot 21 Day 7 -

I did get cranky last weekend, and it was over something that I shouldn't have let get to me. So again a reminder that I should take a deep breath and not allow "minor things" to bring stress into my world. My health is important. My ability to help others serenely is important. The more I manage my stress, the more I can help others and be healthy myself.

I feel I've done well this past week. There were various hurdles, yes, but by thinking about them I was able to find a solution of some sort.

We choose our reactions. And, in a very palpable way, we choose the world we live in. We can choose to react to something with equanimity or with stress. Why choose stress? Stress harms us. By choosing even a non-reaction we store up our energy to be used for more important projects.

One day at a time!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 09/06/13 04:59 PM

Reboot 21 Day 13 -

Today could have been a test of my "do not complain" project. I am entering three abstract photos into a photo show. The drop-off period, to drop the photos off at the gallery, was yesterday and today from 4-7. I was planning on doing it yesterday, but when I began framing yesterday morning I realized I'd printed my prints with too much of a white margin. You could see strips of white on the edges of the photo. I also found that I really liked the combination of black mat and black frame for all three photos. I only had two frames like that. So we went out to Michael's and got another one. We weren't home until late. I then reprinted the three photos at the proper size and left them overnight to dry.

So that left today for framing and bringing them in. I woke up at 2pm or so and came down to start the process. It always takes me a while to frame photos because bits of white dust fall from the frame, get caught against the mat, and then show up as glaring spots in the final image. So there's a lot of cleaning, mounting, sealing up, finding the spots, unsealing, and so on. Eventually I get it just right where no dust has fallen into the viewable areas.

So there it was, 4:30pm and I had everything framed and ready to go. And then I realized there weren't connection points to run the wire from. The gallery requires the frames be "wired" for hanging. Usually the frames have enough of those rotating "hold the back in place" thing to just tie the wires onto those. But these frames didn't. And we don't have any of those little eye-hook things in the house.

So Bob is running off to Home Depot, so he can get home with the eye hooks, so I can wire the frames, so we can get them to the gallery by the 7pm deadline. Which is in 2 hours smile.

Sure, I could complain. But it's my own fault for waiting until the last minute to print out and frame these things. And it's not the end of the world. He'll get the eye hooks, we'll wire them up, and it'll be fine. And even if something else happens, and I miss the deadline, then I'll live. It's just one gallery show. Life will go on.

So I think that is the key. To prepare as much as you can so you have time to handle all the normal hurdles life has. And if you go get into a situation where you have to handle hurdles quickly, to simply do your best. It doesn't help to get stressed. In most cases being stressed makes it worse. Just do your best, and keep it in perspective.

How are you guys doing today, with the normal hurdles in your lives?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 01/02/06 02:02 PM

Reboot 22 Day 1 -

Well, it was the mess that did me in again. I was in the kitchen climbing past Bob's amplifier and over the Dremel tool we were using to wire up my photos for my photo show, to get to my morning shake. I got in OK, but on the way out I tripped and banged my knee fairly hard. So first I let loose with some oaths, which I don't count as complaining as that is "pain reaction". But then I got into muttering about the mess, which is more in the complaining department smile. It shows again, if we'd just keep the mess down, I wouldn't be triggered by it.

And the mess *was* down only a few weeks ago when we had friends visit - so this is all new mess. Which I think is part of what frustrates me. No need for dremel tools and amplifiers in the kitchen!

So starting the counter again at day one smile
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 09/23/13 06:31 PM

Reboot 23 Day 6 -

This most recent reboot was caused by a combination of the kitchen mess and me being quite hungry. I find that when I'm hungry I'm less able to cope with other stress. So it's a good reminder to me to eat regular, small, healthy meals and snacks. That keeps me on an even keel.

So far today is going smoothly. Oodles of things to do, but I am moving through them one step at a time. Sangria always helps too smile.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 10/07/13 02:43 PM

Do Not Complain project Reboot 24 Day 2 - lack of sleep and frustration with rudeness did me in. I snapped at someone. Not good. I'd tried to cram in helping out at an Art show Sat, driving 1.5 hrs to an art gala dinner Sat night, then driving 1.5 hrs back Sun morn to work the art show again. Little sleep. At the gala, people were talking loudly during the speeches which bothered me a lot.

Then at the Sun art show, a local station was video-taping the award ceremony and again people were talking loudly in the background during that taping. I tried to ignore it. But then during a final segment someone was about to walk right *in front of the camera* to go and take his painting down which was the key focus art right behind the interview. I was a bit curt in pointing out to him that - hello! They are filming! Please wait just two minutes! #donotcomplain
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 10/25/13 12:26 PM

Do Not Complain project Reboot 25 Day 1 - one of my triggers is when Bob reads his email while driving the car smile. I try my best not to complain about it, but I admit my comment comes out with a fair amount of annoyance in it smile. And to be fair, I do think this shouldn't be done. But then I should drive, rather than expecting him to always drive.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 01/14/14 10:03 PM

Do Not Complain Reboot 30 Day 2 -

It's been a while since I've updated my Do Not Complain project. In general I have gotten much more aware about when I start to feel cranky. I can take a deep breath and a step back. I find that helps immensely. I can put issues into perspective and find a way to deal with the issue in a constructive manner.

There are of course still times that I fail to watch for the approach of crankiness, and fall over the edge into crankiness smile. I still strive not to take it out on others, but there are times that it leaks out.

I find my photo-a-day project helps a lot. It keeps me aware of the beauty all around us and how each day is precious. Working on projects with daily progress helps too. I always have a sense that at least something is moving forward, even if other things are facing hurdles.

How are you guys doing in this new year?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 01/15/14 06:37 PM

Do Not Complain Reboot 30 Day 3 -
A good example of the process I go through. Last night (well, technically, this morning) I was curling up in bed with Bob on one side and Juliet the cat on the other. Both began snoring smile. Part of me thought, "really? I'm sleepy." But then I gave it thought. Both are in good health. We are a contented family. Would I prefer that one or both were not there?

So I gave each of them a warm hug and appreciated that they were there with me, however that happened to be. And they both stopped snoring! And life was blissful smile.

I just woke up, Bob is serenading me with lovely guitar music, and I'm having my morning shake. Life is lovely.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 01/22/14 12:39 AM

Do Not Complain Reboot 30 Day 9 -

I found myself starting to get cranky today and thought about it. I realized two things were involved. First, I was quite hungry but kept putting off getting food so I could plow through my work load. Clearly that wasn't a good plan smile. So I took a break mid-project to get a nice salad and a glass of wine.

Second, I have TweetDeck running continuously on my PC so I can glance over occasionally and see what news is active in my feed. That lets me then forward interesting studies on health, news on ebook publishing, or so on. Usually this is a wonderful way to easily keep a quick eye on my areas of interest, by following certain hashtags.

I want to phrase this part not as a complaint smile. Someone I follow enjoys swear words. They use them fairly frequently in tweets and often with unflattering intentions toward others. When I see those posts my serenity is reduced. If there's a flurry of them in a row, it can wear at me. I use that area of my life to uplift and help others, so it impacts my mood.

I tried for quite a while to try to see them differently. To accept that we're all unique and on different paths. But today, at last, I decided that this just wasn't healthy for me. Yes, she can be on her own path, and that's great! At the same time, I need to best bolster my own path. I'm just juggling so much right now that I need to make my environment best supports me in that.

So I wrote her a (hopefully) gentle note explaining that I did still like her immensely, and her posts are undoubtedly great for others, but they just can't be in my feed any more. It's interesting in our modern world that "unfollowing" or "defriending" can be such a traumatic experience.

But I know for me it's the right choice.

Have you had to do that?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 01/23/14 10:09 AM

Do Not Complain Reboot 31 Day 2 -

Ooops, food did it to me yet again. I compiled a slow cook recipe book which then had me craving corned beef. Bob went out and got all the stuff, even though it was out of season, and we even bought a new slow cooker too. He went through a fair amount of effort to cook it all. The smells were wafting through the house for hours.

So I'm starving for it and finally I get it on my plate ... and it's tough, pink, and salty. My desire is totally falling apart, dissolving in the mouth, and grey. So, in my brain-addled starvation state, I became fairly petulant smile. Which wasn't quite fair to him. He went to three different stores looking for supplies and this brand was the only one available.

Now I start fresh, and once again I'm reminded not to let myself get to starvation or to get too obsessed with a specific outcome smile.

How are you guys doing? It's a fun project to try!
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 02/15/14 05:26 PM

Do Not Complain Reboot 32 Day 2 -

It was the mess that did me in this time. It seems to be either the mess or food that will get to me. Fri was a long day already, and a CraigsList person had decided he'd come out Sat at noon to pick up an old receiver we were selling. And the house was a complete mess. So, 2am, I'm trying to plow through quite a lot of mess just to get the living room and kitchen presentable. And I got a bit cranky smile.

It frustrates me that the house gets to a state that we can't even have people in just those two rooms without an extensive cleaning. But I'm unwilling to take time away from my already mountainous pile of projects in order to clean it. And Bob doesn't like strangers in the house.

I guess what we need is a friend who will come in and handle the dishes and counters and such. And then we need to be more diligent about not using these areas as storage locations for months and months.

I admit that the kitchen table is completely covered with all my watercoloring supplies right now, especially as I'm working on a cool "palette" art contest where I have to turn a large wooden palette into a unique work of art. It has to be done by Feb 25th so I have 10 days left on that. Today I'm doing some experiments with folding vellum into origami.

Are you guys attempting mindfulness about complaints?
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 02/17/14 04:38 PM

Do Not Complain Reboot 32 Day 4 -

My life isn't always stress-free smile. What I aim for, though, is to deal with those stressors in a way that preserves my health.

My stepfather is giving me much of his old stereo equipment which I'm then selling on CraigsList. It's been going smoothly in general, with lots of happy recipients. Then I encountered P. After various back-and-forth he arrived at noon on Sunday morning, the morning after Bob's gig. So Bob and I were both exhausted but we woke to meet P's requirements. We had the receiver set up, demonstrated it, and answered all his questions. He haggled with us even though it was exactly what we described. I admit I'm just not happy haggling. But we gave in and dropped the price, and even found him a sturdy box to take it in.

This morning I wake up to a hostile email from P where he's swearing at me, denigrating me, and stating that the "stereo mode doesn't work".

Bob thinks he simply doesn't understand the function of the "stereo" light, which comes on if a FM station is being received in stereo. That would not light up during normal CD or other play.

My dual aims are to preserve my own health, by not allowing stress to be created in me, and also not to spread stress in others. So I took in deep breaths and did some yoga smile.

And then I wrote P, first stating that I would not allow abusive language to be used. This is a business transaction and as adults we should be able to manage this professionally. I then explained the probable situation and said we'd take it back if he wanted. (Heck, this would be good for us, since there are other people who wanted it and who would pay full price for it as is.) I told him the only real hurdle to us taking it back at this point is that, given the hostility of his message, I wasn't sure I wanted him in the house again.

Maybe this will have him consider the language he used - especially if it turns out he was misinterpreting how the stereo is supposed to properly work. It did preserve my own stress levels and health. If he chooses to remain hostile going forward, then that is his choice as an adult and I'll simply cease communications. I cannot change others. I can only model the behavior I believe in and ensure the atmosphere I live in supports me.

Yelling at him wouldn't have helped - it would have riled stress in me and spread stress to him, too. It wouldn't be likely to create a more positive outcome. For me, the best solution all around is to handle the transaction like adults, to maintain my own calm, and if he chooses not to engage in a like manner, to move on to someone else who will.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 03/27/14 05:07 PM

Do Not Complain Reboot 34 Day 5 -

The event that tripped me up on that last round was, once again, the mess in the house. It was a relatively minor thing but I think because this is such an ongoing problem it builds and builds and then I just snap. This emphasizes for me that handling the underlying issue is key. The fact that I have stress building over time isn't good for me or for my projects I'm working on.

I need to take a two pronged approach.

One, of course, I need to work on the mess. And I am making that effort. Every day I organize just one area. I work diligently down my to-do list. There is progress being made.

Two, though, is I have to be at peace with the current state. Living stressed until a magical day when the house is completely clean seems to be unhealthy. I need to find a place of peace in my mind where I say "yes the house is messy, and it is getting better. It's better than it used to be. And that is all right."

I've pondered why the mess bothers me so. We can't have people over right now, and that bothers me. I'd like to have friends visit for wine or whatever and we can't. Also, we tend to have to waste time hunting for things. I am already incredibly behind on many projects. Time spent on hunting for things is time I could have been catching up on my email backlog. So those things are like the drips of water torture. I need to change my mindset on that. This is all within my own mind.

I need to just have friends over anyway and be content that it's messy when I do.

When I look for things, I need to look at it as an opportunity to clean. It's not "wasted time". It's time I am now investing in making things better. That way each hunting expedition is actually a good thing, to help the house get cleaner.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 08/24/14 11:23 AM

I haven't documented my do-not-complain project in a while. I began this back in 2008 and it is an ongoing process. I have my ups and downs, but like so much in life the benefit is in simply being aware and striving to improve.

I'll call this round Reboot B1 - I think occasionally being attentive to the project helps.

This weekend has been a lovely one. My son is over visiting, I got to spend some time with a friend at her yard sale, and I made progress on two different novels. I'm about to publish my two short stories. We're finalizing the latest issue of the Mused Literary Review which looks just gorgeous. And I got some lovely photos of the cosmos and morning glories in the back yard after I did yoga. So I'm feeling quite content and grateful for what life has to offer.
Posted by: Lisa Shea

Re: Go a Day Without Complaining - 11/15/14 09:46 AM

Once again I'm renewing attentiveness to my Do-Not-Complain project, we'll call this Reboot C1. I've been through so much this past month, with the server crash, data loss, and server move. I strove through it all to stay calm and focused. Getting riled up and angry would have made my tasks more difficult. It's not that I was a doormat. I spoke up strongly and repeatedly to the hosting company in order to get things fixed. But I strove not to "whine" - I strove to lay out the issues, lay out our needs, and work hard to achieve them.

I find that positive energy works wonders. As part of this crash and data loss we lost nearly all of our Mused submissions for the upcoming issue. And with the server issues I couldn't email the Mused community to let them know. When I finally got things working I emailed everyone with the state we were in and made a plea for them to resubmit. They all rallied, raced, and we got a normal full blast of submissions to work with! It was awe-inspiring and amazing. Everyone wanted to help.

In amongst all of this, Lulu (who I use to have some books on iTunes and Barnes & Noble) had a glitch and put live two books that were supposed to be Kindle Exclusive. Amazon immediately spotted that and they stripped ALL of my books out of the Kindle Exclusive program. I have 133 books in Kindle, and a fair portion of them were Kindle Exclusive. They had been seeing substantial sales. Rather than get angry, I took a deep breath and looked at that situation. I wrote Amazon to see if they'd undo the change. But I'm also looking at putting all my books out on all platforms. If this is to be my new situation, this could be a very good one - and thank goodness it happened with some lead time before the holidays. I have time to get everything up, live, and set (with Bob's help) to take advantage of all those holiday purchasers. So this could be a great opportunity. If Amazon does indeed put them back into Kindle Unlimited that would be fine too. So I'm just waiting to hear which way they're going to go.

I have so much to be grateful for. A warm house to live in. I'm making progress on the decluttering. We brought in all our potted plants and we have marigolds, peppers, lavender, saffron crocus, and all sorts of cool things growing for me. I have my artwork up in five different galleries. I'm working on an illustrated haiku chapbook that I'm really enjoying. Debi and I are working on an illustrated children's book which I'm loving. I have wonderful friends and a darling boyfriend. To complain that life has its normal ups and downs seems silly. Half the world lives in pennies a day and barely has clothes or food. I am grateful.