Wednesday, October 12, 2011

NO complaining 21 day challenge. Hit or miss;-)

One night, browsing the internet, I read about a person trying to improve his marriage by not complaining for three weeks. He referred to a 21 day no complaint challenge that eventually led me to the website

I LOVED the idea. And I was successful for almost three hours. Then, ironically, I found myself complaining to a friend about my kids' complaints pertaining to four of the five food items on their dinner plates. Following the suggested practice, I switched my bracelet (my own though the site offers one) to the other wrist as a notice to myself I'd have to start the 21 days over again.

And thus I've gone on, once going three days before the switch. I will be delighted to hit a new high of four days but am benefitting from the mere attempt. The very process of editing the complaints, negative descriptions, griping, and whining from my communications makes me realize two things. First, negative talk is a complete bore. Second, when I talk about the "bad" stuff, I "re-infect myself" by reliving the situation and just bring myself and whomever I'm talking to down.

This challenge has made me very aware how much I complain to the kids ("Yuck! Can't you please close your mouth when you chew!"), about the kids ("You wouldn't believe how much the kids were fighting today!") and around them ("I can see why the postal service is going broke with those inconvenient hours").

So if you take out all the negative, what's left to talk about? I've started asking "So what's the good word?" when we sit down to dinner or I call my parents. I really enjoy hearing what's going well in others' lives. And talking about the good in my day: a hug from the kids, a perfectly toasted bagel, a kind check out clerk, the blue jay up in the Oak tree, the fact the kids ate all their veggies (even if open-mouthed), brings my mood up, reminding me of the myriad of happy moments in each day.

So far I've made it to 9:02, Wednesday morning, keeping it on the up and up. I had to start over again last night....not that I'm complaining...;-)Good wishes!

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