It took me only 13 days to stop complaining for a week

#38. 101 things in 1001 days: Don’t complain about anything for a week.

I survived the computer lab fiasco that is detailed in my cartoon above without complaining, only to be done in by ice cream, so I started over. And over. And over.

On my first day, I felt pretty good getting through an entire school day without complaining, but I quickly discovered there are a lot of gray areas. What exactly constitutes a complaint? While some complaints are instantly recognizable, in other situations I may be rightly asserting myself. Is it the tone that makes it a complaint? The repetition?

Then I posted the above cartoon on Facebook, and a colleague ruled it a complaint. I countered that I was expressing myself through art, as artists have done through the ages. I suppose Picasso was complaining when he created Guernica, eh? She didn’t buy it.

That debate became moot the same night when I muttered to my husband, “Why didn’t you get something with chocolate in it?” when he surprised us with ice cream, and I was busted on Day 2.

I started over and got tripped up again on my new Day 2 when there was some miscommunication about a track practice pickup. Then when my husband came home late on a night we had dinner plans, I had to start yet again.

I finally made it through this challenge, or did I? I might have just relaxed the rules on what counts as a complaint. I did make some improvements in avoiding “venting” at work. Let’s face it: venting doesn’t do anybody any good.

I read this blog post that mentioned four typical learning phases:

  1. Unconscious incompetence
  2. Conscious incompetence
  3. Conscious competence
  4. Unconscious competence

I think at best I was entering Phase 2: conscious incompetence. I made a little progress and felt myself letting go of grievances more easily. I will try to keep the better habit going now that I am free to complain again.

I might have to stay away from the computer lab, though.

(Video link)

Serenity now!

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.
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17 Responses to It took me only 13 days to stop complaining for a week

  1. Shannon says:

    Great job! I think it would take me longer than 13 days, if it ever even happened at all… 🙂

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  3. Oh my – giving up complaining? Not sure if I could do that. No sirree. Sometimes a good complain is what keeps me sane.
    Life In A Pink Fibro recently posted..Modern dilemma: Did I do the wrong thing?My Profile

  4. Very interesting and entertaining, I only have one complaint. When you say that….er…nevermind.

    Cranky Old Man
    Cranky Old Man recently posted..“JACK’S” – A COLLEGE BARMy Profile

  5. MultipleMum says:

    Who makes these goals up? I doubt I could do it! I think you are my new hero! Thanks for Rewinding and blog hopping!!!! X
    MultipleMum recently posted..Weekend Rewind – The blog hop editionMy Profile

  6. Rhonda says:

    Hi There! Visiting from the Weekend Rewind. Love this post and this idea. I admire that it only took you thirteen days. I probably would still be working on this.

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  8. Nate says:

    It’s amazing how often we complain when we are made aware of it every time. It’s probably why most of us don’t like to see videos of ourselves: too much truth to confront at once.
    Nate recently posted..The Meaning Behind a Green Velvet Suit (Crannog Part 2)My Profile

  9. Soapie says:

    Ooh, I think I’ll have to try this challenge! My husband tells I complain too much, but I thought it was a healthy way to vent, for the most part. It took you 13 days before you were able to stop complaining?
    Soapie recently posted..Would 500 Years Be Enough?My Profile

  10. Clare says:

    If at first you don’t succeed…
    And who is the judge of what is a complaint and what isn’t? I think I’d struggle with this, even though I’m not a big complainer. I don’t fault you for relaxing the rules!
    Clare recently posted..Someplace ElseMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      There was a line that was hard to pin down. If I was reporting something aggravating that happened (that did need to be shared for work), it wasn’t always clear if I was just giving a fact or complaining. That was where tone of voice seemed to be important.

  11. Congratulations. Complaining seems to be part of culture. Is it part of bonding? Is it something we are taught, or are humans naturally dissatisfied? What do you think?
    Love Happy Notes recently posted..Pirate pig-pen-pals lost on MarsMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      I think there are a million reasons. Sometimes it is part of bonding. I see that among teachers who share the same frustrations they’re dealing with. It’s a way to get attention too and I way to think of something to say when you don’t have anything to talk about. It was very freeing to not complain. I thought I would need to “save them” and share them later, but they faded away.
      Marcy recently posted..An Invader CreptMy Profile

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