#38. 101 things in 1001 days: Don’t complain about anything for a week.
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:
- Unconscious incompetence
- Conscious incompetence
- Conscious competence
- 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.