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It’s raining, it’s pouring, complaining is boring

December 14, 2012

You may remember the old rhyme differently, something to do with an old bloke with sleep apnoea. Well I’ve been awake since about 4am, after two hours sleep, so snoring isn’t really relevant at the moment.

As with a lot of my thoughts, this one happened when I was out walking the dog. It is properly pouring with rain here. To add to the not-great start to the day (I refer to the general greyness of a rainy day and its effect on mood), I left my hat and long coat at a friend’s house earlier in the week, so to keep my glasses dry I had to wear a baseball cap (that I found in one of my boxes of stuff to sell,) and to keep my ears warm I had to wear my hoodie with the hood up. I’ve never felt so chavvy.

Thankfully the walk went smoothly, the dog behaved, pulled very little, didn’t bark at anyone, and seemed content to trot along beside me, getting wet. On the way back, I passed under a bridge with a maHOOsive puddle next to the pavement. There was a steady stream of cars going by, at reasonable speed so the puddle only splashed the edge of the pavement, so trusting people to uphold Wheaton’s Law (google it if you’re not familiar with it, I can’t explain due to my commitment to not swear in my posts), I got moving.

That’s when a van rocketed past. Luckily by this time my jeans were quite wet, but my trainers have a mesh on top (the marketing call this “breathability,” I call it “wet socks”) so that wasn’t lovely, but I had to grin, because it’s such a comedy cliche and it almost never happens to me. I don’t enjoy it, but somehow I’m glad it happens. It’s like being reminded that magic still exists. Then I got to the top of the street I saw something that just warmed my heart. As if the powers that be were apologising for the inconsiderate driver, there was this kid, maybe four or five years old, standing with her mother who was fumbling with the front door keys, not looking very happy, but this kid had a look on her face, this smile, that isn’t so much happiness, but complete peace. The last time I saw that look on someone’s face was when I rented a DVD of a talk by the Dalai Lama, it was incredible. This girl was completely unbothered by the weather, her mother’s stressed appearance, and the cold, and was content just to be there.

I think that’s something we forget as we grow up, as we have more to do and more to go wrong, we forget to simply be grateful that we’re here, coz when it comes down to it, life’s actually pretty decent, and if we shut up complaining for a few minutes and look around, we might realise that. I’m disappointed that it’s been cloudy and rainy since yesterday, because there was a meteor shower happening, I’m told, of such magnitude it could be seen in all time zones and all countries. The word “epic” comes to mind. But I’m grateful for the week or so of clear skies I got before that, because the sky is epic, and anything that helps form it is liable to take my breath away.

Have you ever been talking to someone who just complains all the time? Nothing positive or uplifting to say, just always bad stuff, drama, depressing. I think everybody has. Have you ever caught yourself being that person? It’s sobering. And somewhat shaming. You’re there listing everything you’re not happy about and then a stray thought pops in that goes “for the love of bacon, shut up already, you’re driving me crazy!” So just for today, see if you can go without complaining. If you catch a thought that’s negative or disparaging or ranty, interrupt it and see if you can’t find a silver lining somewhere. If nothing else, don’t verbalise it, that engages more of your brain and makes it an even stronger affirmation of how you feel, and that’ll only make you feel worse. (I still haven’t posted a guide to affirmations. I should do that sometime.) If you do slip up, don’t beat yourself up about it (that’s even more complaining, by the way!) because if you’re making an effort not to do it, even if it still happens it’ll happen a lot less often. You can work on that tomorrow. “I slipped up five times yesterday. Today I’ll do better, I’m more aware of my thoughts and in full control of my feelings.”

If not for you, do it for your friends. They’re too polite to say it, but nobody enjoys the company of someone who only ever rants and whines. Say something nice, compliment something. Be positive.

So, in the immortal words of Arnold Schwarzanegger, quit your vhining!

I’ll be back


From → General

One Comment
  1. Hey Dan, great blog, thanks. I’ve had a shitty letter this morning – so fuck it, I’ll look at it tomorrow – ATOS.

    See you later

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