When challenged with making a change or addition to my daily routine that would improve my life and perhaps even the lives of others I interact with, I decided to not complain out loud. Simple. Keep those negative thoughts to yourself, Kelli, no problemo.
“Ugh my head hurts.” I texted out to my boyfriend Tuesday morning (almost a week after making my commitment). Crap. Is that a complaint. I mean it’s kind of a fact but I am also complaining. This was the first moment since the Wednesday before that I had actively processed the words coming out of my mouth (or my phone). How many mindless complaints had I let slide. This week, I told myself, I WILL do better.
Thursday morning, “Hey, Kel. How are ya?” I opened my mouth to respond to my classmate and immediately closed it. I was about to answer “Oh, I’m tired/ busy/ stressed/ happy this week is almost over.” Instead, thinking now about how I actually was (no Friday classes, just finished a big paper, got a full nights sleep, had plans for the evening, was going to the gym this afternoon, had spoken to both my parents this morning, not sick, really good mood, weather was nice), why was I so inclined to complain when asked about how I was. I am good. I AM PRETTY DARN GOOD. Why was a complaint about to be the first thing out of my mouth????
“I’m really great today, thank you for asking. I hope you’re doing well” I responded with a smile, hiding my slight, internal concern. Had I gotten to the point where I couldn’t distinguish a complaint coming out of my mouth. Yikes scary. I’m one of the most blessed people I know, what on this earth do I have to complain about? I complain about my lack of employment, but I haven’t even graduated yet. I complain about being hungry, but I have a meal plan and money for groceries. I complain about school work, but I am fortunate enough to be receiving an education from a university that has brought me more than simply papers and tests.
I do consider myself to be a relatively positive individual, I pride myself on my ability to see the good in every situation but I still complain when I don’t have anything else to say. Because of this, I have tasked my friends with calling me out whenever they hear me say or see me text something out similar to a complaint. I am replacing my negative thoughts with optimistic ones and my complaints with praises.
Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have, and say thanks to God for the problems we don’t have.
-Kelli Anne Louthan