How I went 24 Hours Without Complaining
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Awhile back I was surfing Pinterest (as I often do) during church. (Before you point your fingers and roll your eyes – I sit through every church service my church offers, and I pay attention closely during the first two, the last? I am often checking my email, and occasionally scrolling through pinterest. This blog is about being imperfect, and that’s just one of the many ways that I am!) When I saw an image that said “Go 24 hours without complaining. Not even once… Then watch how your life starts changing.”
My first thought was “Ooh! That should be easy enough!” I think of myself as a generally happy person, and so the idea of not complaining? Well, it shouldn’t be hard. Should it?
Oh boy was I in for a surprise. The first time I tried this challenge? I failed miserably. I had no idea how much I complain on a regular basis! No idea.
How many times do people say “How are you?” And I wrinkle my nose. Or say “Exhausted!” I realized those are complaints in their own way. How many times do I see my neighbor and complain about our mutual friends? (I’m lucky in that my neighbor is a close friend – but I realized I use her as a sounding board more than I should!)
So the next day, I gave it a try again. It was a Wednesday, and I had a crazy busy day. I was babysitting a friends kid, something I didn’t particularly want to do. My house was a mess, but when isn’t it? And I had four hours at church in the evening. Prime chances for me to complain!
I posted about my challenge on Instagram, so I knew many of my friends would hold me accountable.
I did it! I went 24 hours without a single complaint. I didn’t wrinkle my nose, or complain about the 10 year old who was nagging me for a snack every five minutes. When I found myself about to go off? I changed directions. I sent the kids outside, and grabbed myself a mug of tea. I shut off the computer. Or I just plain left the room.
But I did it!
So what did I learn? Because seriously, 24 hours is not that long of a time period! But I realized just how often I complain. How many things I say, even if they aren’t actually a complaint, can be taken as one. How often I make a face, wrinkle my nose or roll my eyes.
I had to step back and think before I spoke. (Something that I’m not good at – not in the slightest!)
And while I was working? I realized just how much of my attitude rubs off on those around me. Our practice, which is normally fairly laid back? Went better than normal! If there was an issue? I answered with a smile, and the musicians around me were more willing to wait, have better patience, etc! (And I’m lucky that everyone I work with is fantastic and we’re all good friends! But this made our time together even easier!)
All in All? This was a fun challenge! It was great to test myself, to be more mindful. And I’m definitely going to try and spend less time complaining and more time trying to project a positive attitude! I don’t know that I could go 21 days without a single complaint, like some have! But I have every intention to be more mindful of my attitude!
So how about you? Can you go 24 hours without complaining?