Trying to stop being such a complainer

I realized today that I have been complaining a lot.  A friend emails, asking how I’m doing and I start typing out a litany of grievances.  I walk into the apartment and immediately start bemoaning the state of clutter and disarray. People ask me how the new job is and I tell them about the problems instead of all the good things.  I’m finding that complaining begets further complaining, until I’ve worked myself into state of abject misery, where the haze of emotional funk is so powerful that people can feel it vibrating off of me from 10 feet away.

I realized that I was becoming Philadelphia’s loudest crank this morning while writing an email.  A friend had sent a short note and had asked how things were going.  I started to write back a list of issues and grievances before stopping with a start, almost as if someone had smacked me in the back of the head.  I suddenly understood that it wouldn’t be fun for him to read a grumpy email, and I didn’t particularly want to be the person who would lay all those irritations down on the feet of a friend.

The crazy part of this is that my life looks pretty darn good these days.  Things with Scott are really wonderful and living together has been amazingly easy.  I have a job that isn’t unpleasant, where people are friendly and kind, where they seem to like having me around and where, in just another month, I’ll have health insurance again for the first time in nearly two years.  Things at Slashfood are going well.  People keep watching Fork You and coming out to our live shows at Foster’s Homeware.  And I made a successful batch of yogurt the other day.

Why do I always focus on what I perceive as the negative or wanting aspects of my life?  I seem to have lost the ability to be appreciative of the things I have.  So, I’m trying to change, just a little bit.  I am going to try to be aware of the moments when I feel myself heading into the land of whine.  I am going to make a conscious choice to tell people I’m doing well, instead of saying with a sigh, “I’m okay.”  And I’m going to start searching out those moments of human interaction and positive connection, which used to be such a large part of my blog.

3 thoughts on “Trying to stop being such a complainer

  1. Fran

    A good friend will listen to your complaints and give you a hug. Once upon a time I avoided “burdening others” with my conversation because I didn’t want to get them down. I was lucky to have very good friends who listened to me anyway.
    I hope your choice to look on the positive side works for you. If not, I’m happy to listen anyway! *HUG!*

  2. yoko

    “And I’m going to start searching out those moments of human interaction and positive connection, which used to be such a large part of my blog.”

    Me too. I don’t know how I lost that striving to see the positive in things. I think that I’ve indulged in complaining for too long.


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