#8: caught complaining
Phewf. This week has been a bit of a crazy one. For this reason, I will be keeping it short and sweet.
*Note: I guess I'm a liar, because once I started writing, this text just happened. Crazy how I thought I would write just a couple of sentences and it winds up being a few paragraphs. :P
One thing that I seem to miraculously find time for when I am busy is COMPLAIN. Oh boy, am I good at it. I complain mostly in my head, but I am sure that it passes my lips on occasion. This is obviously super productive (chee-yeah) and results in me feeling tired, angry, anxious, stressed, overwhelmed, and powerless.
Well, first day after I get off of work I call my good friend Jimmy to tell him about a community project I am taking on (I will post about that in the near future). The conversation then takes an unexpected turn and I begin spewing (yes, spewing) all of this scrap that has been rolling around in my head all day. Even worse, I am trying to explain to him that I am justified with all of my spewing because I “learned something” about how to handle it. Jimmy says false.
Long story short, he tells me that I need to take responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, and how I am letting them control the way that I think, feel, and go about my day.
MY FAVORITE WORD HE USED THAT WHOLE CONVERSATION. I was 100% playing the victim card. All of these things out of my control, wah wah wah, I can’t do anything about it, wah wah wah, it’s just the way it is, WAH!
I realized that all of that was unbelievably defeating and I can imagine terribly boring for him to listen to. That night I found this podcast.
Here are my main take-aways from this guy with the overarching concept being:
If I am not willing to find a solution then I cannot call something a problem
Life is what it is. Why do we complain about things that are an inherent part of something?
- Situation: It takes me 1 hr to get from the dock where I start work back to my hotel.
- Complaint: My job takes up too much time. I am even spending 2 extra hrs in the car just to get home!
- Solution: Why am I giving this any of my time complaining about? Getting my ass to the dock is part of the job. The dock isn't going to move closer to where I am. If I care so much, I should change where I am staying. But I like to run downtown so I will stay there this time. Next time I will investigate closer options.
Fueling these thoughts only makes their occurrence more real and present in our world.
- Situation: I am at work, learning, learning, learning, watching, watching, watching, trying to remember it all.
- Complaint: I am not doing that great of a job. People are teaching me things and I can’t remember them. Later when I am asked about it, I forget! I’m so dumb.
- Solution: Listen more attentively. I am not absorbing the information because my mind is wandering and I am not engaged in active listening. How on earth will I remember anything if I am not truly listening?
When you give something (a task, person, etc.) care and concern, you would be surprised that you will receive the same back.
- Situation: I have long work days and I am unable to run until it gets dark in the evenings.
- Complaint: I am too tired to run, it is too dark outside, I have to hold a flashlight, pepper spray, all of this makes me slow.
- Solution: When I stopped being mad at long work days for getting in the way of me running at a reasonable time, I found that I not only had a better time at work, but my runs felt better! So that thing (work) that I was just complaining about in my head became more enjoyable once I stopped all of that.
We cannot call things problems unless we are going to implement solutions.
- Situation: My schedule.
- 4:00am: Wake-up
- 5:00am-5:00pm: Work
- 6:00pm-7:15pm: Run
- 7:15pm-7:45pm: Shower and dinner
- 7:45pm-9:00pm(or sometimes later): Integrative nutrition online course, blog, lunch and breakfast prep for following day, emails, Landmark Community project, texting, thinking about my friends visiting this weekend, etc.
- Complaint: I am not getting enough sleep and don’t have enough downtime at night to truly decompress and get very restful sleep.
- Solution: I need to reallocate my time and stop expecting that I can do all of these things in one night. Instead, I will listen to Integrative Nutrition lectures in the car or while running and dedicate one night completely to my blog and nothing else, or to Landmark, etc.
- Situation: My schedule.
Those are some of the things that resonated with me from Ajahn Brahm’s podcast and how I have decided to practice implementing them in my daily life. Lucky you, you are now responsible for holding me accountable if I ever decide to talk in this complain-ey fashion out loud! It has made me realize that this way of being and thinking does not serve me nor does it help me feel better.
Does anyone else experience this? When do you notice that you experience this mental complaining? Maybe you do not voice your complaints to others, but they are rattling around in your brain, causing you discomfort and probably worse.
I hope that this podcast helps you in some way or that you have a “Jimmy” in your life who can call you out when you are thinking/speaking/acting in a way that is limiting your potential and happiness. I can honestly say that this requires continuous practice, but for the few days that I have been engaging in this new way of thinking, I am able to recognize when that complaining is trying to take over my brain, understand when it is a FEELING about a certain situation, and reframe my mindset so that I can continue throughout my day less stressed, happier, and that leads to me being more productive.
Any other de-stressers you can recommend or words of wisdom? Would love to hear about them!