At a braai the other night the most delightful creature* said something that really resonated with me. She started moaning about something, stopped herself mid-sentence, and said “The Complaints box is full” and carried on talking about something else completely. She explained a minute later that it’s something she heard from someone else, and she realised that she complains often and that it was time to stop.
In the midst of the braai smoke, rugby, softening crisps and clinking bottles it made me stop and think. I also complain – a lot. And it’s something, now that I really think about it, that I really don’t like about myself. Over the past few days I’ve been running over things, my tweets, my emails, my every-day conversations – and I’m alarmed at how many of them are dedicated to complaining.
I’m really not that miserable of a person. There’s so much stuff that happens in my life that’s great. I really have no business complaining quite as much as I do.
So I’ve been making an effort to stop, mid-sentence and remind myself that the Complaints box is full. And it works. I’ve even taped it up to my computer screen at the office (which is where a lot of my complaining originates), along with a couple of my other little reminders to myself. So I’ll see it daily, and hopefully it’ll help me change my behaviour. I think I’ll have to bake a batch of special cupcakes as a “thank you” for next time I see Pixie girl. They’ll have Hello Kitty on them and a ridiculous amount of glitter. (And she’d better not complain)
* Really though, she’s lovely. Smiley, spaced, gorgeous and just a cuddly ball of fun. If I truly believed in such things I’d be convinced she was a pixie.