Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Complaint Free Day

One of my personal goals at work this year was to be more positive (read: complain less). I'd say that goal was pretty good the first week and has gone steadily downhill from there. It seems each day Eric and I need a solid 30 minutes when we get home to just complain about all the ridiculousness that occurred at work that day. Yesterday I decided to take a step in the right direction as far as my goal and declare today a complaint free day. I should also mention that I am overall a very happy, positive person so I really just want to stop letting the stupid things of the day get in my way.


I knew it would be difficult. Any day it would be difficult but today would be especially hard. I had two meetings (one which I would be pulled out of my class for). I had parents coming in to do a special activity. The forecast called for cold, pouring rain to last all day (read: no recess all day, ah!). Oh, and I did not sleep well last night. Recipe for a day of no complaints? Probably not.

However, I did manage to last until about 2:30pm without one single complaint (at least that I noticed), at which point I decided since I already lost it, I might as well make up for all the complaints I had not yet uttered all day. Oops.

What did I learn on my no complaints quest?

1. You can say you are not going to complain today, you can tell everyone you know, but that will not stop the complaints from popping into your head. I complained SEVERAL times in my head before I finally let one out during a conversation with coworkers.

2. It's actually hard to know sometimes what is a complaint and what is simply an observation and/or informing someone of something. For example, I had a headache today (probably due to not sleeping). When I took some Advil someone asked me what was up, I said my head hurt... which COULD be a complaint, or it could simply be me just saying...

3. I actually think complaining is good sometimes- it helps you "vent" and sometimes it's a nice way to bond with people about things that you find mutually annoying :)

4. However, it's also kind of nice to try to go a day without complaining- it helps you to become more aware of how often you are doing it and hopefully work on becoming more positive overall.

Despite the fact that there were many things to complain about today, there were also some great things:

*I was super productive at work this morning before the kids arrived.

*I attempted a painting activity during our Pumpkin Math today and somehow it did not get everywhere or cause huge problems, wahoo.

*I always "complain" that dads never volunteer and today I had 5 parents come in, two of which were dads- yay! I also had another dad send me an e-mail volunteering to help with the next special activity. Dads just deal with kids in a different way than moms and it's fun to have both perspectives around.

*It was a very cold day of down pouring so Eric and I were not able to go for our planned run after school. But, I'm actually happy about this because I got my grocery shopping done and now I can run with Eric tomorrow- so yay.

*I rewarded myself for a so-so day with a delicious caramel brownie gelato from a really nice local gelato place that I don't get to go to nearly as often as I'd like because it closes at 6 every night :)


So overall, I'd say life is good!

How do you feel about complaining? Do you agree it has it's place sometimes...? Have you ever tried going a period of time without complaining?


  1. " which point I decided since I already lost it, I might as well make up for all the complaints I had not yet uttered all day." <-- BAHAHA! Love it! I think I might do the same. ;)

    I do agree complaining has its place but I think it's something we have to watch, too because it can just spiral to all we see is the bad and none of the good. Or even the good is tainted with bad.

    I like the challenge idea. I may have to try it someday!

  2. I love the idea of a day without complaints. So often, we whine about the most minor things without thinking about whether it's really important -- or how many people we're annoying by complaining.

  3. I'm pretty sure there is a book about this... which is where those bracelets came from. I first noticed it at our AEA and then checked it out.
    I like the concept, but it sounds like it made you more stressed! A little venting is okay I think. At least it gets out of your head and isn't toxic to your mood, ya know? As long it's not hurting anyone else anyway!

  4. When our store opened last year (Kingsdale MArket District) all the team leaders had to read the book "The No Complaining Rule". I wasn't really planning on enjoying it, but I did!! I seriously think about the book often as a complaint pops into my head. It was effective! I really suggest it. It's a very quick read.

  5. I think sometimes I get in a big complaining rut. Especially the last couple of weeks of the month when we work on a newsletter at work which is just not my favorite thing to do... I need to be more mindful of how much I complain because it is NOT fun to be around someone who complains alot!

    That is cool that some dads volunteered! I do not ever remember a dad being in my classroom as a child!

  6. Complaining does have its place, but I think sometimes ya just gotta do it. I know during a stressful time I just drop the ball and let my mouth go because it makes me feel better.

    I wish we could start the no complaining rule around my office. I think people complain just to function and that is not healthy, and demoralizing

  7. That gelato looks so delicious! And I love the idea of going a day without complaining, now I'm tempted to try it!

  8. I think that sometimes when people complain ALL THE TIME it's really annoying but I don't see your complaining as being like that. Also, sometimes I feel like it's EASIER to talk about complaints than it is to talk about good things. Eric and I will usually have way longer and bigger conversations about what went WRONG with our day instead of what went RIGHT :)

    Yay gelato though! That looks yummy!

  9. So funny- I was just thinking how I wanted to try and stop complaining at work. I don't think I can make it a whole day without complaining- so I decided work would do.