We are a busy family of 3 children and 2 adults. Like many of you out there we go to school / work, have lots of activities that we enjoy; we play sport eg: Rugby, Hockey, Table Tennis, Tennis, Running, Swimming, Walking and Cycling, we look after our home, we have a garden we tend to, and we travel and meet friends.
With so much good stuff going on, why is it that we find ourselves complaining and indeed complaining a lot? Why do I have to go to school? I wish I could stay at home today! I am tired of shopping, doing the laundry, being a taxi driver and cooking. It is so hard to find a good cleaning lady . . . Arrrgghhhh I HAVE to book that holiday!
I know we are not alone, as I listen to the people around me and hear the same. However whilst it is of course OK (and natural) to complain from time to time, complaining on a constant basis is not good for many reasons: it can lead to poor health, result in poor performance at work, can make a bad situation worse, we become a negative role model for our children and often it prevents us from taking positive action.
So, why do we do it? Firstly, most people don’t realise how often they complain because it has become a habit. Secondly, most people feel that it is a good conversation starter and easier to find common ground, or thirdly, because we want people to contradict what we are saying eg: “No of course you don’t look tired!”.
But let’s mindfully take a step back and review what we are complaining about. Some might be real complaints and highlight things that perhaps we need to talk about or resolve. It is important that we don’t keep everything inside, we do need to share our concerns, feelings or sadness and we need to TALK about it.
Some of our complaints are luxury problems and for others would be their dream! If you are a parent of or care for a special needs child, you might LOVE to be able to complain about your child going to sporting activities, parties and play dates, but they might never get invited or welcomed. If you are a low income family who does not own a car you might LOVE to complain about being a taxi driver. In poorer countries to be able to complain about going food shopping too often or having a house to clean would be a luxury!
Instead of complaining, replace your negative thoughts this month and be grateful for all the good things we have in our lives: I am SO grateful that: my child is fit and able to play sport, I have a car, I have a job, there is a school to send my child to, we can buy food when we like and I can enjoy being with my child every day.
Wishing you a grateful, peaceful and mindful April!