Category Archives: Complaining


AND (1)I heard a podcast recently by Gary Vaynerchuk. I love listening to him although I always warn people that his language is “salty,” but that is definitely part of his charm. In this particular instance, he was talking about complaining. According to Gary, every time you complain about something, your next response should be “AND.” As in AND what are you going to do about it?

Complaining is so easy, but coming up with a solution is much harder. Perhaps if we cannot complain without having our “AND” ready, we won’t complain as much. I know that would work for me. I like to complain about things that are just bugging me without even considering what a solution might be. It probably isn’t hard or time consuming to come up with our “AND” to most complaints.

Even big complaints need their “AND.” Complaining just makes us feel bad. It reminds us of little annoyances that are currently making us unhappy. And it keeps reminding us. It makes much more sense to complain if you must, AND . . . come up with a solution so you can be done complaining and get on with the positivity in your life.

Even though I realize this about complaining, I still complain. It’s too easy. I can simply bitch about things that aren’t going quite the way I want them to without spending the time to work on solutions. Just complaining. For the sake of complaining. Without even considering solutions. That’s just dumb and it’s not at all a good idea to try to keep myself in a positive mode.

There have been many times in my life that I have been sucked into a vortex of complaining. Where one problem in life cycles into another cycles into another and until I actually recognize it and make an effort to stop it, it could go on forever and suck me into the deepest, darkest black hole imaginable. Who wants to live like that? I certainly don’t. I want to spend my time being a positive force in my life and the lives of others. It is so much easier and more beneficial than complaining.

So let’s make a pact. Starting today, we live every day in positive mode. Have to stop for gas on the way to work because you were too tired to stop on the way home last night and now you’ll be late to work? Is that just me? For me, this is an opportunity to take a little detour from my normal route and see different things. Or I can just complain about having to stop for gas and being late to work and be grumpy at work all day even though the people I work with had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that my car needs gas and I didn’t fill up when I should have. Or I can complain about having to stop for gas AND . . . decide that next time I will stop on the way home. Positive mode sounds so much better to me. So if you simply must complain, don’t forget to AND it. It will make you and everyone you come in contact with much happier.

Bitchy McGrumperson Is Not Welcome Here

bitchyIt’s been a very rough holiday season for me. Not only was I completely overwhelmed with new work responsibilities, but part of getting older is that your kids are also older and have their own lives and traditions. This year, and for I think the first time in my adult life, neither of them was able to share Christmas with me. We are doing a late Christmas celebration with my son and his family this weekend, so I’m feeling better about it.

In the meantime, I feel like I have been Bitchy McGrumperson. And that made me think about how some conversations I have with friends are all me complaining. While I feel like I need to release that somewhere, holding conversations with friends that are full of my complaints isn’t fair to them or to me. I would love to have positive, uplifting conversations with my friends. And I will.

Another piece of getting older that has been really hard for me is that my husband has been going through his hunting and fishing stuff (and trust me, there is a TON of it) and getting rid of a lot of it because he physically can’t do it anymore. He’s been hunting and fishing since he was a teenager and it has been difficult for both of us to face the fact that there are things we are just not able to do anymore. Some of us haven’t admitted it yet and are doing everything possible to continue to be able to do it all but realistically there are limitations.

I don’t want to be old. It has been more obvious to me lately that I am getting there. Sharing television shows that I grew up with with friends who have never seen them (like who has never seen The Partridge Family??), hearing music by groups that younger people don’t even know, looking at a Christmas tree (or two) full of ornaments from the last 43 years that bring back a rush of wonderful memories, but remind me that I’ve been decorating a tree for 43 years. It all has come crashing down on me this holiday season.

But the new year is a chance to check in and make changes to things that make you unhappy. I just this week found a new song on my iPod that I hadn’t paid attention to before–A Beautiful Day by India Arie ( If you listen to the lyrics, it is an amazing message. In fact, I think it will be my 2018 anthem that I will listen to every morning on the way to work to get my head in the right place. Work should calm down some, my kids will continue to get older and have their own life traditions, my grandkids will continue to grow and start new traditions in their lives, friends will come and go, and life will go on. I fully intend to be part of my family’s traditions (by force if necessary) and I have promises of continuing with old family Christmas traditions this next year because my kids were unhappy to miss out on them, so 2018 promises to be another amazing year.

Age is something that I have no control over, but how I treat people, how I allow others to treat me, and how I treat myself are all in my control. I will make a real effort to take charge of my own life and be happy where I am. Bitchy McGrumperson can take a hike. Life is far too short to spend it bitching and complaining and feelingĀ  like others are in control of my life. Here’s to an absolutely remarkable 2018!

Complainer I Am

I was recently given the opportunity to participate in a No Complaining challenge. There was an app we could use (and I’m all about tracking things with apps) and the object was if you complained, you had to go back to day 1. The goal was to not complain for 31 days. Easy peasy, right? I am not a chronic complainer, so I was sure this would be a piece of cake. And then it was Day 2 . . .

Complainer I AmOn Day 2, I found myself complaining in my head about annoyances at the office. At least I was cognizant of the challenge on other topics on which I could have complained and stopped myself. But that damn voice in my head did complain, so back to Day 1 we go.

Day 1, Attempt 2. Again I complained in my head in response to a sticky note left for me on my desk. I call my inner voice Lucy. She is my inner child (not the fun one, but the sarcastic, sometimes mean, and obviously professional complainer child). She is named after Lucy from the Peanuts cartoon because that’s how I see my inside voice. Sweet and helpful on the outside, but would just as soon pull the football away just as you’re about to kick it as take your nickel to tell you how dumb you are to fall for that again.

Day 1, Attempt 3. Lots of internal complaining again. Damn it, Lucy, shut the hell up!

I have since lost count. I still use the app, but every single day I press the “I complained” button so it goes back to Day 1. This shouldn’t be this hard. There were several days when I actually complained out loud. But I also think sometimes you have to vent to someone. Otherwise, it will build up inside you until every single thing that person or that environment does irks you no end. So, yes, I have vented to friends–and complained.

Another thing I found myself doing was once I clicked on Day 1, it was a free for all. I complained like my life depended on it. I was getting the full advantage of starting all over again. And trust me, I know how awful that is to do to yourself. That’s like slipping on your diet for one meal and spending the rest of the day with the “What the hell, I’ll start again tomorrow” attitude and eating everything in sight. Ah . . . I know that stinking thinking well.

I swear I did not see myself as a chronic complainer–and then I started listening to Lucy. Lucy is really not a nice person. She says things she shouldn’t to me about me, things I should ignore, things that make me feel bad about myself, things that may be true but honestly don’t matter. So instead of a No Complaining Challenge, I think I will take the Shut Lucy Up Challenge. I need to learn to calm Lucy down and teach her to say good things. I hope she’s up for it!