Thursday, November 15, 2007


I recently told a friend that I hoped to never again make a New Year's Resolution. It seems counterproductive for me to sit on a great, life or self-improving idea until a certain date pops up on the calendar. Not to mention that making said changes the day after you've stayed up too late and possibly drunk too much is probably not the best idea.

And then there's the little issue of my not being able to think of something to change. Not that I am perfect (ha! ha, HA!), rather I was feeling too lazy to concentrate long enough and then implement any changes. I did alright in 2007; perhaps the same old me, warts and all, would be just fine in 2008.

Then I was chastised a bit today by something I read in The Washington Post. Every so often, The Post publishes in its Metro section random reader complaints. Today's entries contained complaints about a healthcare IVR system and people who use their cell phones to alert loved ones that their plane has landed. And then there was this one:

What really irritates me is all the worthless, piddling, trifling issues people have with everyday occurrences. People "who have been with Starbucks from the beginning should be given some consideration"? Right. I suppose since I have been patronizing the post office much longer than those who just moved here, I should be allowed to cut right to the front. Fundraisers make one reader feel like "I am in a poverty-stricken nation where many beg for few"; try living in India. A simple "I support my causes with annual gifts" and a smile usually ends with a nice "Thank you and have a nice day." What really bugs me is the snobbery of one reader who extolled the virtues of all that is "free and wonderful" in our city and then lambastes teenagers for actually enjoying them. I suppose she would rather these underdressed peons attend mosh pits or sell drugs on street corners rather than disturb the atmosphere at public museums. Everyone is entitled to their grievances; mine is people who are aggrieved by just plain old life.

That hit home. I am certainly a person who complains about mundane things - I've built an entire blog about complaining about mundane things. Recently, though, and then again this morning, I've grown tired of listening to complaints - mine included. There are legitimate things to complain about, and then there is bitching and moaning. It seems bitching and moaning has taken a front seat ahead of not sweating the small stuff.

My husband rarely complains. This is not because he allows himself to be abused, but more that he tends to know what's worth complaining about. Waiting for the cable guy to finally show up does not ruin his day. The cable guy is ALWAYS late, why get in a tizzy everytime? He doesn't complain about people who say stupid things to him. Another person's misbehavior has little to do with who he actually is.

This is not an attribute I possess in strength. I am impatient, and it is always easy to find an audience for whining. It is much more difficult to find an audience that wants to discuss our mutual thankfulness for the pretty leaf colors of fall, or list all the positive attributes possessed by a mutual friend. Everyone loves a good bitch session, but I doubt anyone actually consistently feels great after having one.

So if I'm going to resolve anything days before my next birthday, 1.5 months before the next year, it's going to be to up my doses of chill pills. Little by little. To try and see more humor and feel less irritation.

Maybe give that Post reader one last person to bitch and moan about herself.

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