Posted By RichC on September 27, 2017
Brenda’s dad lectured her sister Ann a decade or so ago about constantly having a “woe is me” moment. To be fair, she has a needier personality than Brenda that has a tendency to share one negative thing after another. I remember listening to him on the phone in frustration asking, “Do you have your health? Do you have a job? Do you have food for the table? Then stop complaining all the time!” He was to his limit, considering how aging had debilitated him in his later years.
It was a good lesson to overhear knowing those around us grow tired of hearing about all that isn’t going quite right. The opposite happened when we would talk to my parents. My mom would get frustrated in that she never felt as if Brenda shared what was going on in her life because Brenda rarely complains (or opened up). Mom would call and ask her how things were going and Brenda’s answer was always “great” or “fine.” A single word without a hint of detail regarding the many minor (or major) day to day struggles that we all face (some share and some internalize).
There is probably a happy medium when it comes to sharing our lives with friends and family AND detailing too much or not enough. Too much “wolf calling” leads to getting tired of the constant and depressing stream of complaining. On the other hand, a lack of communicating leaves family or friends wondering if they are a close family at all?
I’m working to get my life in perspective this month and to be honest am stressed just dealing with a pile of minor and relatively normal frustrations – they still put me in a short and bad mood. The weight of one of my better customers filing bankruptcy and having to follow through with collecting debt, server upgrade issues and addressing customer complaints stemming from it, facing a pending legal action with work on the boat in Florida (and not getting timetables or answers – grr!), sensing my daughter is feeling stressed balancing work and childcare (one is always a parent), seeing Brenda unhappy at work and me being irritated with my own lack of direction as I watch my best friend excitedly make a job change (I foolishly act jealous rather than being excited for him).
I need to remind myself – “health, job, food on the table” – especially as I look at so many who are hurting after Hurricane Irma and Maria and the earthquake in Mexico. Obviously my life is pretty good and I shouldn’t be on edge and short with people … nor should I be losing sleep over so many relatively minor issues messing up my goals and plans. Get a perspective Rich … take them on day by day … and for heaven sakes be nice to others. I’d have a little more room to complain if I were hanging like this squirrel!