Complaining Challenge Check-In #2

On March 19, 2008, in Uncategorized, by Meghan
“A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort.” -Herm Albright

Kidding, only kidding about that quote.

Can you believe that we’ve been doing the No Complaining Challenge for two weeks already? I’m ashamed to admit that this week I complained more than I did during the first week of the challenge:

1. I mostly complained about grad school.
(I’m feeling my grad school stress levels incrementally rise because, in just under 2 months, I’ll be giving my defense presentation and taking my oral comprehensive exams. There is a lot of work to do between now and then.)

2. I’ve complained a little about the wind.
(In recent days, it has been really windy. Sustained, hard winds make it difficult to run well.)

3. I’ve complained a little about the rest of the weather.
(We got a bit of snow last week where I live, which meant a fair bit of snow way up high in the mountains. This foiled a plan to top out on a 9,000+ foot backcountry peak in the middle of March, which would have been really cool.)

4. I’ve complained a little about a delayed workout.
(I bailed mid-way through a speed workout yesterday because I had an upset stomach. I will make up the workout, but it caused me to change the rest of the week’s work out plans.)

In my mind, there’s a distinct difference between acknowledging a challenging situation (e.g. “My defense presentation is in 7 weeks.”) and complaining or whining about said challenging situation (e.g. “I’m just going to die! I don’t know how I’m going to get everything done in the next 7 weeks.”). I think acknowledging that which challenges me is fair game, but complaining about it should continue to be off limits. This week, I will do much better about my complaining, including the whining I do both in my head and in the company of others. The last week of the challenge is all about being positive.

So, anyone else want to confess your complaining sins for the week? Good luck to all of you in the the last week of the challenge!

“The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitudes of mind.” -William James


10 Responses to “Complaining Challenge Check-In #2”

  1. JeffO says:

    It’s true that I have failed virtually every day for the past two weeks. BUT! I actually went two days straight without a single complaint! Hooray!
    During the Salida Marathon, in the deepest, narliest snow, my left foot went on a wild detour that caused me to go down on one knee and break my fall with my hand in the snow. I did let out a “remark”, but this doesn’t count because…
    1) I was grinning ear-to-ear
    2) it was not a whining complaint but an exclaimation of surprise

    Yes, I’ve had to re-define “complaining”. Since I work in technology, I constantly have to define problems clearly. This often sounds like complaining, but it’s not – it’s thinking out loud.
    Complaining is negative language that has no positive redeeming value. Stuff that doesn’t help lead you to a better situation.

    So I had two grand days!
    Then, man oh man, did I ever make up for it! There’s this tablet laptop with thumbprint reader, built-in EVDO cell phone Internet, WiFi “n”, bluetooth, and TPM security module built into the motherboard…
    I was handling this quirks quite well, until I was ambushed:
    “How’s it going? What are you working on?”
    Earfull followed.
    Then I stopped abruptly and felt like a lame sinner. And I thought back to my former days as a Catholic…
    “Bless me Meghan, for I have sinned – it has been a week sins my last confession.”

  2. Audrey says:

    Wow, I’m looking at your blog on a really big monitor and the blog header looks gorgeous.

    As you read my blog you’ve seen me complain about my foot…a lot…but that’s it i think!!

  3. The Salty One says:

    I was just talking about this very subject with mrp! I said that I think it’s not so much that I’m a complainer than someone who identifies that which can be improved. How can we get better if we don’t see that stuff?! It’s all in the tone, I guess. Is it said with bitterness or hopefulness? That must be the difference.

  4. Bob Gentile says:

    ahhhhh work, run, train, school it’s all BS, i am going to grab a beer – lol

    (hmmm now that statement above is what? a whine?, a complain?, or just a Jersey Tude?)

  5. A says:

    I agree about acknowledging a challenge vs. complaining! There is a difference. And maybe a gray area in between πŸ™‚

    I caught myself complaining about one of my classes, more than once! Ugh. Wah, wah, wah. πŸ™‚

    And… internal mental complaints about sleepiness….[yawn]

    Whoops! But! I am catching myself lots and steering my comments toward something *less* complain-ey and more neutral, at least in cases where being outright positive just feels out of reach. πŸ™‚

    Ooh, that would have been cool to hear your adventures about topping a 9000-ft peak…. in March?? What’re ya, nuts? HAHAHA, kidding.

    Just under 2 months til you’re done with grad school??? Wow! HOORAYYY!! [counting down…]

    Good luck!

    Thanks for the check-in! Great idea.

  6. Backofpack says:

    I’m pretty sure I’ve complained. I can’t remember any specifics, but with the covenant wars, the in-service event I’m hosting on Friday and another little situation at work, I’m pretty sure there was some complaining. At the very least there was a lot of worrying out loud and walking through the alternatives. I don’t think I ever slipped into real complaining though. One thing that’s good – I did NOT use the option to complain during the 50 miler!

  7. Carilyn says:

    I hate to admit it, but I don’t think there is enough space for me to list all of my complaining transgressions πŸ™‚ I have noticed (because of this challenge), that I am an obnoxious complainer in the car. I am just one expletive away from road rage!

    This really is a great challenge. I am trying to pay more attention because of it. Thanks!

  8. Meghan says:

    Hi y’all! Awesome to hear from you! Good luck with the challenge this week!

    JeffO- I think you get extra points for enjoying the Salida Marathon through all the nasty snow! And, it does sound exactly like confessing. My Catholic roots suddenly feel so guilty. πŸ˜‰

    Audrey- You and your poor foot. Good luck being positive this week!

    Salty- I’m a problem-solver, too! I really believe that identifying the problem is alright, especially if done with the desire for improvement. Or spoken with hopefulness, like you said. I laughed at the first quote I put up yesterday because I have at times legitimately felt that people get really annoyed with my problem solving nature. Sometimes people just want to stew in a problem.

    Bob- I’m calling you today, watch out! Oh, and drink a beer for me, ‘kay?

    Anne- We’re going to try to make it to that peak again in a few weeks. It might be April by then, but, oh well. I still think it would be awesome to get that high so early. Good luck with school, also!

    Michelle- When I first read through your comment, I thought it said “convent wars” and I laughed. Then I read again. Actually, I think it’s an awesome sign that you stayed positive throughout your 50. Methinks that means running is something you really love! πŸ™‚

    Carilyn- I’ve seen El Paso traffic so I understand why you’re one bleep away from raging at the motorists. Good luck with the challenge this week!

  9. olga says:

    Yup, at how I suck on flats…and in general the last couple of seasons:) But it wasn’t truly a complain, more like a statement of a fact, as in “yep, I suck”. That’s about it. Oh, and my cable interenet/phone died last night! I had to call the company and then complained a bit about taking half day off today to be there for fixing…but way too soon realize how I am going to use it to my advantage! It’s a whole gain I might have missed! And I won’t tell you:)

  10. Sunshine Girl says:

    What do I have to complain about? Not a thing!

    The only thing I find myself complaining about is my body and all of the aches and pains that I seem to always have! It’s an athlete thing – you beat yourself up and then you kvetch about it. I try and keep it to a minimum, but my hubby is usual the recipient of my moans and groans.

    Oooooooh, my achin’ back…..

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