Wow! I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I don’t know if it had anything to do with Wookie the cat scratching the dickens out of me last night or the constant barking from the neighbors dog around 2 am or the fact that I was shopping for craft supplies (with money I don’t have) until midnight last night. Whatever the reason, I wanted to murder someone this morning. In fact, as the dogs welcomed the morning with yet another volley of barking, I though how convenient it would be for someone to break into my house at that moment so that I could safely expel my overwhelming rage on a deserving target. No one broke in though so I yelled at the cats instead.
As I got ready for work, I muttered the usual curses. I don’t mind curses. I see them as a action, albeit an ignorant one, taken towards an event or a situation. Early morning before the brain is engaged, curses seem almost appropriate somehow. Especially when attempting to put my shoes on before the cat can grab the laces with his razor sharp little claws of death. What I don’t like is whining. Whining is stupid and ineffective. It doesn’t accomplish anything and usually ends up making others angry. What I heard come out of my mouth, after the curses, was whining. “Oh me.” I said as I stood up. “I’m so sleepy”, I added. “Oh god, I don’t want to go to work today.” Yes, I was whining. I was apparently comfortable with the words, presumably having said them many times before. It was evident that I have developed the habit of whining. I’m not sure when this happened. I have always seen myself as a person who, when faced with an unpleasant task, will take a deep breath and plunge right in. I decided to discuss my revelation with a coworker. “I’ve been unusually whiny lately.” I began with real shame clouding my voice. “Oh, no more than usual.” She quickly responded.
No more than usual? So the whininess has been going on for a while now? So long that this coworker, who has known me for years doesn’t see anything unusual about it? Well, yea (heavy on the sarcasm)! So how does one stop whining? Seriously, because now I’m hearing it with every word I speak. I even hear it in my thoughts. So I’ve been sitting at my desk googling how to stop whining and praying that no one comes in to talk with me until I get some answers. One article I found ( yes, there are articles about adults whining ) stated that “whining to an inappropriate audience is basically saying ‘please feel sorry for me because I’m a victim with no power to influence my circumstances’ “(http://www.beinkandescent.com/articles/1252/stop+whining). The author suggests using a simple question to stop whining in its tracks. Just ask “what are you going to do about it?”
So, what am I going to do about it? For one thing, I’m going to be more conscious of what I say. When difficult circumstances arise, instead of thinking “poor me” or “why me”, I’m going to try to think “what can I do about this” and “how can this help me to be better”. I made a start today. Instead of joining in the round of “I’m so fat and I can’t lose weight” that was going around the table at lunch, I challenged everyone. What are you going to do about it? We started talking diets and exercise and before the end of lunch, we’d all committed to helping each other with eating in a more healthful manner. We promised to start tomorrow with a group lunch. Perhaps it’s not world peace but it’s a positive step toward a beneficial goal and there wasn’t a bit of whine about it.