Monday, March 31, 2008

Complaint-Free World: Don't be a grumpy elder

Know what is most unattractive in a 50+ woman? Not gray hair, not the inevitable bumps, lumps or shifts, it's being jamais content. To be 'never happy' means complaining, nitpicking, grousing, criticizing, belittling or other ways of letting people know you're not satisfied with what is.

I'm not sure if complaining is exacerbated by age- an innate quality given free rein after 50- or a low-key depression played out via nattering dissatisfaction. Whatever the cause, the result is a way of being that drives people further apart, at a time of life when friendships become ever more precious.

Complaining is a habit, and I can slip unconsciously into the ain't-it-a-shame, kids-these-days curmudgeonly behaviour that only curmedgeons find appealing.

I saw a CBC Sunday Newsworld feature on Will Bowen, the Kansas City MO minister who founded the "Complaint Free World" movement. His simple program: wear a purple silicone bracelet on your wrist, switch it when you complain, and aim for 21 days straight on one hand.

There are a very few loopholes, and they're not the weather, your body, your son-in-law or your job, sister.

You thoughts create your reality, Bowen says, and you control your thoughts. Wouldn't you like to be more gracious, compassionate, conscious and connected to what's good in life? Pick up Bowen's book from your bookseller or the Complaint-Free World web site (for bracelets too) and get started.

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude. Don't complain."
- Maya Angelou

2 comments:

Deja Pseu said...

Oh, I so agree! I try to be aware when I'm having one of those "all you kids, off my lawn!" moments and switch to gratitude, which is much better for the complexion!

I occasionally grouse on my blog, but try to keep that to a minimum as well.

greying pixie said...

Yes, it's something I've noticed over the years. My mother-in-law used to be the worst at complaining about everything from extendable dog leads to French kissing on TV (!) until I gave her a couple of grandchildren - that seemed to stop her completely.