Thursday, November 15, 2007


Yesterday, I was coming home from Lancaster after a not-so-great experience. I stopped at the mailbox before driving into my garage. Inside, among all the catalogs, was a package from my friend Nan. She had told me she was sending it to me so I knew what to expect: one of those ubiquitous rubber bracelets with a saying stamped into it. I saw Nan wearing it at Woman to Woman and asked her about it. She told me it was a complaint bracelet. Every time she complains, or gossips, or criticizes, she needs to move the bracelet to the other wrist. It makes you aware of negative thinking. The goal is not to move the bracelet for 21 days. It could take months to accomplish.

Great idea, right? For some other time perhaps. I am PMSing, just having driven home 25 miles from a workshop that didn't happen and therefore for which I got no money--even though I'd already invested about 10 hours planning. My consolation peppermint white chocolate mocha didn't happen either. Starbucks had run out of white chocolate syrup. So I don't put the bracelet on my wrist just yet. I am not ready to get the complaints out of the way: I've got bitching to do, and children to raise.

So I put the package beside my computer until this morning when I decide to check out the website A Complaint Free World. I am willing to research the complaint-free life--if only to say that I am contemplating being a better person. I trolled the site and ordered some free bracelets. (If I have to quit whining, then my friends are going to have to do it, too!) I also listened to a speech (I think it was actually a sermon) by Will Bowen. He told a story about a man who was at work eating lunch. The man looked in his lunch box and said, "Meatloaf sandwich? I hate meatloaf." The next day, the same thing happened. The third day, the man opened his lunchbox and said, "Meatloaf? Not again." Finally his co-worker, a little sick of these lunchtime tirades said to the man, "Why don't you ask your wife to pack you something else?" The man turned to him and said, "I pack my own lunch!"

Something in that story hit home. I create my experience. If I want to complain, then the world is going to provide things for me to complain about. So right at the hour of this post, I will put this bracelet on my wrist. I'll let you know how long it stays there. (I should make it through the morning--I have nobody home with me! As long as the dog doesn't piddle on the carpet, I should be home-free.) And it isn't about other people telling you must move your bracelet (they have to move theirs if they point it out to you), but every time you express grief, pain or discontent, the bracelet must move. At least I'll be more aware of my thought and speech patterns as I head into Thanksgiving week. This should be fun--as we are hosting the event.

Click on the above link to get your own free bracelet. Good luck and let me know how it goes!

My gratitude for the day is for all my friends who listen to me whine. I know it is reciprocal, but it is good to know that we are there for each other through all of our meatloaf sandwhiches.

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