No, I’m not talking about my age! I’m talking about all those annoying, negative, nitpicking thoughts that fly through my head on a regular basis. They’re getting old. For instance, how many times do I have to say to myself, “I hate these shoelaces!”?
In the case of the shoelaces, there are three choices: get another pair or switch to Velcro, don’t wear those shoes, or stop going out for morning walks. Instead, I continue to get up in the morning, put on my running shoes, and think: “Damn! I hate these shoelaces!” (No matter how tightly I tie them, by the time I get to the bottom of my hill they’ve come undone.)
I can’t stand it when I have smudges on my glasses, either. How many times in a given day do I think to myself, “Argh! I have to clean these glasses!”? Or, “I’m too cold!” Or, “It’s too hot!” Or, “I have too many layers on!” Or, “I wish I’d worn more layers, I’m freezing.”
The mind is virtually an over-flowing cauldron of complaints (if you let it be). So lately, because it is spring, and because spring puts me in a good mood, I’ve been trying to banish those irritating thoughts and replace them with positive observations. After all, one complaint just seems to lead to another, and another, and before you know it you are simply drowning in all the things that annoy you. Isn’t it better to be buoyed up by all the things that you like?
I’m not a Pollyanna, and if you’ve read this blog you know that I can complain just as long and as loudly as the next guy. But after a while, don’t you just get sick of listening to yourself be unhappy? I know I do. After a while, all those whiny “Why couldn’t I do this? And why I couldn’t I do that? And why can’t I be, have, get"…whatever!—just become overwhelming. The same complaints over and over get old and stale, just like a cracker left out of its box. In fact, there are times when I just wish I could turn my mind off like a faucet. (And, have you ever noticed that those negative comments can be even more contagious than strep? Just hang around with a complainer for a few hours and see if you’re not tempted to join in).
Anyway, I’m off to buy some new shoelaces! Hopefully I won’t trip on my way to the store.