notquiteold

Nancy Roman

The Non-Complaint Department

I overheard the most ordinary – yet extraordinary – conversation yesterday.

Two friends were catching up after our Yoga class. One had just returned from visiting her son and grandchildren.

“I see my grandchildren so much more than I ever thought I would,” the woman said. “It’s such an easy trip. Bradley [our Connecticut airport] is so fantastic.”

“I know!” said her friend. “Convenient parking, easy walks to the gates…  we are so lucky!”

Okay. Wow.

When was the last time you heard someone say something nice about AN AIRPORT????

But it’s true. We have a nice airport. And there are great airports all over the world. We can go anywhere. I did not travel the ocean in steerage to go to my business meeting in France.

I’m not saying we don’t have lots of problems with flying. But my God, we are flying.

And there are so many things that we complain about that are really such first-world problems.

And again, I’m not saying that first-world problems are never serious – holy crap, there are many things on this planet that are a mess, including this planet.

I’m just saying let’s focus please on the important concerns of our life and our world, and not bitch quite so much about the remarkable and wonderful things in our life.

Like cell phones.

  • “My  phone battery drains like a sink.”
  • “I never have any bars.”
  • “The memory sucks.”
  • “This app takes forever to load.”

Well how about this:

  • “I don’t have to look for a pay phone.”
  • “I just showed my Mom new pictures of the grandkids.”
  • “Honey, pick up bread on your way home.”
  • “I was about to buy this new toothpaste, but it says here that it makes your gums bleed.”
  • “In one quarter of a mile, turn right.”

And television. “Oh there’s nothing but crap on TV.” Well, it’s true that most of your 200 channels aren’t exactly Hamlet, but what did you turn the TV on for anyway? Mostly for mindless entertainment, and a way to unwind – am I right? And you have 200 choices. Remember when we had 3 channels and the picture rolled and you needed tin foil on the rabbit ears? And we LOVED TV anyway. And be honest, we weren’t watching Hamlet back then either. Am I right, Gilligan?

And restaurants. “There’s nowhere good to eat out. Overpriced or junk food – that’s all you get.” Well, I know that some of you may live out where there are only soybean fields, but for most of us, we just need to Google ‘restaurants near me’ and pick something. I added ‘within 10 miles’ on my Google search, so I only got 101 choices.  And you know what? – I don’t have to cook the food myself or do the dishes in any of those 101 places.

And supermarkets. While we are talking food, someone I know recently said, “The supermarket in my town is horrid.” That’s so strange. I walked into my supermarket yesterday which is in a much smaller town, and there were two aisles of apples – ordinary, organic, loose, bagged. And it isn’t even apple season. And oh my God, THE CHEESE!

And costs. Yes. Stuff is expensive. Yes, I remember when gas prices were 40 cents a gallon. But I also made $1.60 an hour.

And by the way, your pen is not shit, your clothes do not fall apart in the wash, your bank is online, the hospital will stitch up your kid’s knee, and your car has seatbelts.

You want to complain?

How about complaining that some people are hungry and some people do not have homes?

apples

Apple aisle. More on the other side.

**

PS:  If you’d like to read my novel, JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED –  you can download the Kindle version from March 24 – 30 for just 99 Cents!  That’s like 3/10ths of a cent per page. Or, since it took me three years to write the book, you are just paying me 33 cents a year!  Well below minimum wage!  Just click here:  JUST WHAT I ALWAYS WANTED

49 Comments

  1. Even dentists! Recently my dentist apologized about how long the procedure had taken. I said to her, when you have the luxury of being able to care for your teeth, who can complain?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. jono51

    Even though I am getting closer to the end of life I have more patience and gratitude than ever. Except with myself, maybe. So many things just aren’t all that important.

    Like

    • Getting old really helps you forget this little stuff and focus on the important stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Very true. BTW, your book is terrific.

    Like

    • Thanks! I have just finished 3rd draft of my new book. It is very different from my first (a lot sadder for one thing) – but I hope you will read it and like it. .I’ll keep you posted on when it finally comes out.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reblogged this on World4Justice : NOW! Lobby Forum..

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  5. I thank God for my blessings of being alive and retired in Florida with an awesome husband of 46 years, two great sons and two awesome grandsons. “I won’t complain” is my favorite song. It makes me overlook the small stuff like bad customer service from Express script. We are retired military and we have to get drugs through the mail and sometime the mail sucks, so I have to call customer service. One lady tried to tell me we got it and lost his heart meds, now, after screaming, I sang to myself. I must practice singing to myself more often. Lol

    Like

    • Oh, singing to yourself sounds like a great idea… I’m going to try it. I think James Taylor’s “You Can Close Your Eyes” might be good.

      Like

  6. Sometimes we need to take a deep breath and count our blessings. We too have a wonderful small airport…small but interesting and excellent quality groceries…and little traffic (except in summer). Let’s face it, most of us are spoiled.

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    • I try to stay impressed with all the great things around us.

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  7. I have one big pain in the world to complain about and that is the idiot who was just elected President of the USA.

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    • Oh, that’s my whole rationale for writing about kindness and appreciation – so I don’t lose my mind.

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  8. There’s a comedian, Louis CK, who does a great bit about this, including flying and cell phones and what a wonder it is that we have either one of those, yet we complain. So funny and so true.

    Also, I read once about moms who live in “food deserts” where there is no fresh food within any distance they can get to. Think inner city moms who don’t have their own transportation, and have to travel long distances by public transportation, which they may not be able to afford, to get to anything better than a convenience store. They have to feed their kids crap because it’s all they have access to, and we know that eating that kind of crap affects everything from your heart to your brain to your attention span. Every single time I go to the store (and I go to a special, glorious store for produce because I live in Orange County, California, where we have everything) I think about those moms giving their hungry kids cheetos when I get to choose which variety of mushrooms or baby greens or whatever.

    And while I’m going on and on, I also have a wave of gratitude every time I shower. No kidding. I have running water and I get to decide how warm I like it and everything.

    I still complain, but you’re right. So much to be grateful for.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love Louis CK – so honest. I’ll have to see if I can find video of his takes on cell phones and flying. Thanks.

      Like

    • I was going to mention the Louis CK bit too! He’s hilarious. 🙂

      Like

  9. Very good point! Sometimes I think it is just human nature to complain rather than to appreciate what we have. But that doesn’t mean we can’t make the effort to stop whining and start appreciating!

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    • Complaining is all too human. I do my share – but I’m working on it.

      Like

  10. Elizabeth

    The old saying…”if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” certainly seems to apply to the complaining. Except for politics 🙂

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    • I think we should complain and raise hell over things that really matter. But not trivial annoyances.

      Like

  11. Christine

    I’ve been thinking about this lately too and was twice reminded. As you know, it took me a day to recover from the Hartford St. Pat’s parade which was THE COLDEST PARADE EVER. But we waited inside the capitol until we had to line up as we were towards the back, it put money into the treasury of our drum corps, and I drove home to a nice warm house. Then I began to think about the folks that go to our local warming center for only 4 hours a day. The overflow at the shelter cannot accommodate everyone and it is now closed for the season although it was bitterly cold and windy last night. I wrote to the lady who I send my knitted hats to who runs the place and said “puts things into perspective.” Also, lately I’ve been annoyed at a lot of little things – mostly attitudes of some people I have to deal with. But the last couple of nights, since – as you said – TV sucks – I’ve been watching old episodes of the British “Who do you think you are” online, where I learn things like Twiggy’s ancestors died in a poorhouse, and so on. Then I go and cuddle in my nice warm bed with my cats at my feet, and found I have already forgotten about what I was annoyed about.

    Like

    • Once in a while, the reality of how other people suffer hits us squarely in face… and it’s a good thing.

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  12. Thanks for this imp0ortant reminder to be grateful! ❤
    Diana xo

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Pam

    Great post, Nancy! Yes, we have a great selection of apples here, too, and at this time of year, too! I always marvel at the selection of produce at the store. I recently found some delicious, juicy Sequoia California loose oranges at Walmart, and I mean some really good ones, and was so grateful to have them, I went back and bought two big bags and now there is only one left. It’s not always easy to find a good orange.

    I have only flown once and it was the most exciting thing I’ve ever done. I was a little scared, but mostly I was blown away! I was looking down at the world, seeing it from a new perspective and wondering about all the lives of the busy people I was looking down on. It was like looking down on an ant hill. I thanked Orville and Wilbur Wright for the true miracle of flight. Now when I see a jet high up in the sky, I wonder about the people on that plane and where they might be going and wonder if they can see me, or at least the little green square of earth I live on. I hope they make it safely, and of course, they almost always do. Plane crashes are relatively rare. Truly a miracle!

    Thanks for the suggestion for your novel. I’m getting it on my Kindle for 99 cents! Yea! Another great thing to appreciate!

    If I’m going to complain, it will be about the hungry, the homeless, and the people who may soon not have any healthcare!!! Grrrr!

    Thanks for reminding us of the wonderful things in life. I like your attitude of gratitude (like Oprah says). Carry on!

    Like

    • It’s human nature to complain. Why just this morning I was irritated that I was a little congested. When a friend was just hospitalzed for pneumonia. Yeah, I was stuffy.

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    • And thanks for giving my book a try!

      Like

  14. So easy to complain, isn’t it?
    I have a long way to go in that area. Trying.

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    • We all need to try. And keep trying. If once in a while, it works – that’s enough.

      Like

  15. We can not always just be ungrateful about everything in life. I mean why not count our blessings and thank God for everything he has bestowed upon us . We all have problems but instead of being so self centered and complaining time and again about petty issues we should look at the bigger picture . The homeless , the needy we should complain less and celebrate this event called life by practicing Gratitude 🙂

    p.s I love reading your blogs .

    Like

    • Thanks for your kind words and for being here to read my blogs.

      Like

  16. Reblogged this on talktodiana and commented:
    In lieu of a Friday Pick. ❤
    Gratitude is the best attitude!

    Like

  17. Perspective…loving this one, and your “glass half-full”. Great post. Came here thanks to Diana.

    Like

  18. Gratitude every day. And for those who haven’t read the book, download it! I loved it!

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  19. Love your perspective! Thank you.
    PS: Diana lead me here. I’m glad she did!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Christine

    When I get in a complaining mood, which is too often, I try to stop and remind myself that I have plenty of food, a warm home, good health and lots of wonderful friends and family. A lot of the stuff that we all complain about, like spots with no cell service or slow traffic, is insignificant to how good our lives are. So If I complain about anything the next time we see each other, remind me of this post.

    Like

    • Well, sometimes we need a BFF to bitch to. Just not all the time!

      Like

  21. Great reminders of how well we really do have it!

    Like

  22. What a beautiful way of looking at the world. Thank you for this post.

    Like

  23. Reblogged this on Living: the ultimate team sport and commented:
    We don’t have to take lessons to excel at complaining; no, we’ve got it in the bag when it comes to such things. Nancy’s article puts things into perspective when it comes to those many things we take advantage of/complain about.

    Like

  24. Donna Walsh

    You are so right, Nancy! We need to stop complaining and be aware of all the blessings we have. Personally, I thank God for soap and hot water when I shower, and for gas and a car to put gas into. That’s only two of a million more reasons to be thankful. I wasn’t always this way; but as I became aware of each blessing, I became more and more thankful in my life. And when I find myself getting ready with a complaint, I stop myself. It feels wrong to me now.

    Like

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