Author Topic: Challenge: Complaint-free Thanksgiving  (Read 3340 times)

Gray Matter

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Challenge: Complaint-free Thanksgiving
« on: November 26, 2014, 06:41:47 AM »
I'm sitting in my favorite comfy chair, with a cup of coffee at hand, and a beagle by my side, and I found myself saying, "I don't want to go to work today."  DH is working from home, my parents are arriving this afternoon for Thanksgiving, and I want to stay home and putter around the house and enjoy the falling snow and cozy-up.  Understandable.

But then I realized that I say I don't want to go to work every morning, and saying that just makes me feel it even more, plus it's boring, and who wants to listen to that kind of crap?  I have been quite the complainypants as of late (and "of late" stretched back quite a ways).

So...my challenge to myself and anyone who wants to join me is:  A COMPLAINT-FREE THANKSGIVING.

And I mean completely complaint free.  So, if the kids are being too loud and I want them to quieten down, I need to find a complaint-free way of saying that.  "Hey guys, sounds like you're having a lot of fun.  Could you turn down the volume a little so the adults can hear each other talk?  Thanks!" as opposed to "You're too loud!"  No "I'm cold" or "This turkey is a little dry, sorry" or "That dog is driving me crazy."

If I can't get through 24 hours on the one day a year that we're supposed to be filled with gratitude, well, that's really sad.

Edited to add:  I realize that most people here have conquered this, or never had the complainypants tendency in the first place, so this may be a one-person challenge.  But at least knowing that I will report back in will help keep me accountable.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 06:56:38 AM by Gray Matter »

southernhippie

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Re: Challenge: Complaint-free Thanksgiving
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2014, 09:10:23 AM »
I will join you.  It is always easy to find something to complain about but given that most of all of us have more than anything we will ever need.  It is wise to just sit and appreciate all things.

AllieVaulter

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Re: Challenge: Complaint-free Thanksgiving
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2014, 10:28:58 AM »
Gray Matter, I don't think you're alone in any way.  I've been working on being optimistic and thankful my entire life and I still find myself complaining at one point or another. 

I would like to join you in your challenge.  I think it's a great challenge any day of the year, but there's certainly added incentive tomorrow.  Thanks for suggesting this!

kib

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Re: Challenge: Complaint-free Thanksgiving
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2014, 03:22:20 PM »
Alas I cannot join you, in fact I've already lodged a pre-Thanksgiving snark on another forum.  Perhaps Christmas.

madgeylou

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Re: Challenge: Complaint-free Thanksgiving
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2014, 03:23:43 PM »
i have attempted to have a complaint-free day several times now but have yet to make it through successfully.

i will give it another go tomorrow!

Gray Matter

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Re: Challenge: Complaint-free Thanksgiving
« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2014, 02:04:04 PM »
Alas I cannot join you, in fact I've already lodged a pre-Thanksgiving snark on another forum.  Perhaps Christmas.

Tee hee.  I actually enjoy a little snark (both to and from).  I have no desire to become a completely complaint-free person (too pollyanna-ish for me), but nor do I want to be one of those negative people who has something to say about everything. 

Yesterday was semi-successful.  Just being aware of it was good, for I caught myself a few times getting ready to state something in a slightly negative way.  I was able to either not say it at all, or rephrase it in a more positive way.  That said, I just couldn't help myself--I had to complain about my MIL a few times. 

And honestly, I don't even feel bad about it, because she's such a drama queen and so negative herself (moaning 20-30 times a day about the cold, sitting on her arse and expecting people to wait on her).  DH and I whispered a few funny/snarky comments in each other's ear throughout the day and that somehow made it more tolerable.

How did you do?

kib

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Re: Challenge: Complaint-free Thanksgiving
« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2014, 05:08:46 PM »
I managed to hold my tongue all day and what am I getting for my pains?  TWO members of my husband's family have invited themselves to stay with us for the weekend.  May I complain now?  Oh ... I guess I just did.   

tracylayton

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Re: Challenge: Complaint-free Thanksgiving
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2014, 05:57:29 PM »
It was my mother's turn to host this holiday, and all she did was complain. She is 72 and in excellent health, but said she wouldn't be able to take a turn in the future. We had told her to just make one thing, and we would bring everything else...but she fixed 6 or 7 additional sides. We put all of the food up and cleaned the dishes. She told us the turkey was heavy and hard to carve, and that she was just getting too old. I told her we'll take her out of the rotation when she's 80. Now, I'm feeling guilty. Should we tell she's off the hook? The truth is she stresses herself out trying to make everything perfect. We even came up with a new plan...whoever hosts doesn't have to provide any of the food, just the location.

Gray Matter

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Re: Challenge: Complaint-free Thanksgiving
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2014, 03:55:31 AM »
I managed to hold my tongue all day and what am I getting for my pains?  TWO members of my husband's family have invited themselves to stay with us for the weekend.  May I complain now?  Oh ... I guess I just did.

Ok, that's hilarious!  I shouldn't laugh, but I can see  how being nothing but kind and sunshiney would lead to this.  And my MIL is staying with us until 12/15, so feel free to stop buy with a little snark!

It was my mother's turn to host this holiday, and all she did was complain. She is 72 and in excellent health, but said she wouldn't be able to take a turn in the future. We had told her to just make one thing, and we would bring everything else...but she fixed 6 or 7 additional sides. We put all of the food up and cleaned the dishes. She told us the turkey was heavy and hard to carve, and that she was just getting too old. I told her we'll take her out of the rotation when she's 80. Now, I'm feeling guilty. Should we tell she's off the hook? The truth is she stresses herself out trying to make everything perfect. We even came up with a new plan...whoever hosts doesn't have to provide any of the food, just the location.

There's no reason to feel guilty.  The main reason to leave your mother out of the rotation is if it really just wasn't any fun at her house.  Your new plan is awesome--it'll be interesting to see if she finds new things to complain about.  It sounds like she's got perfectionist tendencies, which is unfortunate because perfectionists can suck the joy out of just about anything if left to their own devices (I've done a lot of work on this because I have perfectionist tendencies).  It's actually quite sad that, at 72, she hasn't figured out that Thanksgiving is about family and getting together and enjoying a meal and each other. 

I host Thanksgiving every year and I love it, because I don't have to go anywhere.  And my family is awesome--I just open my doors--that's about all the effort I have to put into anything.  I honestly don't even have to clean (generally do, if nothing  more than a spit polish).  My sister brings most of the food (she loves to cook, I don't).

I think we have the same MIL. ;) Mine has been up for Thanksgiving week, and, while I am not exactly a paragon of sunny optimism, I am not even sure how she can survive with such an unrelentingly negative outlook on life. It makes me want to check my own negativity, for sure, lest I end up like that.

I could have written those exact words.  Listening to my MIL is making me wonder if, god forbid, I'm like that.  (I don't think I am, but I could be headed in that direction).  She literally gasps and moans throughout the day, about the cold, her creaky bones (she's 71).  And she's so melodramatic, I can't tell you how many times things have "broken her heart" or she was "terrified" or "nearly died" (in any given day, multiple times).

It's an interesting world view, and it must be exhausting.  On Thanksgiving, we were having reception problems with the downstairs TV, so my dad had to watched his football game on the upstairs TV.  MIL sidled up to me and said, "I hope this doesn't ruin DH's Thanksgiving."  I said, "Why would it?  It's just a TV" (and DH wasn't even going to watch is; he was just getting it set up for my dad).  She said, "He seems really upset."  I just looked at her...DH was mildly annoyed and got over it immediately.  It made me realize that she's got a really distorted/exaggerated perception of emotions, especially negative ones. Quite sad, really (but also annoying to be around).

AllieVaulter

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Re: Challenge: Complaint-free Thanksgiving
« Reply #9 on: December 03, 2014, 09:46:40 AM »
I did pretty well avoiding Thanksgiving complaining, but that's mostly because we just hung out and did whatever we wanted to do all day long.  :)  I may have complained (I know I at least groaned) when my puppy woke me up at 3am to go outside, but I'm filing that away under the "I wasn't awake" category since I can't even remember what I said.