A couple weeks ago, a friend sent me this picture:
I accepted the challenge, interested to see if my life would start to change.
It’s been two weeks.
My life is changing.
An interesting thing happens when you make the decision to stop complaining.
You realize you can do one of two things.
If there is something bothering you, you can address it head on.
You can be direct and to the point. And you can take action.
Like a grown up.
Or you can go the other route.
Do nothing and keep your mouth shut. And sulk.
Like a teenager.
I’m going with Option A.
The town I live in is in the midst of a political shitstorm.
A really bad one.
It is affecting lots of different things, but one of the biggest is that our schools are taking a serious beating.
I have done my fair share of complaining about it.
I’ve complained about class sizes and lack of programs and supplies and resources and the fact that we now have to pay for our kids to participate in athletics in all the schools.
I have lived in this town for almost six years now, and up until this past November you know what I did to change the things I was unhappy about?
I didn’t vote.
I wasn’t even registered to vote until this past October.
I didn’t go to PTO meetings.
I didn’t go to Board of Ed meetings.
This past November was the first time I actually voted in a town election.
I didn’t really know who I was voting for, though. I just checked off a bunch of boxes.
I voted again this past January, I think it was.
Maybe it was February.
But you know what?
I don’t really know what I voted for.
I don’t know why there was an election in the middle of the winter, either. I thought they were all in November.
The day after the election, I was sitting here at the computer in the office with Maureen, and I looked at her and I said,
“I’m feeling like a really responsible citizen for voting yesterday. But, um, what the fuck was it that I voted for, exactly?”
I had no clue. I still don’t.
All I know is that I voted for the guy that my friend told me to vote for.
But still complaining!
So anyway, today I made a decision. Don’t complain. And either shit or get off the pot.
I decided I’d take a pretty big poop.
Today I started to educate myself about politics, and more specifically, about the politics in my town.
I still have a lot to learn but not complaining has forced me to actually get involved.
And tomorrow I am going to a meeting about the proposed 2015-16 school budget for our town (9:30 a.m. at HHES local peeps).
I have never gone to one of these meetings before.
And not because I couldn’t.
But because I didn’t feel like it.
I mean, let’s face it. There are about 4000 things I’d rather be doing.
But if I can come up with excuses to blow off a meeting that I am able to attend, especially a meeting that affects the future of my children, then I am not doing everything I can to 1) educate myself, and 2) make a difference.
And if I am not doing EVERYTHING I can to educate myself and make a difference, then I have no business even thinking about complaining in the first place.
So has my life changed as a result of my committing to not complaining?
You bet it has.
In fact, starting tomorrow, I’m pretty sure I’m gonna change a whole bunch of lives because of it.