Twenty Minutes of Whining

As a teacher, my policy is to never ask my students to do something I’m not willing to do myself. When I assigned a two week feelings journal to my Substance Abuse class many years ago, I figured I should do it as well. So for one summer I poured out my feelings into notebook for a couple months. At the end of the time I went back and read what I had written. What a whiner! I had never realized what a complainer I was.

The Psalms are full of complaints so I was in good company. I figured if I was going to whine, who better to complain to than God. Still, as you sow so shall you reap. Whining begat more whining. Did I really want to nurture this in me? Time for a change.

Then I read an article about Christopher Reeves, a true superman in his struggle to deal with his loss of mobility due to a spinal cord injury. When asked if he ever felt sorry for himself, he said he allowed himself twenty minutes of self-pity every morning. After that it was off limits. I had also heard about couples who allowed each other fifteen minutes to complain about their day when they get home each night and I thought, that’s a good idea.

I know I don’t always mange to cut out the whining, but I’m working on it. I give myself a limited amount of time to whine then I say that’s enough, time to do something about what I’m wining about or let it go, move on to something more productive.

So how do you deal with whining?

Robertson, copyright June 2013

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