Today it’s the sixth instalment in the How to fall in love with your world series. How to fall in love with your world aims to offer a moment to pause, in the midst of our busy lives, in the midst of the angst and pulls from all different directions. A moment to grab a cuppa and let the words wash over you. Words of wisdom as to how other women learn to fall in love with their world. There’ll be something – hopefully more than one thing! – in each post that’ll capture your imagination, that you can take away and implement, somehow, in your lives to help you fall that little bit more in love with your world.
Today’s guest is Rachel from The Random Writings. I was a convert to her blog as soon as I read her post entitled, “To give more than we can spare“, which had a profound effect on me. She’s currently an ex-pat, an ESL teacher in China and, having journeyed through China myself, several times, and having fallen in love with it a little more each time, I’m always thrilled when she posts snippets of her experiences of living there.
How to fall in love with your world
Over 10 years ago, my mom sat all of her children down and told us that we were about to move to Malaysia, a land where it was hot ALL of the time, and that our new family rule was to never ever complain about the heat. She said, “Yeah, you might be miserably hot. But if you’re hot, everyone else is too, and saying “I’m sooooo hot!” isn’t going to help anyone feel any better, so don’t say it.”
We actually did a pretty good job of following the rule. She was right. It is hot in Malaysia. Our schoolroom was perfectly placed to catch all of the afternoon sun, and we occasionally felt like we were baking, but we knew we weren’t allowed to complain, and for the most part, we didn’t.
Strangely, that conversation and that rule about not complaining has stuck with me for a long time, and at this point, I think it’s a key aspect of the way I do life. If you want to fall in love with the life you have, right here, right now–try to the fullest extent of your ability not to complain about it.
If whatever is bothering you is fixable, exert energy to fix it–but don’t waste energy that could be spent fixing a problem on complaints about the problem. If it’s not fixable, you’ll love your life a lot more, problems and all, if there aren’t complaints running through your brain on a never-ending spin cycle.
I’m not saying I never ever ever complain…but that’s what I strive for. I believe that complaining tends largely to be a habit that one can either get into or get out of. Some people are going to complain in even the best of situations…while others simply aren’t going to complain no matter how bad their situation has become.
I make it a priority to not allow negative, complaint-tinged words come out of my mouth. This doesn’t mean that I only speak happy things. Nope. I have no fear about naming bad things as bad–but complaints are a special subset of negative talk, and a particularly unproductive and venomous subset.
That’s it, for me anyway. My secret to enjoying the life I have as much as possible is not complaining. I’ll fix what I can and learn to live with the rest, but I hope that no one ever hears me wailing endlessly about the tough stuff in my life, because that’s not the kind of person I want to be.
[Thanks, Rachel, for your post: I was touched by it because ‘Don’t complain, just get on with it’ is one of the (many) life lessons my own Mum instilled in me. During the midst of some of my worst and darkest times (my current life), I’ve found great solace through writing some of my own blog posts, using them as a way of ‘learning to live with the rest’ (as Rachel writes). I’ve been pleased, through those blog posts, to have reached out to a lot of ladies who’ve been through, or who are living through, situations similar to mine and it’s been great to find a ‘blog friend support group’ of ladies who understand and who sometimes – as Rachel suggests – don’t want to complain, don’t need to complain but who do need to work through things. It’s a marvellous thing to be able to work through things with people who understand, especially as I’m currently physically isolated from my usual (close-knit) support groups (i.e., family and offline, life-long, friends). Isn’t the internet, BlogLand, a wonderful thing, that it allows people to find each other, find solace – and inspiration – from each other, in this manner?]