Day 3: Good News, Everyone!


It looks as though I will be fortunate enough to have this lesson last for a loooong time!  It is…somewhat challenging to never complain.

I have finally arrived at day 3.  Honestly, this is the furthest I have made it so far without having to reset.  I have high hopes of making it to day 4.

Since this is going to take a while, once I finally get through with this, I might just have reprogrammed my brain. The repeated practice has already been more eye-opening than anticipated.  I had assumed that my complaints would be extremely varied. About random stuff. Instead, I have found that they fall into a few main areas. Here are some typical things that might elicit an involuntary complaint, and have me switching over my bracelet in short order: a mild disagreement between my partner and I about how things should be done around the house, being a witness to poor driving during my commute, and any time I am feeling unsatisfied with myself.

Other than all of that crap, I’m golden.  Clearly the solution is live alone in an isolated hut, doing nothing but eating salad, running, writing, singing, sleeping and practicing yoga. Problem solved.


Well, since that doesn’t exactly seem feasible right now, I suppose that I have to work with what life has given me.  I can see that my complaints seem to spring from the places where I am rigid. The places where deviation is not desirable, and where I will protest a movement from the status quo.  Interesting.

I know that I value needlessly rigid methods of organization.  I can only load a dishwasher in neat lines. I believe that there is a “correct” way to fold towels.  I read and follow laundry tags. I clean in a pattern. And then Jason comes along and he does things differently.  And sometimes, I guess I resent that he has disrespected one of my precious systems.  And, I don’t know, I suppose I wind up bitching because I take it personally. Game plan:  Realize that everyone is different, and be more grateful that my partner is good at housework!  Let go of what I can; the dishwasher isn’t personal.

As for driving, well…that’s obvious.  I really value safe driving because I am an anxiety-bag and I really like not dying.  It angers me when people are needlessly reckless, or they’re distracted, or they’re throwing coffee cups out the window.  Ok. Logical enough not liking bad behaviour isn’t crazy. Buuuut, complaining about it doesn’t help either. Game plan: Maintain a positive attitude while driving. If I see someone doing something truly inappropriate on the road, I can do what I can to get their plate number and report them.

I also know that I am more likely to complain if I feel like I am not achieving my fitness goals, if I’ve slept in too much, if I’m wasting too much time, etc.  I need to take care of myself to be in the right frame of mind to do this. Game Plan:  Do my best to live my best life.  When something goes wrong, forgive myself.  Also, take the time to work through/acknowledge negative emotions. Meditation=Better than bitching.

Indulging in your own personal self-abuse drama?  There’s your mildew!

Is this enough to get me through 21 days?  I hope so! It’s at least got to be enough to get me to Day 4!

Working to turn complaints into action,


Day 1: The 21-Day No Complaint Challenge

Subtitle:  Missus, Quit Yer Bitchin’

Full disclosure: I had to switch my bracelet over half a dozen times yesterday, so…today is my new Day 1!  We’re off to an auspicious start! (That wasn’t a complaint, I swear!)

Actually, this is completely ok and somewhat expected.  Proponents of this challenge, including Will Bowen himself insist that there is no shame in Day 1.  Here’s a video of him doing/struggling with the challenge. (It’s only 3 minutes long!)

But still, having to switch it like, 6 times?  Even I was a little surprised. I did notice that the complaints that surfaced were these bitchy little throw-away thoughts.  They were grumpy impulse vocalizations about little things around the house, for the most part. So, at the very least, I would say that I am already becoming a little more aware. We will see if that awareness pays off today!

On a totally different note, Jason brought home a foldable craft table yesterday!  I am very happy about this, because it gives me a space to set up my candle-making supplies in the basement!  Candles are fun to make, but a they are a bit time-consuming (they must be left untouched for many hours while drying) and always a little messy.  Up until now, my candle-making operations have been very limited. NOW I can definitely get a few going at once. Look at me, not taking over any kitchen counter space!

Got an outlet right above the table. BTW, those tights you see are handy for rubbing away slight flaws/ seams left from the candle molds.


Most people’s partners/parents/roommates do NOT want this to happen to their stovetop.  Candles require dedicated materials!

I am currently making a “Goddess” candle for myself.  It contains scrap wax from the last one I had, and I think it’s turning out to be a bit of a smokey blue.  I have zero complaints about that! (I use God and Goddess representation candles in my spiritual practice.)  

This is normal.  The first wax pour typically sinks quite a bit.  A second pour is required. It will look like a regular candle soon enough, I promise!

Anyway, having a little time right now to do things like make candles and putter around the house should put me in a very positive frame of mind.  Hopefully making it easier to cut out any and all complaints?

Either way, I am anxious to get the hot plate heated up and to get that second pour on the go!  I can’t wait to get this one out of the mold and onto the altar.

In light and love,


21 Days Complaint-Free

Overall, I would have to say that I am grateful.  How could I not feel fortunate? I am healthy and mostly happy.  I have a partner who is also my friend. Things with the new house are going well.  My teenage offspring and I continue to enjoy a good relationship. (That last bit is not something I take for granted.  I am well-aware that not every parent has this!)

Yet, despite all of the light and love present in my life, I would have to say that I am an EXCELLENT complainer.  

I am a sarcastic and critical over-thinker.  I am extraordinarily capable of poking holes in things.  Sometimes, those skills are actually great! I can take a piece of fiction and deconstruct it six ways from Sunday.  It’s also good to have a grasp on the possible pitfalls and risks, which is something my mind goes to automatically. (In a group of friends, I tend to be the one nagging people to reapply sunscreen and make sure they’re hydrated!) But sometimes… sometimes it just turns into me being an anxiety-bag, and picking the whole world apart, only to wind up annoyed because it doesn’t come up to my exacting standards.

Useless complaining doesn’t help anyone.  Although it may feel good in the moment, It doesn’t resolve the situation.  It doesn’t endear you to the people around you either, and I feel like…sometimes, it can actually stress you out.  If you allow yourself to ruminate in that energy, there is no way you’re going to be a positive person. I would reason that complaining a lot makes it harder to be happy.

I first heard about the 21-day no complaint challenge through productivity guru Tim Ferriss’ blog.  Tim, in turn, had been influenced by Will Bowen, who is a minister, author and motivational speaker.  He is the founder of the “Complaint Free” Movement. (You can find out lots more about that here.)

The idea is so simple; you wear a bracelet as a reminder on your wrist.  Any time you complain, you switch the bracelet to the other wrist and start over again. Eventually, you succeed by surviving a full 21-days complaint-free.

SO SIMPLE.  Yet…the challenge is obvious.  I mean, I’m a positive-thinker, but…I don’t think I know ANYBODY who doesn’t complain, at least a little. Imagine how your mind would change if you never complained.  I mean, talk about cultivating a positive mindset!

Suffice it to say, I can’t really see this particular challenge as anything but positive for an over-thinker like me.  

To clarify, I know that sometimes what could considered “complaining” is actually useful.  The classic example is ordering something in a restaurant and not getting what you wanted. In this instance, yes, you should (nicely) complain!  The difference here is that the complaint is constructive. You deserve a meal that’s to your liking, and bringing the problem to someone’s attention allows it to be resolved.  Constructive complaining, where steps can be taken to resolve a problem, is ok. The complaining that isn’t helpful would be complaining to pass the time, to shame someone else, to make yourself feel better, or to reaffirm a negative belief.  

I suppose that I love a good challenge EVEN MORE than I love a good complaint-filled rant, so I’m going to take today as my DAY 1.  I am not going to purchase a special bracelet from the website, but there are bracelets/packages available, and they appear to come with a variety of supports and extras. You can support the movement and get an official bracelet here:  Instead, I am cheaping out, grabbing a magenta piece of string, and ta-da! a bracelet that I can easily wear without having to take it off at night.

Maybe I’ll buy a special bracelet from the website eventually, but for now, I think this is fine!

I’ll be posting updates as I move seamlessly and easily toward my day 21.  (Sarcasm is still ok!) Each vocalized complaint means that I have to start again.

Anyone else wanna try this?

Yours in hopeful positivity,