In the education business, there’s lots you could choose to complain about.
Lice, for example, is a less than desirable job hazard. Some might say having a child sneeze in your face would be another. Angry parent phone calls, short-tempered colleagues, large class sizes, lowish pay, long and emotionally-stressful hours… the list goes on and on and on.
The date was August 25th and it was my first day back after a picturesque summer spent in stunner shades and Hawaiian print swim trunks. Goodbye freedom. As excited as I was for school to start, there was a lot I could’ve chosen to complain about. A polyphonic freeway melody of angry car horns, curse words and middle fingers made for an even more enchanting Monday morning.
Luckily, I had on the KTIS morning show to help blur the chaos around me (and remind me what really matters). This particular morning, the radio hosts (who are beyond FANTASTIC) gave everyone a challenge to not make one single complaint about anything for 7 days. It seemed impossible. There is no way I could ever make it. Not one complaint about anything? Okay, I am in!
There is no way I could ever make it. Not one complaint about anything for seven days? Okay, I am in!
It wasn’t easy, especially trapped in a windowless gym talking about student achievement data with a to do list longer than Santa’s naughty list. However, I immediately reaped the benefits. I had five different people compliment my enthusiasm and positive attitude throughout that first morning. Just the fuel I needed to keep going.
So I’ve been taking the challenge once a month since. I still have negative days and yes, weeks. Matter of fact, not too long ago a friend called my attitude of late, “a little curmudgeon-y,” and she was right. The truth is my attitude is my choice, one in which I am completely in control of.
“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” -Henry David Thoreau
As we head into the dark and snowpocolypse months of Minnesota, some of my friends pledged to not make one single complaint about winter this entire season! For Minnesotans, if one could accomplish this I’m pretty sure it would guarantee them sainthood. I really hate winter but it seems like something I should do. So… challenge accepted!
Mother nature’s first move? Snow on November 8th. Well played lady. My response?
“Man, I really appreciate how this heavy snow is strengthening my lower back muscles and improving my cardiovascular health,” I murmured with my annoying and snarky optimism. Yet, with a childish grin on my face I somehow felt just a little better about the world.
So today I am doing my best to be different. In a staff lounge of negativity, I’m choosing to be the light. In a land of snow-plainers, I’m choosing to hold my tongue. God doesn’t call us to be fake or pretend everything is okay and lately, it hasn’t been, like much at all. Still, my testimony to His love is in this choice to set myself apart. To do life different.
Still, my testimony to His love is in this choice to set myself apart. To do life different.
My life verse: “Do not conform to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” -Romans 12:2
Choose today to smile. to laugh. to breathe through the struggle. Enjoy the incredible gift of this time that God has given you. Accept that life, even advent, is rarely perfect. Choose to love people recklessly. Dare to have a complaint free day, week or season and see how much it will renew your mind and refresh your spirit.
And when the blizzards come, and they will come, put on your penguin earmuffs and choose to see the good in the world around you because it’s there. Life is all about how you see what you’re looking at. What will you see today? A snowstorm or a winter wonderland?
Sleigh bells ring, are you listening?
Let me know if you’re taking the challenge of your own in the comment section below! If you like my blog, please comment and share on social media to help me grow my audience. Thank you!
If you’re struggling, let this amazing single by Minnesotan Christian artist Hunter Fraser encourage your positivity today. Find him on Spotify and iTunes!