This morning I awoke to the typical buzz of my alarm clock echoing through my room. Rolling across the bed, I frantically waved my hand through the black hole of an eternal space until, finally, it came into contact with the “off” button. Ahhh, silence! I dressed, then found my way downstairs to the coffee pot.
As I walked into the kitchen it was clean, dishes were done. “Bet Sis did that last night,” I thought, remembering that my sister had stayed the night and had mentioned something about doing the dishes on my way to bed the night before.
I walked over to our coffee pot, which is temporarily on top of the microwave until we get the rest of our counters built. There was coffee residue covering the top of the microwave and dripping down the sides. Old coffee spills sprinkled with coffee grounds and topped with a coating of sugar. I wondered how such a mess could be made with a task as simple as getting a cup of coffee. Yet there it was, every morning. Shaking my head, I emptied the remains of yesterdays coffee from the filter and replaced it with a fresh filter. Eagerly anticipating the taste of freshly brewed coffee, I reached for the canister of coffee grounds. Empty.
“UGGGHHHH!” I groaned loudly within my own mind. For a split second, as quick as a flash of lightning, I heard my mind shift gears, shifting into a position of fruitless complaining. “Of course no one else in the house thought to buy more coffee. Nooo. They just think to fricken’ drink it all. No one can even be courteous enough to clean up their own forsaken mess that they splash and spill all over the dang nabbing microwave every dang nabbing day. Why would anyone think to do something as normal as clean up after themselves? What do they think happens to their messes, some little fricken’ troll comes through the house every night picking up all their dang nabbing messes and buying more coffee? Noooo. That dang nabbing troll is ME! For crying out loud!” Only a flash of time went by as my mind dived into THAT place.
A millisecond later, I remembered that I wasn’t going to do THAT anymore. Doing THAT, did nothing but get me into a miserable mood, and quite frankly, I did not want to be in a miserable mood. “Don’t complain, but smile instead.” That was the commitment I had made, and the words echoed inside my head as though someone had whispered them into my ear.
I stopped. I took a deep breath. I smiled.
I changed my day.
“We’ve got to have more coffee somewhere in this home.” I looked through the pantry. “Nope. Darn it. Where would I have put more coffee if I were someone else in the house. Hmmm, it could be anywhere….” Instantly, I remembered the silver package of ‘gourmet’ coffee that had been floating useless around the mess on top of the fridge for long enough that I had complained about it numerous times recently. “Yes, it was still there! Good thing no one got ambitious enough to actually clean the top of the fridge,” I chuckled to myself.
Finally, the steam of coffee brewing floated sweetly through the kitchen. As I waited, I cleaned the top of the microwave, the creamer and sugar containers, the coffee stirring spoon. Even going so far as to clean out the inside of the microwave, scrubbing the spilled cheese that had since been baked onto the microwave plate.
One totally clean kitchen and fresh cup of coffee later… I’ve still got a bright smile shining on my face. Here I sit, realizing how very different my day could have been. Had I simply complained, there would have been no coffee in my morning, leading to even more complaints. There would have been no clean microwave, which I would have simply complained even more about later today. If I had let it, my negative thought process would have consumed my entire day, ruining each slice of it as they passed by.
Instead, I smiled, and changed my day.
As the old adage says, “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” Those wise words trickled through our childhood urging us to not become bullies. How then, did we become our very own worst bullies, constantly crushing the potential of our days with the very words we allow to whisper through our minds?
The things we say within the privacy of our minds are our undeniable truths of the world around us, no matter how true they may actually be. We are, what we think.
We were taught to never interrupt. While this may be wise advice when talking to others, it is the worst when it comes to talking to ourselves. We must interrupt ourselves. We must…
Stop our complaints dead in their tracks, and start smiling instead!