Five bucks? TOTALLY worth it!
Yet in my recent personal development quest (goal: transform from worrywart crankbucket into radiant beaming flower child filled with love and joy and all that crap) I’ve been trying to think a bit more positively.
Here's the dilemma: how can I work towards more joy and optimism in life while still indulging in a favorite habit (bitching), so that I still get to savor a little self-righteous indignation every now and then?
Well, I learned a handy trick from one of my many self-improvement books! (And no, not The Power of
This tip is easy-peasy. So care to watch Crabby use Whining 2.0 to handle any negativity surrounding the mostly awesome cross-country trek she just finished taking with her spouse and favorite traveling companion, the Lobster?
The Trick to "Positive" Whining:
This is one you probably already know, but just pretend along with me that it's a new idea, okay?
First go ahead and try to take a negative or ambiguous situation and reframe it as a positive one. (Oh goody! This 40 mile traffic jam will give me a great chance to catch up on 7 months of missed kegels!)
But if your inner bullshitometer goes off the charts and you realize you are SO not buying it, consider the next best alternative:
Go ahead and bitch, but be sure to end with a shiny positive thing. (You can always find something).
For example, instead of:
"We're staying at a hotel because our plumbing system backed up and our our house is full of raw sewage and we're totally devastated and who knows when we'll ever get our lives back..."
"Our plumbing system backed up and our house is filled with raw sewage, can you f--cking believe it? But we're staying at a hotel and now we don't have to wash our sheets or vacuum or empty the trash or scrub the bathroom because the cleaning people do it all!"
Or, instead of:
"It was a great graduation party until uncle Bernie got drunk and barfed in the punchbowl."
"Well, Bernie got drunk and barfed in the punchbowl, but it was a great graduation party!"
See the difference? Since our brains are so clueless, we tend to remember the last thing we told ourselves and feel more upbeat about the exact same situation.
As it happens, I don't need to do any fancy reverse-bitching technique to convince myself that we had an awesome time driving crosscountry in Fran the Van. But there are always a few little nitpicks, right?
"Hey Planet Fitness in Elyria Ohio that charged us 20 f--cking dollars each for day passes (the cost of two months of membership) and then only had those sucky Life Fitness elliptical machines and not one of my beloved Precors and also had no soap in the showers... nice job on the bright colors!!!
Um, "no critics?" Good luck with that.
(On the other hand, kudos to the Bozeman Montana Gold's gym which was luxuriously well-equipped, had reasonably priced day passes, and was stocked full of the most buffed fitness freaks I've ever run across, many of whom were actually friendly. And how cute is Bozeman?!?)
Or another example: too bad my crappy photography skills meant I missed pictures of a fox, a moose, a buffalo, a ton of beautiful birds, and even the bizarre appearance of a mink crossing a busy urban street in Seattle...but hooray, I caught one of the nineteen million prairie dogs in Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota!
And yes, it was standing up in a much more adorable pose until I got the camera out.
OK, so now I'm having to stretch a bit as there weren't a lot of legitimate whining opportunities to exploit...
Too bad about that state campground outside of Coueur D'Alene that was supposed to be open wasn't, damnit! But instead we ended up staying right on a river in a different campground in which we were the only campers there and had a lovely time.
The Lobster and Fran the Van down by the riverside.
And now I have to abandon all pretense of feeling the least bit cranky about our trip. We had lovely weather the whole way and loads of fun. Some random pictures follow which should really be posted on my personal Facebook page instead of here, but every time I try they end up upside down or something. I have some sort of weird Facebook Incompetency Syndrome for which there is apparently no cure... um, but think of all the time I save not posting there!
Toodling around in Seattle...
I'm the brawn, she's the brains--works out perfectly.
We saw lots of cute old mining towns, which we were too lazy to try to photograph, but the Lobster couldn't resist this sign:
And blah blah blah more frolicking along the way...
Until we arrived in Provincetown Massachusetts with tons of dirty laundry, boxes to unpack, stacks of mail to sort, accumulated dust and leaves and weeds to clear out, furniture to haul from the basement and shed, overflowing email boxes and other miscellaneous items that needed attention...
This lovely specimen had a grand old time in the back of our cupboard while we were gone.
...but it's GREAT to be back!!!
Missed you guys, since obviously my efforts to stay in touch with the online world were a total FAIL. But can't wait to get caught up with what you've all been up to!
Any thoughts on reverse-whining, or interesting stuff that happened while I was gone, or just wanna say hi?
Whining sign photo credit: Russell Reno
Planet Fitness shot stolen from the Planet Fitness people, please don't sue me!