It’s the third Tuesday in January and we’re three weeks into YOLU – the Year of Living Uncomplainingly.
I started down this road last fall when a sneaky little edict from the Apostle Paul grabbed me by the collar. “Do everything without complaining and arguing,” he instructed his peeps at Philippi.
Everything? Sheesh. Did Paul really mean that we can’t whine just a smidge? And what about good old-fashioned fussing! Isn’t there a small budgetary allowance for moms at least?
Just as I’m trying to eat mindfully this year, I’m following a different sort of linguistic diet as well.
YOLU is Turkish for “road,” and this is one I’m choosing to walk in 2012 despite daily detours and the phonological potholes I fall into. If you’ve been following my journey from previous posts, you know it’s a lot easier to define what complaining is not than what it actually is.
It’s not complaining when you express a truth that happens to be difficult, register a legitimate protest or recognize a wrong that needs to be rectified. If you are feeling particularly awful and a sympathetic friend notices, I don’t think Paul meant that we have to hide our pain behind a pretense of false cheer.
There are other people on this path with us. Following last week’s post, my friend Lana (name changed) emailed me from her missionary post overseas:
“Maggie, I have been working on my YOLUing and just wanted to let you know. Yesterday I woke up with one of my major headaches. That’s not a good thing. I had plans to meet with two of my teammates and pray, then a group of five over for lunch, then time with a friend I haven’t seen in 13 years and dinner out with some other friends. So what does one do with a headache when one is trying to live a YOLU day? I did a lot of praying, took a good dose of Excedrin, and made it through the day – actually having a good day. Now – for your round table discussion with Mike and Jordan – is it complaining when one has a headache? I didn’t complain because complaining comes too easy to me. I wanted to see if I could make it through the day. And I did!! With God’s help, and [my husband’s] prayers (he knew of my headache – he can always tell just by looking at my eyes) and Excedrin! It felt good to not complain – funny!”
So there you go – a day in the life of a fellow YOLU’er. And here’s the really funny thing – my friend Lana is already one of the least-complaining people I know.
Another friend, Joy, has taken her YOLU clarion call to social media. Just last night she posted this plea on Facebook:
“I’ve grown weary of seeing folks use Facebook as a forum to gossip in “code,” criticize people just to hear themselves, and publicly berate their husbands. These are just a few examples. I realize I subject myself to these things by even being on Facebook. It just seems like if people need to vent, why do it online, for hundreds to see? Vent to God. If you’re married, vent to your husband. Or vent to your journal.”
So as I plan ahead for the rest of 2012, I can tell you I have already reduced the amount of currency allotted for this year’s personal Fussbudget. I’m saving my complaints for the things that really matter.
LIke the Chicago Cubs, maybe?