WARNING: The following text has nothing to do with gardening. The category tag – Musings – is correct. If you clicked here for a gardening article, please enjoy the photos.
I recently followed a link posted on Face Book for an app that promised money back for grocery purchases. As I investigated, I found that the app required no fewer than 18 steps for each transaction. My comment? That this was an outrageous number of steps to get ‘there’ and since ‘there’ involved only a few pennies saved, get off my timeline.
I received in reply a nice and neutral note from someone representing the app, saying that they love feedback. Right.
So imagine my surprise a few days later when I received notice of another comment, which said: Old people. Always complaining.
Oh dear. How to respond? Although I consider myself retired – not old – I think I responded like any old person would. I wrote:
How rude! And that was that.
This incident of and by itself probably wouldn’t have caused a bout of rampant introspection. But in a first visit with a doctor, and in discussion of the reasons why I don’t/won’t take statin drugs, I was told this: Millions of people take statins without complaining.
Which, having already been told that old people complain a lot, gave me pause.
My motto for years was what you see in the title. Grateful, not grumpy. I owned this motto long before the call for ‘gratitude attitude’ came about, and I clung to it desperately through about 30 years of quality-of-life reducing work. Useless day-long meetings without result, insane deadlines, tasks for which I hadn’t the tiniest qualification, emergency busy-work, mandatory fun – I could go boringly on. But won’t.
And so you see: grateful, not grumpy. Happy to have a job. Thankful to make a more-or-less living wage.
I guess once I retired and no longer had to fight the good fight, I forgot about simply being grateful. In fact, one of my resolutions for 2015 was to stand up and complain whenever necessary.
Many good things came from complaining. Bottom line, I’ve saved hundreds of dollars. More than that, I’ve made needed changes when before I would simply put up and shut up. Complaining – sometimes grumpily – has brought nothing but good. So I have to say, I’m for it. I have a lot of pent up complaints. You might want to take a peek at my short-list:
• Things that don’t work as advertised. This is a diverse list including satellite TV, wrinkle cream, and ceramic cooktops.
• Bad drivers, especially when driving 75 MPH, a long list that includes truck drivers drowsing behind the wheel, teens who think they are immortal, the guy in the BMW who believes in his right to go ten MPH over the limit, and everyone talking or texting on their phone.
• Medical personnel that blame old age or your supposed habits for whatever ails you – and then go on to do nothing to remedy the problem.
• Planned obsolescence. It makes no sense to buy a new mattress every eight years, a new fridge/stove/dishwasher every five years, and a new computer every three. I have a 40-year-old waffle iron that works perfectly. Why can’t all things be like that?
• Pharmacy price hikes, a symptom of greed in general, which is certainly complaint-worthy.
And last but not least:
• This year’s political campaign. Come on. I would like to vote for someone I can at least respect.
So here’s a shout out to the anonymous geriogynist (hater of old people). And maybe the snippy doctor as well. If complaining makes me old and the few among many, I will wear both the hat and the t-shirt.
I plan to continue standing up and having my say no matter what. I’ll be grateful not grumpy the rest of the time.