Thursday, October 18, 2007

Day 4: It's "Groundhog Day"

Will Randy see his shadow today? Will his 21-day challenge begin all over again today?

I've taken to calling it provocation, as if such were an excuse for failing the challenge so far. A more passive sort would not even consider the past few days to have been provocative. But this duck can't let water roll off his back.

Let's quote Will Bowen again.

You have a right to get what you deserve. To achieve this, don't talk about or focus on the problem. Focus BEYOND the problem. See it resolved. Talk only about what you desire and only to someone who can provide it. You will shorten your wait time for what you seek and be happier in the process.

"But every great thing in our country began with people complaining...think about Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King!" an e-mail I received stated.

I realized that in one respect I agreed with the woman who sent the e-mail. The first step toward progress is dissatisfaction. But if we stay in dissatisfaction, we never move forward to brighter vistas. And those who complain as a matter of course chart their destination as being the same, unhappy port from which they sailed. Our focus must be on what we want to occur rather than what we do not. Complaining is focusing on what we don't want to occur.

So, what I learned today is that, if recast, neither of my stumbles yesterday would have qualified as complaints if I had restated them as desires for what I had wished to happen instead of as complaints. In fact, in retrospect, the second complaint was, in fact, phrased as an "I wish..."

My lovely and brilliant bride caught the distinction, too. My Wednesday complaint could have easily been turned into an affirming, non-ear-polluting comment.

Hey, maybe I'm starting to get with the program!

As for the daily report, I once again failed to avoid complaining. Made it deep into the day, though. Had a productive, pleasant day that included intricate book production, difficult orders, and even a smidgen of politics.

Then I went home. Streets were flooding, tornado sirens were blaring, the storm sewer grate in front of the house was filled with leaves and pine straw. Still, no complaints from this quarter. I even cleared the grate, looking forward to a nice dinner of spaghetti squash, soon to be followed by Shaker pumpkin pie.

I sat down to watch my favorite TV shows, particularly "30 Rock," with Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin. The wife and I always catch "ER," too.

Not this Thursday. None of the networks affiliates could countenance the thought that another station might capture a single extra viewer, so we were treated to four hours (and counting) of nonstop hysteria-mongering. The Fox affiliate offered up the ALCS game between Cleveland and Boston, but even that was marred by weather graphics that obscured the game graphics.

Though Ann would differ with me on this, I still didn't quite "complain." I did, however, switch over to KET to watch a documentary on the Broadway musical. But as each musical was presented, just as the definitive piece of music would come up, "AAANKH, AAANKH, AAANKH - The National Weather Service has issued a heavy rain warning. Find a workbench in your basement, hide under it, and stay there all night - AAANKH, AAANKH, AAANKH."

I complained. Tell me you didn't.

For the record, the discount is now 4%. See you tomorrow night.

No comments: