I went through a period a few months ago where I felt like everyone around me was complaining all the time.  It seemed like everything was an issue.  It seemed like everything needed attention, or a comment.  But, really, not everything requires something of us.


Most things, they can simply exist.  Things don’t have to be issues if we don’t make them issues.  It really can be as simple as that.


I get that when things are challenging or stressful, sometimes a small thing feels like a big thing because it’s one more thing.  But, again, that’s only if we make it that way.


We can do hard things.


We can problem solve.


We can triumph even in stress.


We can make another plan when the first one isn’t going our way – or when circumstances get in our way of being successful.


We can be uncomfortable for a short time, and we can persevere.


We don’t have to see everything through a negative lens.


The thing I started to notice about complaints is that often very little solution is offered.  The complaints I’ve heard lately are more like announcements: announcements of negative energy that filter to everyone and everything in the room.  It’s like when suddenly you can see dust particles everywhere if something has been disturbed; these complaints, they are like that.  You can’t see them, but you can feel them.  And they don’t feel good.  With complaints, what’s been disturbed is the energy, the atmosphere, the space – and me!


So, if you don’t have a solution, and you don’t want to add more to your responsibilities by seeking one out, please consider keeping quiet.  Or, how about making other sort of announcements?  I think we can all use more positive energy.  I love the people who surround me with announcements of good news and good feelings.  It’s so valuable.  And uplifting.  As Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor said, “Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space.”


Any space.  All spaces.  Please.


There is a reason why that old expression, “If you don’t have anything good to say, don’t say anything at all,” still exists.




Desk Drawer

Desk Drawer

Last week, I found something in my desk drawer.  It was something I had in my old desk, in my old office, and now here it was in my small temporary desk in my shared, small temporary office.  It was personal, not at all related to my job.  Why had I moved this item?  When I found it, I felt a little embarrassed for myself and I removed it from my desk.  (I certainly don’t need to move it again later to my new office!)  I didn’t throw it out though.  I couldn’t.  So, I brought it home and I put it with other things I can’t throw away, things that I think matter.  But, I also know that someday later, I’ll find it again and probably wonder why I didn’t already throw it out.  It matters now, but someday it might not.


That’s how it goes with STUFF.  Stuff reminds us of moments, of people, of times that matter, of situations that impacted us.  Sometimes things matter only in the moment, and sometimes they matter in the moments to come too.


Sometimes, I simply can’t let the stuff go because somehow it feels like I am letting the moment go.  And it’s not that I am living in the past, but it’s that something about that moment from the past serves me in the present.


I can’t always articulate the why or the how, but I always know it makes me think and it makes me feel (even if that’s a little embarrassed).  And that’s vulnerable and real, like the items we save in desk drawers and, more importantly, the moments they represent.


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