I have managed to glean a huge amount of time this year.

Most of it has been a result of keeping my mouth shut. The biggest chunk of keeping my mouth shut has come from not complaining.
Sorry to shatter your idea of happy nice guy Bernie…. Being negative about other people and things without really doing my homework is something I have been guilty of with alarming regularity.
The problem is that it is way easier to complain than it is to be happy.
Obviously I need to do a bit more research to back that last statement up.

Here are a few examples

“How are you Bernie?”
I’ll answer “too busy” and finish off with how come this is always left like this?

Or slag off an app I have not used for three years or dismiss something.
Last year it occurred to me that I’d wake up and maybe – just maybe – I was deciding how the day would go before it had even started.
For example #babybernie would come into the kitchen as I was ending my 750 words and land on me like a kamakazie assault helicopter.
This can go either way in my head. I could be full of gratitude for a child that is pleased to see me and full of positive energy OR I have just been disturbed – again.
I’ll drag this example out, does #babybernie sit in his room and monitor when is the best / worst time to come in? I doubt it. Of course he can be “enthusiastically curious and challenging” but I am inclined to think he freestyles this rather than makes plans to trash our day.

I picked up the “No complain diet” from that lovely young couple the Altucher’s in one of their books, I think it was The Power of No.

I have always been a fan of a positive mental attitude and have been prone to slip into delusion and hypocrisy while attempting to practice this.

Somewhere along the way I have learnt to work at being more accepting of myself and situations. For example when I am knocked down I work out in my head how to accept I have been knocked down and then give myself permission to feel a bit pissed off and acknowledge that this is happening and that it is ok.
This still means I get moody – the real agony is that I am aware I am being moody and have the power to stop it if I want. Which of course because I am so highly skilled at being a petulant little boy I need to keep being moody – I am in my skilled zone.

Mexican Stand Off with #babybernie

Earlier this week #babybernie and I had a row and did not speak to each other for 20 mins. You could cut a slice of our stubbornness from of the air and use it as an anchor for an oil tanker we were so livid with each other. Neither of us was going to surrender. I was thinking about what to say to him and bloody Brene Brown and Altucher pop in my head.

Everything I wanted to say to him was some form of complaint. “Why don’t you just” or “how many times do I have to ask you” or “we can’t coz I said so”. I managed to stop myself and think about where to go with the situation.
Most of the time in our house we all start by asking “can we start again and be friends” – of course being the stubborn dickhead I am I hang on for a few more minutes.
Well actually it is not being stubborn, my real problem is I fear I will loose face if I let my guard down.
Where on earth did I pick this from? I don’t recall going to a class or reading a book where I was inspired to make arguments drag on and on and on instead of just letting go.

Sorry seems to be the hardest word
Why is it harder to let go than it is to keep grinding the axe. Even more fucking dumb was the way I was expecting #babybernie to make the first move, even though I had not said anything. I heard Brene Brown coming up the stairs.

Bollox.
The humiliation of being vulnerable in front of my child.
Can we be friends please? I ask #babybernie
No! Go away!
I did a silly voice and started singing an Abba song, with an extra side of campiness.
Can we be friends please? I try again.
Ok, can we cook omelettes?
I think it took #babybernie a few seconds to get over it, or maybe he wanted me to stop singing.
Now I was even more pissed off that he had not put up a fight.

He’d let it go and was laughing, I was enjoying it all but something deep inside me was holding onto something that did not need to be held onto.

This was my new complaint, we always have to have a complaint.

There is a cute quote that goes something like ‘if you look for the good in people you’ll find it, if you want to look for the bad you’ll find that faster’ – or something like that.

I really have got more time now make an effort to conquer negative thoughts, don’t ask me how to do it – it just seems to happen some days and not on others.

What I will offer is this: I have had to work to break my auto responder – as I am writing this I think I am doing well, but there is always work to do o this, it never stops – it is part of the effort of being self aware.

Even that sounds like a complaint.

Photo Credit: Michael Kudela

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