Hi friends! Happy Tuesday.
Hope everyone’s week is off to a great start.
We had another incredible weekend over here! We headed up to Drew’s hometown to celebrate our sister-in-law’s growing baby bump. My mother-in-law put together a beautiful shower. We were also able to spend time with a lot of Drew’s family and it was SO good to catch up with everyone. Grandma and Grandpa Kiefer always get SO excited to see Max and it is really fun for Drew and I to watch him show off all his new tricks.
This is another post inspired by a patient, because if you haven’t noticed…I think cancer patients are the most inspiring people I’ve ever come across. I was just telling my neighbor today how much I learn from them and how they impact my life in a positive way after she asked the standard oncology nurse question, “Isn’t that incredibly hard?”
Saving Your Complaints
One of the nurses was apologizing to her patient for several issues that arose during his appointment. Late appointment check-in, late chemotherapy, etc. The patient assured her it wasn’t a big deal and was being SO easy going. She thanked him for his understanding and positive attitude. He said, “I figure I should save up my complaints for when something BIG happens.”
She came out of his room and told us that story. I LOVED IT and it spoke right to me.
If we’re always complaining about little things, we’re going to dull the impact of our bigger concerns. Another way to put it: we should choose our battles wisely.
You can apply this to SO many aspects of life, and I would love if you took a few minutes to do so.
I’m going to give you my own example to get your wheels turning.
Since having Maxwell, there is much more preparation needed to leave the house for the day and even MORE to leave for a weekend.
A lot of times, I find myself scrambling around making sure we are both bathed, dressed, fed, and ready to go. Meanwhile, Drew typically has the responsibility of getting himself ready. Sometimes, he lacks the foresight to understand how much time we need to get the 3 of us ready or just how much it takes to get a little human all set. And then in the car he would ask, “Do you have diapers for him?” Or something like that. “Of course I do, I got him ALL ready myself.”
I realize this story starts out a little bit opposite of the point of the blog post, but stick with me 😉
A few times I became frustrated with Drew’s lack of planning or pitching in when it came to making sure ALL of us were ready. I texted my friend Lisa (blogger at In Wild Hearts) to complain and she said, “I’ve learned to give my husband very specific instructions on how he can help. That saves me the frustration.”
I ALSO loved that, thanks girl.
So, I started to implement it. Instead of getting frustrated, complaining, or making a pointed passive aggressive comment (that’s an Amy special, noted as a place I can work on. Although I do think I’m pretty creative with them…haha) when we’re in the car and on our way…I’ve started to be much more proactive. The night before we left for this past weekend, I asked Drew very specifically if after he picked Max up from daycare he could: feed and bathe him, change him into pajamas, and pack his diapers, wipes, and Destin into the black diaper bag. I would pack all his clothes, sleeping stuff, and snacks.
I was SO happy to come home and find everything flawlessly executed AND he had also packed everything into the car.
Point being, I kept making little pointed comments or getting frustrated with Drew. Those comments and my frustration were getting me nowhere fast and probably just annoying Drew. By explaining to him that I could really use some help and giving him specifics into what that would look like, he was more than happy to pitch in.
Can you see how this could work in a lot of aspects of our lives? Whether you are always complaining at work, always nagging your spouse about every little thing, or somehow you always end up as the one wronged in your stories…whatever this looks like for you. Take a minute to think, okay…who is the problem here? Maybe it is a lot a bit YOU!
Shocking …I know, it was hard for me to believe too 😉
It is a lot harder to swallow our little complaints and learn to communicate clearly and with poise, but I know that it is SO helpful for the people around us. Especially for the people we are often communicating with, aka the people we work with or the people we love.
So my best recommendation is to start a savings account with your little complaints that really don’t need to be said. You can cash them in when something big and actually complaint worthy comes up. I’m sure this will help people HEAR you a lot more clearly.
We’re all a work in progress, so I’m right there with ya’ll.