The anti-whine: What we love about life

There is something about modern life that seems to inspire the Complaint Olympics. Work is crazy, the kids are naughty, I didn’t get enough sleep… and so forth. It’s getting to the point that, over at Motherlode, someone posted a comment asking for a discussion about why parents complain so much. KJ responded with a thread called “Hey, Whiny Modern Parents, Tell Us What You Love About The Gig.

Because there is much to love. And life is pretty good. Most of us are doing very well by the standards of humanity now, and all of human history. Even if some hours are trying, we can choose what to see and remember. I have been feeling a wee bit of work stress lately, and last night I was trying to finish some things as my kids were “playing” — which sounded a lot like fighting to me. Then all three wanted various things simultaneously, and I can’t meet all their needs simultaneously. There are three of them! But then we all wound up outside in the rain, where they invented this game of making a house with three umbrellas and letting the rain pour off the garage roof on them. It only worked because there are three of them, and they are similar in size. They had a blast getting soaked and playing with each other. I love to see them becoming friends, and dreaming up things to do together than I never would have come up with on my own.

I’d love to do a version of KJ’s thread here. What do you love about your life right now? 

In other news: Emma over at Wealthy Single Mommy has been mocking modern whining with a series called First World Fridays.

Farnoush Torabi’s new book, When She Makes More: 10 Rules for Breadwinning Women, is out this week.

Twitter heated up with the hash tag #WeNeedDiverseBooks yesterday. Children’s literature is still a fairly white place where the minority kids exist to teach other children lessons. I enjoyed seeing the tweets on that one.

I’m at Fast Company writing about 7 Ways to Knock an Hour Off Your Workday.






23 thoughts on “The anti-whine: What we love about life

  1. Um, wasn’t the previous generation the one that Mother’s Little Helper and The Feminine Mystique were written about? Not so sure that parents complain more now (or are more miserable now). They just have the internet to do it on now.
    “white place where the minority kids exist to teach other children lessons”
    YES. This is EXACTLY what has been bugging me about PBS Kids (not just Children’s literature). And, of course, adult entertainment isn’t immune either.

    1. @NicoleandMaggie – do you guys watch Doc McStuffins? It’s Disney Junior, and doesn’t seem patronizing to me. Dora has its cool parts too (Nick Jr) though we’ve pretty much outgrown that.

      1. DC2 doesn’t watch tv or netflix (will not sit passively, needs to interact). She is, however, very good at using the ipad to get to PBS Kids.
        I do think Nickelodeon does a far better job of gender (and possibly race/ethnicity) equality in the under 3 (maybe even under 5) programming than PBS Kids does. But our only access is Netflix.

        1. I’m actually quite fond of Doc McStuffins – she’s much less annoying than Sofia the princess.

          1. And, to be honest – I quite the way Doc’s mother is defined by her job. No idea what her dad does!

  2. I’m not a parent, but the other day I realized I was whining quite often about the traffic in Austin and my commute. Until I realized there are women my age in other countries who will never have the freedom to drive a car. Ever. Anywhere. And suddenly my commute is no big deal.

    1. @Whitney — ooh, yes! That’s a good one. And there are people in all of our communities who’d be thrilled to deal with a commute again, because they’ve been out of work for a long time. I was thinking of that little girl who gave Michelle Obama her dad’s resume recently…

  3. Corny as all, but I often remind myself to be thankful when I pick up messes and deal with clutter. Because it means abundance. Abundance of stuff, abundance of people, of fights and of love and play.

  4. I love reading my daughter’s blog–and the other blogs it leads me to. I love hearing about her playing in the rain with her kids. I love having my older son comment on my retirement blog and tell me about his coaching his own son. I love having my younger son tell us about his new job and express interest in our family’s history. And that’s just the last 24 hours.

    Little children are great (most of the time) but so are grown children!

    1. So are teenagers!! I’m not getting the dread that other parents have of teenagers. I’m glad I have more to look forward to when they are all out of the nest! Thank you!

  5. I love my life right now because I have a great, rewarding career and three children that fill my life with excitement. It is tiring at times, but awesome 🙂

  6. Well, for starters, who WOULDN’T want my life? I have everything that matters. Life, eternal life, family, friends, a great roof over my head, my bills are paid for the foreseeable future, a church that is pretty much my second family and good food to eat. Don’t get me wrong. I have great kids and they are a sizable portion of my life…right now. All three make excellent grades, are people of integrity, are unfailingly respectful, and we have fun together. I truly like being a parent. I like them as people despite their flaws and mine. But if I didn’t have kids I think all the other stuff is still there. Despite the serious illness and divorce, I am deeply happy. Why should I complain about the chores of motherhood? I’m the one who signed up for it after all. What a return I’m getting!

  7. I think I’d laugh a lot less if I didn’t have my 2 crazy boys. And sing a lot less, dance a lot less, spend less time outdoors. I’d probably worry less, too, but who knows. I think I come out ahead.

    1. @Ana – I would worry less. Standing on the Amtrak platform the other night it occurred to me that if I had my 3 kids with me I would be a wreck waiting for that giant train to whoosh in (let alone that it’s a 6 foot drop down to the track from the platform anyway). BUT I owe the whole niche I write about to having kids. I’m not sure that anyone would listen to my career/life/productivity advice if I didn’t have that element.

  8. I love when my two (4 and 19months) are having a laughing fit together. One day it was because of blowing raspberries while eating and was a bit messy but totally worth it to see the look of joy shared between them. And the hugs and kisses from them. Also I have a good job and husband.

  9. My mom died 6 weeks ago and my youngest just graduated from college, is living far away and won’t be home for the summer. I’m feeling sad about all these changes but also grateful for my wonderful mom and kids and all they’ve meant to me. Grateful for my wonderful husband. I’m ready to face a new era in my life and start working on my list of 100 dreams for the empty nest.

  10. i remind myself of this daily. i have a stable job that isn’t boring and that feels worthwhile, 2 healthy kids, a husband who i love and who is a good person, resources to hire help with household tasks, loving/generally healthy family — and i could go on. i am nitpicky as all get-out but in general i love my life.

  11. I think a lot of bloggers and online communities, under the banner of “keeping it real” *overemphasize* the negative – it gets downright depressing to read that stuff too often.

    Life is good here. It’s been sunny for several days in a row (!!!), a Rubbermaid container out on the deck with 2 inches of water and a couple of ducks is the new favorite toy here resulting in over an hour of peaceful playing without squabbles, and I have a few days before work starts.

  12. I think we bond with each other by complaining about shared inconveniences. It can seem like we’re bragging if we only talk about what’s going right. That’s not to say I think we SHOULD bond this way, and I do try to look on the bright side as much as possible. Right now, what’s going right is I’m typing this on a computer with a newly-replaced hard drive, and I didn’t lose all my documents, photos and music when the old hard drive failed. Something to be very, very grateful for! And I’m also grateful for my husband’s invaluable help in diagnosing my computer’s problems and replacing the hard drive for me.

  13. Hmmm… I’m in a crunch time setting up my new business while wrapping up at work and being sad about why I’m leaving and how people keep telling other people I’m leaving to spend more time with my kids (not a bad reason, but not the reason I’m leaving). So I’m definitely feeling some pressure and grump. It will probably do me good to focus on the good side:
    -I love explaining work to my 7 year old and watching her try to figure it all out. I told her that I’m setting up a business, and she asked me “Mommy, will you be the boss of the new business?” (I told her yes! But that for the time being I’d also be all of the employees of the new business…)
    -I consider it a great privilege to get to watch my kids learn and grow. It is fascinating.
    -My 4 year old gives the best hugs and is a great snuggler.
    – My 7 year old asks questions that make me think about my world a bit more carefully.
    -I make enough money to live in a great place and take great vacations and generally have everything I want. And I’ve already got enough contract work lined up to keep me making enough money while I make my transition to whatever is next.
    So really, life is good.

  14. I love what I do. I can’t believe I get paid to do it. I will most likely be able to do it in the capacity I want for another 13 years. And if I don’t get tenure, I’ll be able to choose between other, also appealing options. I love that I get to carve out the amount of time *I* want with my kid. I love that my husband is supportive of all of it, and that we work well together. We are really lucky.

  15. And Laura, I’m really sorry, but that book —

    “Find Your Favorite Position: Stay on top of the finances while allowing your partner to lead.”

    Sorry, no. That statement manages to be totally sexist while at the same time insulting men. Strong work!

  16. I’m grateful I had cancer. If I hadn’t survived it, I think I’d be much more caught up in complaining about the little things. Cancer turned me into a big-picture person, and the big puzzle pieces in my life make me very happy. Who cares about a few annoying little puzzle pieces when the big ones are in place?

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