That beautiful Emerald City, that land of Starbucks (YUM!) ,
the Space Needle,
and a big, honkin' mountain everyone says is there. Somewhere. Behind the mist...
Why, you may ask, am I in Seattle? Wasn't this supposed to be my two-month stretch at home? Well, yes. But a funny thing happened on my way to staying home...
Before I get into that, though, let me tell you what my Dad and I are doing. Dad loves checking things out on the internet in the morning, seeing what fascinating tidbits of news and life have happened. A few weeks ago he came across the following site: www.acomplaintfreeworld.org. Seems a pastor got tired of hearing his church members complain about things that weren't important, so he started this campaign to eliminate complaining. He had these cool purple wrist bands made up and got his congregation to agree to go 21 days without complaining or using sarcasm.
That's right. Twenty-one days. In a row.
If you slip, you switch the band to the other wrist and start over. Took some folks TWO YEARS to go 21 days in a row, but they finally made it. Well, I've realized lately that I'm becoming more and more of a whiner, so Dad and I decided to give it a try. We ordered our wrist bands and waited anxiously for them to arrive.
Mind you, I wasn't complaining. But come on! How long is this going to take???
Okay, if I'd been wearing the band, it would have had to go to the other wrist. But the day finally came when the package showed up, and we happily slipped the bands on. Competitive soul that I am, I just knew I could do this. And I did!
For about a half hour. Until I had to wait for a customer service person on the phone. Service?? Hardly. They hire these people who can't even speak English and make you wait twelve hours...! Oh. Yeah. I guess that's a complaint.
Off went the band to the other wrist. And then, a few hours later, back to the wrist where it started. And back again another hour or so later...
Okay. I admit it. I had to switch the silly thing about a gazillion times in the first few days. But a cool thing started to happen. I started to pay more attention to my attitude, and found myself stopping the complaints or sarcasm before they launched. I made it a day without slipping. Then two. Then five. I've made it 11 days so far, and it's getting to be really fun. What's more, I've discovered I'm focusing more on the good things. I mean, why focus on the bad when you can't snark about it? What fun is that?
So, there I was, sitting in my office last Wednesday, when my phone rang. The frantic voice on the other end turned out to be Athena Dean. She was calling about the Northwest Christian Writers' Renewal conference. A speaker had backed out at the last moment, and would I, pretty please, consider filling in?
Oh, by the way, the conference starts in a week.
I told Athena I'd have to talk it over with my hubby, and hung up. I called him...and almost slipped again! It was on the tip of my tongue to complain about people who cancel things at the last minute and negatively impact others. But I caught a glimpse of the bright purple on my wrist (good thing that pastor chose a bright color!) and stopped my tongue in its tracks. Instead, I just discussed it with Don and we decided it would be a good thing to help out.
So one week later, here I am, sitting in yet another hotel room. But it's okay. I'm not complaining. I'm really not. My flight today was good. I even got a little writing done on my new series. And I had a nice dinner at Olive garden, conveniently located right across the street from my hotel. What's more, I'm looking forward to seeing the folks at the conference tomorrow.
So it's on to a new adventure, but lately with a far more positive outlook. Thanks to a pastor who had a great idea, and a bright purple band around my wrist. Tomorrow is day 12.
Wish me luck!