In February, the Complaint Restraint project took place. For 28 days people signed up to simply stop complaining. Jessica Hullinger of Fast Company wrote about this experience and provided some great tips.
I missed the month of the originally challenge because I read about it after the fact but I really wanted to take this challenge for a month and learn from it. I’ve had a hard couple of days and this will be very difficult to start and keep going but it’s worth a try to change my current (and future) mindset.
I will start by defining what I consider a complaint to be.
- Observations will not be considered a complaint. Ex “It is cold.” Exempt also will be reviews of restaurants and music etc that make it onto blogs. These are considered observations/constructive criticism.
- A sentence that contains the following words will be consider a complaint: “hate”, “don’t, fuck, shit, jerk” etc.
- A statement that ruminates beyond a simple observation. (Telling 10 people it’s cold)
- Gossip, (non-constructive) criticism, whining, grudges, hurtful jokes
This might seem like an impossible task as complaining is inherent in our nature and sometimes we do it subconsciously. It’ll also be difficult depending on the people I surround myself with. Other people love to complain as much as I do. I will do my best to reconstruct negative “complaining” thoughts into more positive and productive ones or simply drop them if they are unimportant. I hope to be more mindful of each situation
Example of looking on the bright side:
Starting now… no complaining!
(This is not an April Fool’s joke)
I did it. I sketched 31 things in 31 days, doing sketches daily (for the most part) during March as part of Articulations Filler Up sketchbook challenge. While not all of the drawings were particularly great it taught me many things:
- Not to be so self-critical. The reason I used to not draw much was because often I would trash everything I started because I didn’t like it. I also erased often leading to many unfinished works. Having to finish many in a short time left me less time to be critical
- You can make art with anything. Living the example of my grandfather who made art on literally anything I also didn’t limit myself. Some days I drew with fancy pencils, other days ball-poit pens or lead pencils
- Making time. My excuse for not drawing (or any other thing for that matter) was that I didn’t have enough time. Time is always available if I make an effort to try to set some aside.
- Ideas come from anything. Don’t know what do draw? Draw the glass you are drinking out of, the beer you’re drinking. Literally anything is a subject.
On Saturday I had brunch at Saving Grace. I had previously heard that it is usually packed but we were luckily to be seated right when we arrived by a dude that looked like he hated life. There was a line immediately behind us waiting outside the small space.
I ordered french toast with gruyere, onions, mushrooms. I actually didn’t realize it was a sandwich until I received it. It also came with a side of salad and flat crispy potatos. While the sandwich was good, I felt the “french toast” part of it didn’t really add to it. It lacked sweetness for one, and the softness wasn’t my favourite for use as sandwich bread.
The price was around average for a brunch place in Toronto but elsewhere I could’ve got a fancy eggs benny for the same price. Maybe I ordered the wrong thing but I don’t know if I’d be back if I wasn’t lucky and had to wait in line!
Last night the annual Earth Hour took place from 8:30-9:30 encouraging people around the world to turn off their lights and devices for an hour. I decided to turn off all the lights and go for a walk.
Originally, I planned to take photos of my journey with my new gear. I packed it with me and decided it would be exempt from the “no devices during earth hour” thing. However, I realized that it wasn’t a good idea to be flashing expensive equipment around on a particularly dark night (since i was walking alone). Instead, I took a mental note of the things I saw and when I got home immediately jotted them down in a notebook.
I had not taken many walks at night in my neighbourhood, but I discovered so many things:
– There’ s a coffee shop that also fixes guitars
– There are many places opened later than I thought, and are very lively
– a giant walnut in front of a nut store
– very creepy mannequins in some store windows
– a space-themed cafe
– many out of place phonebooths
– places that are beautiful to look at but I have no idea what they sell
– antique shops (tons of them)
– the fortune teller is very popular
– many popular places that don’t seem to have names
– people wondering where the ATMS are
It’s amazing how many things can go unnoticed. I definitely have to venture into some of the places sometime!