I have a gift for complaining. I’m known to bemoan the unsatisfactory in any element of life that irks me at the moment, and seldom run out of topics. Why, I’ve been heard to complain about other people who complain too much.

One might almost assume I didn’t have a really excellent life. One would be wrong in that. I’m just curmudgeonly sometimes.

Digital illustration from a photo: The Fabric of My Life

You might think I’d carry my umbrella every single day, the way I can gripe about how imperfect life is, but when I leave my bumbershootย half-folded like this to dry after a real rain, I’m reminded that things are often better than they seem…

I like to think I’m not framing my dissatisfaction as criticism and fault-finding, believing myself too pious and generous for such finger-pointing when I know I’m imperfect myself, but of course, any notion of imperfection implies fault or blame at some level. Therein lies evidence of my fault in this insidious pastime.

So I’m working on letting my Pollyanna side dominate better. I can play my own version of her Glad Game and attempt to divine the positives in the situation and keep my attentions there instead of on the downside. I don’t think it healthy, overall, to put too Panglossian a gloss on things and lose touch with reality, but whatever their relative literary merits I suspect young Pollyanna is the more practical of my fictional companions. Instead of pretending that rotten stuff is good, she exhorts us to see what is good and use that to enlighten and change the rest.

Being grateful for what is fine and admirable and sweet is an invitation to imitate it and to use the power of such goodness to defeat the rest. Time spent in recitation and recognition of joys and strengths is never wasted.

Photo: A Tip of the Hat

…It’s much betterย to give a tip of the hat to what is actually fine and dandy in life, and be glad of it!

16 thoughts on “Litanies

  1. Im aure your musings here can be related to by many Kathryn, myself included. This is a subject I now find myself working hard on all the time, I mean every minute of every day – almost. Since my diagnosis and the subsequent proof of the medical people’s prognosis, in that this thing is unrelenting and will progress come what may, I wake on a morning and immediately look for things to tip my hat to and on many days I would rather throw my hat rather than tip it. But life hasnt ended, its still good and I am still quite capable of complaining about and judging others for no good reason at all! ๐Ÿ˜Š xx

    • So much love from me, Christine! You continue to inspire and be a great example for me. I feel so blessed to have found such a good friend in you, and hope that you will always know that in my heart, you are never alone, either. Knowing you is a great joy, and one I look forward to continuing to deepen.
      Kathryn โค

  2. Thanks, Kath! This is exactly what my counselor was talking to me about today in fact. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I’m tipping my hat to your wise and inspirational words, Kathryn, and am working on doing the same thing in life…by the way, I love that hat and the colors! ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

    • Thank you, my dearest. It’s a comfortable and practical hat as well as a handy ‘model’ for the photo. Made great shade in Puerto Rico, where it was very welcome. I suspect you’re already very skilled at the attitudinal art. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Isn’t it a dandy! There’s a great, longtime folk/jazz/hippie/indie festival that’s like a little sister to SXSW in Seattle and it’s called Bumbershoot. Appropriately enough. ๐Ÿ™‚

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