File all your complaints here

By | February 11, 2010

licensesThe world and this cough are kicking my ass. I’m having a funky February. I’ve tried looking on the bright side, now I’m going to try something new:  I need to file some complaints.

I’m at about three weeks of coughing, had to move while sick with one day to find a new place and one day to move, movers broke my desk, unexplainable red spots on my hands that disappear in three days, x-rays, blood tests, inhalers, way behind at work, friends all busy, not ready for Valentine’s day, got obliterated time after time tonight by some chess master on the other end of my iPhone, can’t acquire absolute pitch no matter how hard I work at it, need to crack EFS encryption on XP to get files back, having to sleep on a floor, back hurts from that, new place was 60 degrees last night, woke with a sore throat, temporarilylost an awesome little weekend side job I’ve loved for years, distracting loud high pitched ringing in both ears from auditory nerve damage, and not being able to run or work out for three weeks losing the most fitness progress I’ve had in years.

Yes, I realize this is all nothing. Some people in this world are starving to death. Others are being kept as slaves. There is torture, rape, war, and some people are probably trapped in the bodies of mice trying desparely to communicate with the scientists conducting genetic experiments that created them.

But Jesus, this feeling of having liquid in my lungs that I can NOT cough out is horrible. Anyone else out there sick with a seemingly eternal cough?

It would be great if this blog entry was a place you could leave your gripes and then they would leave you. What is your biggest complaint right now? What do you want to leave?


This magic complaint box actually worked. I woke up in a good mood. Sometimes you just need to get things off your chest and put them somewhere. Sleep helps too. Cough is a little better. Plus, I’ve almost completed a big project at work during all of this with limited time and under deadline pressure.

Jorge & others: Thank you for the kind words. I enjoy reading your comments each day at least as much as you enjoy reading the posts here.

Is complaining good for you?

Only if your complaining process gives you a better perspective. One study says complaining can make you feel worse:

… Voicing your frustrations is a natural way of dealing with them — but watch out for when a conversation dissolves into a bitch session. Talking your problems to death can make you feel even worse.A recent study found that teenage girls who vented to each other about their problems, from boy trouble to social slights, were more likely to develop depression and anxiety — and the same is likely true for adult women, says Amanda Rose, the author of the study. …

I’m typically mild mannered, curious, logical and Zen about problems… but when my “buttons get pushed” I also have a fighting side, a passionate, angry Italian personality that believes that if don’t get pissed off, you get pissed on.  That side of me thinks that the church that set up is trying to make people dangerously docile and compliant.

If you make a vow of no complaints for 21-days, does that mean I can rob you the first day, lie to you the second, disrespect you the third, emotionally manipulate you on the fourth, threaten you on the fifth, … ? No! You have rights! Stick up for them. But remember that other people also have rights. Don’t walk on them.

Advice from Wise part of Self to Other Parts of Self:

Find the right balance. Rather than having no complaints, be mostly positive. When you do complain, talk to the right person(s), specifically, about real issues, offer solutions, stay somewhat detached and know when to let it go.

Yeah, that’s good advice and all, but… Friends are great and complaining to friends (aka “venting”) works wonders to help us get sympathy and social support. How much we  do this may depend on how we were raised. That “awww” sound we got as children  from our parents when something went wrong can be very comforting. It says: I understand how you feel. Don’t worry. I’m on your side. You are loved.

4 thoughts on “File all your complaints here

  1. Jorge

    Xeno, I have been following your blog since last year. Reading about your present troubles, I just wanted to send over some positive energy — let my words be the best carriers they can be.

    Your blog was the first I subscribed to. Ever. Before Xenophilia I just ignored blogs altogether; I mostly stuck with Flickr and a couple of other websites. Now I have to say Xenophilia is the first blog I check out every morning when I get up and turn on the computer. I always read one or two of your posts before I get started on my working day.

    I am sure that there are many people out there who love what you do here but have never come forward to tell you that. I don’t know. Maybe they’re shy, or their writing skills are sub par and they’re afraid to make fools of themselves.

    Listen, on behalf of the silent majority: Thank you. Thanks for finding all these weird and wonderful things and sharing them with us.

    Also, I hope none of your current concerns bothers you too much for too long.

    And yes, I know my comment was off-topic.

  2. Metamorphous

    I agree with Jorge. This is actually my homepage. I have to read a couple of your posts, daily, to feed my need for out of the ordinary info. I hope things ease up for you buddy. And yes, It is strange that not many comment here. Hahah get it?


  3. dogsounds

    Dude, I may not comment that often but you are well and truly ensconced in my “check a few times a day” list 🙂

    And I know where you are coming from with the cough – I get the same damn thing every winter/autumn.

    And if it helps, here’s a WTF from this winter for me: two weeks tottering about on snow and ice, worrying about falling on my ass and braining myself, only to not fall over once until the DAY AFTER the snow melted away – when I twised my knee nastily because I was not used to walking on solid, stable ground. Probably tripped on a molecule or something. I am just that rubbish.

    Sometimes life just futzes with your chi. Keeps you on edge and ornery. Think of it another way: without the bad times, the good times would not be quite so worth treasuring.

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