I habitually stay up too late. I’ve always got a million things going which keeps me running from place to place and task to task almost every night. All too often I find myself just making it into the bedroom to settle down for the night well after ten o’clock, and often more like eleven.
If I were to go to sleep immediately, then some nights I would get eight hours of sleep before the six o’clock alarm rang. But, I’m one of those people who needs at least thirty minutes of time to wind down before I can even think about sleeping. The best way for me to relax is to read, so I pick up a book and begin.
Unfortunately I get involved in the story and suddenly realize it’s nearly midnight and going to sleep is an absolute necessity, so I close the book, turn off the light and drift off. In the morning, if I’m tired, I can’t complain too much because it’s something I brought on myself.
But what about those other times I want to complain? Am I running late because I didn’t plan ahead? Did I allow someone to annoy me? Do I bring on stress because I didn’t take care of something I should have in the first place?
How many times do we find ourselves in a situation we wish we could change? Do we prefer to take care of the problem, or are we happier when we sit and complain?
Complaining seems to have become a way of life for some people. Just listen when a group of friends or even strangers sit around together. What do you hear? “I wish my boss would let me take a few extra days off. My kids never do what I ask them to do. My husband always leaves his dirty socks on the floor. My bills are astronomical.” On and on and on. . . the same ideas come through no matter who you seem to talk to these days.
How did we get to be such a complaining people? Elder Richard G. Scott says, “We should never complain, when we are living worthily, about what happens in our lives.”
So what are we doing that causes us to complain? President Gordon B. Hinckley says, “By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves.”
Life really is pretty good, when you think about it. We have people we care about and who care for us all around us. Our basic needs are being met, even if our sometimes outrageous wants are not. We have the power to change our lives and the world around us for good if we only take the steps to do so.
Are we complaining about the very things we permit? Are they things we could probably change? Where might we begin?
President Spencer W. Kimball used to keep a little sign on his desk that simply read, “Do it.”
The idea might not seem too simple, but in reality it’s not. If you’re unhappy with something that is happening in your home, talk it over with your spouse, siblings, children or others who are directly involved and see if a compromise can be reached. If you don’t like your job, what are you doing to prepare for a different job? Have you done anything to curb your spending?
If we are permitting situations into our lives that cause us to complain, then we have to be the one to make whatever changes necessary to remove the reason to complain. We need to “Do it.”
If you want more money—spend less and make more. If you want the members of your family to help you with the chores—make your wishes and the consequences clear. If you need to find a better job—set your goals, get yourself educated then take the plunge.
And as for me—if I want to get a better night’s sleep I need to rearrange my daily schedule so I have my thirty minutes to relax before it’s time to drift off to sleep.