As one of my 40-day challenges, I previously listed not complaining for 40 days. The lovely Sister Umm Travis has also mentioned this as something to try on her blog (can't find it now). I don’t like to complain and try to be positive, but I have to say, sometimes holding it all in is not the most productive thing.
I have been feeling down for a couple of days. A mixture of being stuck inside, it being too cold to go anywhere outside, trying to avoid the sales and being cooped up in the house with mum-in-law who is not very well at all. I found myself feeling grumpy, then very down and then alarmingly passive aggressive, which is not something I usually do. If something is bothering me I will either say, or do something about it. It wasn’t long before I started to feel ashamed at making petty childish comments and pulling faces – it’s just not me and I was conscious that it is just cowardly and mean-spirited. Mum-in-law is going back to Pakistan for a few months in two weeks time and I don’t want her to go with a bad taste in her mouth at her daughter-in-laws behaviour after six good months under the same roof.
In the end what helped was a good, long, hearty, all-out WHINGE to my hubby. I finally cornered him when he came to see what the long face was for. Men are usually not the best for venting on – where women listen, they try to solve everything and keep offering solutions. But hubby just listened this time. I complained about feeling trapped, about feeling unappreciated, about feeling like I couldn’t always do the things I wanted. I conceded most of the time this was in my head and I set up walls and boundaries for myself (“I know she must think that I am a spendthrift”...”I bet he thinks I am wasting my time”). I realised that he supported me in my choices as long as they were within the boundaries set by Islam – and this is more than enough for me.
Once I had the whinging out of the way, I could put my anxieties aside for a while and we could discuss the future – the kids education, downsizing our home, cutting down my hours, returning to education, travelling, learning to drive, deciding not to learn to drive after all.
We agreed on some things and I ended up much clearer on others. I feel sooooo much better, as if my cloudy headedness has gone, so much lighter too. I feel like I can get back to working out my plans without all of the nonsense that was going round in my mind.
I think I might not ban complaining altogether. I might even book a once every three-month slot with hubby to have a moan. Alhamdulillah for my easy-going husband.