It's a lot harder to curb complaints than I ever would have imagined. I've been working at this for weeks, and so far haven't strung together even 7 days; nay, even four. I have, finally, put together 2 days several times, and most recently, and most notable I failed on--TA DA--Day Four, which means I managed to get through three whole days before a complaint crossed my lips.
As I watched the original challenge on YouTube, I observed a few people remarking that it had taken one or two weeks before they were able to get into the swing of it. One or two weeks! Either these people have very different standards than I've set up, or they're lying--or I'm far worse off than I ever expected. Here are my standards:
1. It's okay to think it, but I can't say it (same as A Complaint-Free World)
2. Fits of temper, impatience, or outrage count as complaints.
3. It doesn't matter if someone else is around to hear it. If I've uttered it aloud, it's a complaint.
What this means in effect is that if I go out to the barn and the horses have tossed their hay out of the feeder and pooped all over it, the exclamation, "Those stupid horses!" is a complaint. The question comes when I cry, "Oh, no!" Is that a complaint?
If the goats have escaped from their enclosure and tipped over my buckets of minerals, and I tell someone what they've done, is that a complaint?
Suppose I've had a small run-in with a family member, and another asks me about it, is the retelling a complaint?
So far, I've answered "yes" to myself on all counts, which means I either become rather uncommunicative with respect to situations in my life which can be construed as negative, or I have to change the standards. I finally started looking at intent, and that eased a bit of the retelling, but I'm on rather shaky ground. What I have learned is that murmuring, by definition, means speaking very low, almost inarticulately, and often in complaint. As soon as my voice gives utterance, I'm in trouble. I'm learning to keep my mouth shut tight, even when I want to lash out, exclaim, or just tell someone of the unbelievably stressful heartache I've just endured, the catastrophe just avoided, the idiocies just observed.
If I ever string together 21 full days without complaint, I suspect I may be almost mute.