This morning I was grumbling about a rather large project that I am working on (volunteer) and the hubby said to me, "Do you get any satisfaction out of this project at all?"
Which stopped me cold, of course. I mean, I did volunteer, after all. And not just once, but for the third time now. It's not like I didn't know what I was getting into.
So I looked at the results of my project from last year and I held it up to him. "Yes," I said. "Look at this. It's beautiful. It's history. This isn't just something that people glance at and then throw away. Many of the recipients will save it for years and will refer to it and look at it often."
It's a contribution to a community that means a lot to me.
A couple of months a year it does start to feel like an awfully big job, but I've happily agreed to do it again and again, and I know I likely have a few more years in me before I start looking to pass the task on.
So what am I grumbling about?
I don't know. Sometimes people just grumble.
It's not the way I like to operate, and I do tend to purposely avoid people who grumble about anything and everything all the time, yet it's something I slip into now and then.
Looking at the tasks in front of you as if they are destroyers of your time, things you must put up with, obstacles you must overcome...rather than just the general everyday pleasantries of life; grumbling just makes you feel miserable.
So I stopped grumbling, and started thinking about what I like about this particular task. And the more I thought in those terms, the more I began to enjoy myself. This project fulfills the list-making, meticulous side of my brain. I enjoy pulling all these pieces together and watching them fall into place. What starts as a pile of notes and letters and reports and emails turns into a beautifully formatted, well-organized little book.
It's my favorite things -- paper and ink infused with history and documentation and the wonderfully inspiring works of at least 50 creative individuals, many of whom I know and call friends.
That's me. I did that. And each year I work to do it a little better. Make it a little prettier. A little more organized and user-friendly.
And now that I'm not grumbling about it, I feel good again.