No whining allowed

No whining allowed

I used to have a sign over my desk at work which said, “No Whining allowed.” It was effective, much of the time, but it sure didn’t win me any popularity contests. My boss at the time had his own sign which stated, “Your lack of planning is not my emergency.” I found it interesting that his sign was not adopted by his replacement.

Whining is the realm of losers and, worse yet, saboteurs (those who seek to undermine and harm others and undermine projects and goals). When I hear someone whining, for example, “oh woe is me my life is so hard, everyone is so mean and I am so helpless”, I just want to throw up. Yes, life is hard sometimes; yes, occasionally bad things happen. But don’t whine; you made a choice which put you in this predicament; now make a choice and do something about it.

When my late wife passed away I was deeply in debt; I didn’t whine about it. I realized I got in debt because I made choices, right or wrong, which I now had to deal with. I had to sit down, do some hard thinking, make some difficult decisions, and came up with a plan to get the debt paid off as fast as possible. I made those choices, went into action, and within a few years the debt was gone and my credit was not only restored, but stronger than it had ever been.

I am in charge of my life. No one else is to blame for what I’ve become. Of course others have contributed in various ways to this construction known as “my life”, but accepting what they had to offer was my choice. Even on those instances where it seemed I was in a situation where I couldn’t win, where there were no choices, still I was making choices and my life changed as a result of those decisions.

It used to tick me off when my parents said, on more than one occasion, I got where I am because “I was lucky”. I wasn’t lucky. Luck had nothing to do with anything. It never does. I worked my ass off, went to school, remained employed through thick and thin, made some good choices, and came out on this side strong and healthy and extremely happy. There was no luck. Only my own strength and my own choices.

I’ve been in love; I married a woman and I was head-over-heels, damn the torpedoes in love. We got married within three weeks of meeting. She was my soul mate, or so I thought at the time, and I stuck with her for over twelve years, until she passed away after a long, painful illness. It was a difficult marriage, but I chose to remain and I chose to be true until the very end.

I’ve been the vice president of two software companies, a senior designer at another and the director of operations at another for 20 years. That wasn’t luck. It was talent, skill and hard work learning, striving and dragging myself  to achieve my goals.

I have been abused, I will remain silent on the details for now, and I survived. I learned from the experiences, picked myself up, and moved forward, stronger and more able than before.There was no whining, only learning from the experiences and moving forward.

My stepson used to complain that life was unfair. He said he couldn’t achieve anything. Hrmph. I remember watching in fascination as a lady without arms painted in the airport with her feet. She used her toes like we use our fingers, eating a sandwich and making a beautiful picture on canvas. I’m afraid I was rude and starred, but that was proof to me that anyone, even my poor stepson who barely had to work a day in his life, could achieve what he wanted if he had made better choices.

Life is neither unfair nor fair. It is what it is. You are dealt a hand of cards when you are born. You can call, raise or throw them away. Or you can do what I’ve done and dumped that game and choose a new game of your own liking. I never liked card games. I prefer life.

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