26 • May 2018 • UPBEAT TIMES, INC.
IN A WORD: Living the Upbeat LifeGRUMBLE Weird Facts & Trivia - 6 by Marcia Singer ~www.lovearts.in
fo ~ firstname.lastname@example.org
Q: I wish I could feel more upbeat and positive, but things bug me & get under my skin. I can’t see an easy way to fi x things, and so I tend to grum- ble a lot. ~ Anonymous
A : Grum- ble – sounds like the sur- name of a Charles Dicken character –maybe a
Thaddeous Q. Grumble?! He’s crotchety, pacing around the cottage, moping, com- plaining about this and that, muttering complaints to him-
self, or anyone else in earshot. In a low, surly voice. voce. Bah! Humbug!
Consulting my heftiest dictionary, I fi nd that the origin of the word ‘grum- ble’ is thought to be Dutch –not English: grommelen means “to mutter.”
back to our serious ques- tion about the tendency to be a complaining
grumbler, or grumbling com- plainer.
Surely it involves
having ideals (sometimes not fully recognized), while liv- ing in way less than ideally
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suited to you. Sotto And feeling
disempowered to do much about it. So in that light, here’s my response: First, identify what it is you value. Next, evaluate, assess what’s amiss.
Third, do something. Anything positive on behalf of what you value. Stand up for it, claim it. Every little bit counts.
How about some examples from my own grumble diary? At the time of this writing, Earth Day is a week away. The local turf is fl owering profusely, even in some of the nearby burn areas. Gorgeous! But what else do I see? –Peo- ple’s cigarette butts, on the streets, walkways , drat, even on hiking trails! So applying my formula for getting more upbeat and empowered about it –I identify that I value both harmless to our Mother Planet and our bodies. And I deeply value beauty. And cig butts, especially ones with fi lters, don’t look beautiful to me. Smoking them is not exactly healthful. And the butts pol- lute soil and water, and can take up to ten years to de- compose. Grumble, grumble.
So what’s amiss? Health, respect, beauty. What can I do –if anything? Pick up the discards and dispose of them properly? Report it? Educate about cellulose acetate fi lters? Help smokers quit?
Now that I’m getting my
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26 • May 2018 • UPBEAT TIMES, INC.
grumble on, and a good pro- tocol for not staying stuck there –I’ll tackle another ‘main complain’ of mine: “sound pollution,” noises that startle or unnerve me. For example, landscapers blower
machines. Or parents yelling at kids when I am shopping, or youngsters hollering in the library. What happened to the rule –certainly the expecta- tion –that everyone should be quiet in the library?? “Shhhh, use your indoor voices…“ In all closed, shared spaces like restaurants or department stores?
So beyond another sour rant, what steps can I take here? One, identify what’s important to me e.g. tranquili- ty, freedom from the physical discomfort that loud sounds cause me, an elder who can’t enjoy hollering shot.
What’s ’off’ for me? Feeling safe to be in public spaces, and feeling that my needs matter. What can I do? –Keep ear plugs handy, for one thing –and I do! Write about my needs and insights. Get braver, share with holler- ers who are often unsuspect- ing of the effect they’re hav- ing. Ask a store manager to turn down the hip hop muzak while I shop –?! I used
to just grumble –mutter- ing un- der my breath –even fearful
ing up. But when I do, some wonderful conversations take place. Two librarians and a variety of check out work- ers confessed how much they miss the old decorum too; have phones and computer- ization changed our culture so much, that younger gen- erations have never experi- enced sharing environments more quietly? Except maybe at Church –lol. How we’ve made it acceptable to have
... continued on page 31
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