No whining allowed

#ReverbBroads2012 Prompt Day #5: Come up with a new Constitutional Amendment (yep, I am breaking the “rules” and skipping around! Thanks, Brenda!)

I hereby decree that the next amendment to the Constitution of these amazing United States should be: If you whine about it, volunteer to change it

Definition of whining: to complain about in a feeble or petulant way.

That pretty much covers it. We all whine. We all vent our frustrations. It is human. We see an injustice or something doesn’t go our way at work and we shout from the Facebook, blog, Twitter rooftops: “Hey, I was wronged! ” Or, we don’t like the way an event or program has been planned and we chime in with snarky comments after everything has been done. We have all been there. Heck, sometimes we have even been that person. The angry staff member or committee member who did not jump on board when the opportunity for involvement was offered at the outset, suddenly sweeps in at the last minute to offer advice, with a smirk and barely veiled disdain. “Well, I wouldn’t have done it that way.” Then, crosses his/her arms and continues to pout until the meeting is over. Yep, pretty petulant.

I know myself quite well. I have a big mouth. I whine. I vent. A lot. Sometimes it can take me a few days (okay, with some stuff it is weeks!) to pull myself out of my self-indulgent slump. But, I always do. After I am done whining, I move into action mode. I open my big mouth and I volunteer myself to help. I speak up with suggested improvements and changes. This is how I came to be an RA, Orientation Leader, writer for the student newspaper, AmeriCorps volunteer, student affairs professional, committee member, conference planing committee member, MBTI certified, non-profit volunteer, bald Momma….

And therein lies my suggested amendment. If you whine about it, volunteer to change it.

Don’t like the music program at your kids’ school? Volunteer to be on the curriculum committee or PTO.

Wish you had a more flexible schedule? Talk to your supervisor.

Don’t like the lack of female representation on a university committee? Get on the committee.

Frustrated with your Congressperson? Write a letter. Make a phone call. Take your cause to the web. Twitter is quite powerful.

Do not be a petulant child who chimes in from the cheap seats after the fact. Whining is not helpful to the cause. It creates unnecessary drama, is disrespectful of the people who have actually devoted their time and talents to the cause, and it hurts morale. Whining is inevitably about the whiner. Usually the whiner is hurt, or angry, or unhappy with themselves about something. Don’t engage it. Push back and encourage involvement.

Just. do. something. Anything.

But no whining!

With what fictional character (book, movie, TV, etc.) do you most identify? Why?

I am again trying to dip my toe into this blogging world. I have joined a group of smart, funny, sassy, and all around amazing women who are from various parts of the country and in various states of negotiating career/motherhood/womanhood. It is called Reverb Broads (#reverbbroads2012). Each day in June there will be a new blog prompt to which you respond and then share. I joined because I figured it would force me to physically sit down and write each day. I joined to connect with other women and other moms. I joined because I am hoping to get out of this little “who am I am and what do I want from my life?” funk.

I will confess that lately I have fallen into the perfectionist trap. Not sure where it is coming from or what it is about, but there it is again. So, I have tended to do nothing rather than risk writing, saying, or doing something that isn’t 100% awesome. No pressure there, Monica! My husband commented, “You do A level work or nothing at all. Sometimes, B’s are okay.” He is so right…..

But, I saw the first prompt, “With what fictional character do you most identify and why?” and I am already behind. Here it is the morning of June 2 and I am just now writing for the June 1st prompt…

I love this question. I have loved the creative and original responses that the other participants have posted. This question also sent me in to a complete tailspin. Here is why: 1. I have been through a lot of stuff the last two years (son’s diagnosis & treatment, finishing PhD, betrayal of me & my family by a friend, unemployment, new job, commuting, shaved my head, different new job, no more commute, sons in school……blah blah blah) and truthfully, I have no idea who I am, let alone what fictional character I am most like. 2. I have always struggled with definitives and absolutes like “most, always, never.” For me, these words do not exist.

Then, I started to read other people’s posts and saw that they had chosen more than one character and that many of these other writers are also trying to figure it out. So, safety in numbers. That being said, here we go. I think I am most like:

Carol Seaver from Growing Pains– smart, sometimes annoyed by those around her because she feels misunderstood, pretty in an unconventional way, trying to be noticed but not noticed at the same time. I even had the same red-rimmed glasses that covered half my face.

Monica Geller from Friends– Organized (though I am not nearly as anal), loyal, sibling, loves tradition, competitive, rough exterior but really mushy in the middle. And, not going to lie, it was awesome having a lead female character with the same name.

Leslie Knope from Parks & Rec– persistent (she never lets things go), pushes those around her to be better because she knows they can be, advocates for those who have no voice, believes that systems can help people, belongs to something bigger than herself, risk-taker. And, Amy Poehler (real person, I know), is a Boston College graduate (like me) so I am automatically drawn to any character she does.

Miranda Bailey from Grey’s Anatomy– a mother, strong, fierce, sassy, straight-shooter with good intentions, loyal, motivated, confident, gets stronger the harder the situation.

Whew! I did it! Now, on to day 2. Maybe I will get that one done before day 3!