Two things happened yesterday that spotlighted something I try to avoid in my life...being known as a negative complaining person. I do complain about lots, like the ants in the shower at the gym, people on their cellphones in the bathroom, slow drivers, etc. When I complain to the people at the gym at the ants, I try to be neutral - "Hey, there are ants." Not "Hey there are ants and this place is disgusting and what the hell are you doing about it because there are ants!"
But I was talking to a friend about a mutual acquaintance that we were with recently. Apropos of nothing, she said "Wow, she is SO negative. She just complained the entire time we were together." I said, "Yes, I found it very draining." My friend said, "That's exactly the right word."
My daughter's school awards ceremony reminded me of that later on as one of the awards she got was the class Bucket Filler award. Quick lesson: positive actions and words fill a bucket while negative ones deplete a bucket. Her classmates voted her as this quarter's bucket filler.
When I spoke to her later, I asked her which award did she think was the most surprising or which made me proud, etc. She said the Bucket Filler award and I said I liked that one the best too.
I'm not a natural bucket filler. I often say or do things that don't even occur to me as being negative because I see them through my Kirstycat filter rather than through the rest-of-the-world filter. I don't go out of my way to invite people to do things as I assume I'll be rejected - I'm rather shy/unconfident in that perspective. People are often surprised to find out that I'm barely an Extrovert on the Myers-Briggs test.
My daughter has been filling my bucket at home too. Helping make dinner, making me laugh when I'm down and cleaning up cat hairballs. (VERY useful!) She is so much better socially than I was at her age (actually probably at any age).
(You know who is not a Bucket Filler? Derby cat. Because he is making it very difficult to type this post. When I try to push him off me, he grunts/growls at me. And then returns.)
My fortune cookie today was completely wrong - I am NOT quiet and unobtrusive. But hopefully I'm not loud, obtrusive AND constantly negative.
You know how you could be a bucket filler tomorrow? VOTE in the Columbia elections. (Of course, only if you live in Columbia.) Meeting quorum in our villages is not easy even if there isn't a contested elections.