but first, coffee.

ImageSo often when we think about the phrase “if you can’t say anything nice don’t day anything at all” we apply it only to people.  But why leave out the sister nouns: places and things?  Sure, leaving them out leaves us more room to complain about lukewarm burgers and messy bathrooms and cloudy skies, but why waste time on those things?
I volunteered at the American Girl Fashion show to help the Junior League raise funds for closing the achievement gap.  The cause is reason enough to help, but I was also excited to chat about the American Girl books while helping models (girls 4-8) pick out their favorite Felicity or Samantha dress for the runway.
Instead, I was asked to volunteer at the concession stand, “Could you make the coffee and serve the hot dogs?” Ah!  Gotta help where needed, right?  I wouldn’t get to see the show or meet the girls or chat about the books, but so it goes.  I put on my apron and headed to the kitchen and told myself to be excited about it.
Time whirled by as I learned how to make cappuccinos and lattes and mochas and cheese bourekas.  Gaining skills, right?  The best part, however, was that the other two girls in the kitchen were absolutely sweet and funny and intelligent – their company made the morning better than anything I could have planned.  We all three exchanged numbers before we left, and we have plans to hang out this weekend.ImageI went home grateful that I suppressed my urge to complain, and it got me thinking about how lodging complaints (to the people around, above, or beside us) never really does any good.  
When we decide to accept our circumstances (whatever they may be), we open ourselves up to new experiences (cappuccinos and friends, in my case), lift others up (instead of chatting about missing the show, we joked about opening a food truck) and remember to be grateful for the good things all around (in the scheme of things, any complaint I make is going to be pretty petty, right?)

I will not complain this week.  Bring on icy-rain and long waits and traffic jams, and I’ll use that inconvenience to practice acceptance.

20 thoughts on “but first, coffee.

  1. I love how you make the most of every situation you find yourself – so often enjoying something is a choice, and I admire how you chose it over and over again!

  2. a similar thing happened to me when i was volunteering for the miss boston pageant – i thought i would be backstage helping with costume changes etc, but the photographer we hired NEVER SHOWED UP for the pageant, so i was handed a camera and told to photograph the entire show! i’m no professional photographer by any means, so i was nervous, but i did my best. 🙂

  3. I so admire your power for positive thinking! And I’d say that if you make new friends out of something, it was definitely worth doing 🙂

  4. Wow! How fun! I am a very big anti-complaining advocate…I don’t tend to think there are many redeeming qualities to complaining, except in the case of situations that really need to be changed. Keep up the great attitude!

  5. So true!! Remember the old ‘if you can’t say something nice…’ phrase for more than just people!! I love that idea. Simple but so good.

    Are you in the Junior League? I have a friend who I am in JL with here who is from Minneapolis and is moving back this summer. She is debating transferring to the Minneapolis chapter or the St. Paul chapter. Do you know anything about either?

  6. What a great attitude to have!! I have to admit it is hard for me to keep a positive attitude when things like that happen… but I will definitely have to work on it. 🙂

  7. I’ve been in situations like this before where I think I am volunteering for one thing, but get placed somewhere completely different. Thankfully, making coffee isn’t so bad! 😉

  8. Love your attitude! My babes have been super sick this week and I’ve totally been guilty of grumbling over my lack of sleep as a result. I’m going to make an effort to spend my time talking about more positive things.

    Great post!

  9. ahh! 9 year old Annie is flipping out right now – an American Girl fashion show?! but really, I think you got the fun end of the bargain – backstage gab sessions and learning how to make coffee!

  10. Marvelous! What a fun event to be a part of! And I love how you view all circumstances as opportunities. It’s all about your attitude! Love it! Such a great Tuesday reminder! 🙂

  11. There is the shirt! It is totally the same one 🙂

    I love this post. First of all, because I definitely would have been excited to see American girls dolls. Secondly, because of your positive attitude. And you made new friends – win!

Tell me something happy:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s