GRUMBLY MUMBLY AND SIMPLY BUBBLY

Grumbly Mumbly and Simply Bubbly – as their names, so their natures – stark opposites!

Grumbly Mumbly (let’s call her GM) always wore a frown on her face. No matter how well cooked any dish was, there wasn’t enough salt to her taste! If the salt was just appropriate, the veggies or the meat in the dish weren’t tender enough! The maid scrubbed the floors of her house clean every day; still, GM didn’t find them sparkly enough and showered a mouthful on her! Her ten-year-old daughter stood first in the class with a remark of “Excellent” superscribed on the Report Card; still, GM’s brows twitched seeing a shortage of four marks from the aggregate and all along the way back she fussed at the deliberate evil schemes of the teachers! On one occasion GM went shopping for herself. Unfortunately, the store did not have the required size of the outfit that she had selected. Not only did she blacklist the store for herself, but also did not forget to give a fuming suggestion to the store Manager to shift the store to some nondescript town or village! Her husband gifted her a bunch of her favourite red roses on their wedding anniversary. She immediately inspected the bouquet and started kvetching about his lack of taste to have chosen pale half-blossomed partially dried roses!

No one ever liked being with GM, though she was skilled at many things. She greeted each smile with a scowl. Her constant mumblings sent all tumbling away from her. Her blood pressure remained high at all times. Migraine was her companion of many years. Stomach ulcers frequented her. Gradually, a host of psychosomatic ailments befriended her. GM was miserable! Nothing that anyone did or said ever satisfied her.

Simply Bubbly (let’s call her SB) moved into Grumbly Mumbly’s neighbourhood one fine afternoon. Every other neighbour cautioned her against GM’s scoffs and sneers. “All the best, if you ever crossroads with her”, they said. SB just laughed it away. “There isn’t a person who can rob your cheer unless you decide to trade it for a world load of fear”, she quipped. SB found joy in all things and people around her, even in the most challenging ones. Her bubbly nature was infectious. A couple of times, GM and SB did crossways. Each look of grimace that GM threw was met with a beaming smile from SB. When GM broke her ankle, none went to her aid. “She would find fault with anything that we do”, they said. Simply Bubbly was the only one who went up to GM’s doorsteps each day without fail. Day after day she went for the three whole months that GM was confined indoors. “Wait and watch till she’s back on her feet”, said all.

The day GM was to take her first steps outside, all peeped from their windows. There was GM leaning on to SB trying to take stable steps in the midst of the busy traffic! And what was that – a smile on GM’s face! That was her first smile that anyone had ever seen!

The next day, at a thanksgiving get-together, Grumbly Mumbly seemed all quiet. She didn’t mind the loud chatter or the endless clatter of dishes. The music which would have either been too loud or too low on previous occasions didn’t bother her much. Seated at the centre wearing a faint smile, she said, “I’ve learnt to let go – to let go of the imperfections that drain my energy, and to appreciate all things around me. My quest for improvement would never end, but the snoots would never come back.”

Profusely thanking Simply Bubbly for helping her deal with her insecurities and anxieties, GM declared that she would be working towards a makeover. Gradually, GM’s complaints gave way to appreciations and her frowns into charming smiles. Her distasteful mouthfuls were replaced by words of encouragement. The world which she had been seeing with dark shades became visible with bright brilliant sunshine.  

Often, it’s tough to drive home rational thinking to the Grumbly Mumblys around us. They seem to be perfectionists, but fail to accept the fact that their own personality needs tweaking. They seem to have justified arguments for all their grumblings. Leave the hardcore GMs. What about you and me? How many times have we grumbled over situations, people, our own selves? The scorching sun makes us grumble. A heavy downpour early in the morning makes us grumble. If the water is too hot for a bath, we start muttering. If the electricity supply goes off while we are in the middle of an assignment we start fuming. If a guest arrives too early, we grumble. If the guest arrives much later than the scheduled time of meeting we grumble.

While it is necessary to be disciplined and maintain certain principles in life, it is all the more essential to harbour the virtue of contentment, all the while acknowledging the transient nature of the world around us. Discontent leads to grumbling. Constant grumbling emits the foul smell of ones personality to those around and proves to be a powerful repellent. Its wise to choose not to be a Grumbly Mumbly. 

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.”  – THE BIBLE

“Be grateful and you won’t grumble. Grumble and you won’t be grateful.” – Billy Graham

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WHAT TO DO WHEN IRKED – GRUMBLE?

I grumble when the cashier says “Link Failed, Wait”, though it’s been an hour since I’m in the queue. I grumble when my mom sends me to get bread from the shop at the 15th over of IND-PAK T20 match. I grumble when my boss assigns me to lead the least successful team in my company. I grumble when my friend does not reply after the blue tick in the midst of some important WhatsApp conversation. I grumble when I see a seat just vacated exactly where I was standing in a crowded metro. I grumble when my co-passengers start talking on Indian Politics. I grumble when someone walks into my bedroom or kitchen without removing his muddy shoes. I grumble when my grandmother keeps repeating the same question again and again.

Human life is time-framed. And the two foremost distinct in this big picture is the finitude of human life and “the persistent fluctuating nature of time”. On the contrary, human nature is, I love my comfort zone, please don’t DISTURB! Every man loves to fine tune to the comfort zone as it always feels amusing and secured. When such of our cloud nine feelings are irked we get irritated and grumble.

Being irked in the daily dealings of life is well-expected. When we deal with two or more people, the difference of opinions and understanding and challenges are very logical though it won’t sound as well-tuned.

When I joined my previous organization, I found everything good and problems just seem like challenges. For a couple of months, I enjoyed the work, somewhere I felt like I’m in Cloud Seven though not exactly the Cloud Nine experience it was. Gradually, as I faced new challenges and some masks, I started grumbling. Like every other time, I prayed and consulted with one of my mentors. When I shared him everything in detail, he gave me one of the wisest advice. He said, “Avinash, don’t think every time things and people will go your desired way. In fact, mostly it will be contrary to your views. Hence, in the obviousness of being irked the biggest solution for us is – take everything into prayer. Because God is the Creator who has destined our future and in order to lead us there, often He pushes us to the varieties of challenges in order to teach us new things, to renew our mind, to strengthen our potentials and to unlearn our old ways of living. As we will progress towards the future we will be matured enough to live a God-oriented life then and there”.

The Bible says,

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky

In the world of difference of opinions and worldviews, our grumbling and arguing attitude might subject us to blame and impurity. At extreme, it entices us to project faulty testimonials and finally we lose our glory of life on the earth.

Let’s renew our mind, think wise and refrain from grumbling.

BEAR WITH ME, MY DEAR PAN

“Lunch is cooked, I can relax now. When kids arrive I will feed them this” and I am lost in my thoughts and get busy with other stuff (preferably and most often I doze off in such situations, 🤫 it’s a secret).  When kids arrive the drama starts to unfold. My son who just started communicating in petty words puts across a demand.  With a potato in his hand, he starts pointing out at the flour and says “Puri, Puri” (Indian bread deep-fried) as potato curry makes a great combination with this bread and he being a foodie knows his combinations very well. I tried to dodge him, tried to appease him with other options available but he wouldn’t budge.  And that puts me off big time. I have to oblige anyway because I can’t let him go hungry.  And here starts a tussle between my laziness and patience and my motherly instincts.  And that’s the worst tussle one experiences.

Then the devil hiding behind the veil of my smile comes forth. Suddenly apple of my eyes turns sore.  Utensils come crashing, shelf doors bang real hard, blood shoots up to head as I start from scratch cursing my fate “WHY!”. “Why I have to go through this ordeal of preparing lunch again as I thought I was done for this quarter “, “Why can’t you eat rice that’s already prepared, “Why are you so stubborn”, ” Why you know so much about food and tastes at this tender age, we never contested so much at your age” and that goes on.  Meanwhile, at the back of my mind, a place equivalent to the tip of a pin, a voice meekly whispers in my ears “Hello, what are you doing, don’t you care about your image of a “Patient Good Mother”.  Breathe in breathe out, prepare it and finish it. Give your body some work and rest to the brain for God sake”.

So this is a pretty common scene at my home.  I cook with soul and heart but when I am asked to prepare something at the wrong time I suffer from verbal diarrhea (high decibel with kids, hush-hush affair with husband 😉). I have to do it anyway, no way out so the pans and floor witness my frustration more than anyone else😂😂.

And it isn’t just one particular situation.  I have put the non-living things at the receiving end innumerable times.  Hand mirrors, clothes, phones, shoes and what not.  Special mention: I am cautious enough not to damage them 😁. My face more or less looks like these emojis mentioned below during those moments:

😣😖😫😡🤬

Not nice na?

I tried to ascertain later “What’s the matter with me?”  Pat comes to an answer – Laziness, period! Unwillingness to do a job at odd times (for instance preparing breakfast at  3 AM in the morning, I have more in my kitty😂😂) simply because that was not on cards and mind really not prepared for this.

But wake up lady, you are not a computer to follow a particular coding.  A human and a woman and a mother – Oh what a combination! You can’t really have an algorithm of activities.

Coming to the point:  Such moments when you lose hold of yourself and tongue, what to do? If I say something preachy now that would be like “pot calling kettle black “. Still, I want to say something out of my experience and observation – when there is no way out but to carry out the function it’s better to do it while deviating your mind to something you like or enjoy, may be a video, a thought, call to your dear ones and so on. That would surely calm down your nerves and save you from unwanted altercations arising out of a few moments of disgust/frustration.  To get frustrated, to cuss, to err is human, nothing to be ashamed of it. But we must surely try to exercise some restraint especially when your frustration is not conveying any message to the concerned party but driving an altogether wrong point, putting you in wrong light, isn’t it? Try and try until you win. I will too 😁😁.

Remember: a pan won’t be hurt of your frustration but a human will be.

TIMES WHEN I GRUMBLE

Those who know me well, for them, I am a jolly and sensible girl (this is what I have heard about myself) but for others, I am a harsh and outspoken person. They think I get irritated easily and which is true to some extent.

I am very particular about things. I have always been in the discipline since my childhood. I love being organized. But that doesn’t mean I never enjoy and have fun. However, in spite of being a joker and doing circus every single minute, I love enjoying in a way that doesn’t seem odd and annoying. I have spent so many crazy moments with my friends (I am not talking about random batchmates and neighbors) and especially, with my hostel mates.

I hate complaining and I try my best to stay away from complaints. However, this can’t happen completely. No doubt, I laugh loudly and you will see my dimples throughout the day but I become grumpy when I get annoyed.

Those incidents are:

  • People mocking others: I had this batchmate of mine in college who would mock every other person entering the classroom. Let us call her ABC. ABC would not spare even the specially abled person. For ABC, the only perfect person was none but her. I know, I am still grumbling but this is the best I can do when I talk or hear about ABC. She still thinks why I was never good to her. Poor girl!
  • People cracking senseless jokes: Jokes are meant to make us laugh. But if every time you crack meaningless and illogical jokes, I am sorry you are at the pity of listeners.
  • Untidiness: Cleanliness is something which is very important and let me tell you there is no substitute for this. People being distant to cleanliness (here, I am talking about those who have enough resources to maintain cleanliness but still, they stay like trash) are never ever welcomed by me. I can’t waste my smile or a glance at such people, leave about time.
  • Lame excuses: I have seen my friends making lame excuses every now and then. This makes me mad. If you are unable to do something then just say it rather than making lame excuses. A final word is 10 times better than any flimsy talk.
  • Asking silly questions: Some people have the habit of bombarding silly questions at you. One of the most annoying questions I keep facing is, why don’t you eat more green vegetables to cure your eyesight. To such people pretending to be a great doctor, my answer is, not every specs wearer has vitamin A deficiency. I am a great lover of green vegetables and my plate is incomplete without green veggies. I never remember an incident when my mom had a hard time convincing me to eat carrots, spinach, and cabbage. My eyesight is poor because of the accident I faced and due to macular degeneration which is incurable.

Also, some will feel so pity of my short height and will ask, if I ever drank Complan or Horlicks? I guess they don’t know, genes do exist in biology and are responsible for our physique.

  • Sick mindset: I don’t understand why these people are on this earth. I wish if scientists could find a way to send them away from the earth’s atmosphere. For the reason, the mindset of these people contributes to the global warming effect. These people always have an uncontrollable urge to poke their nose and puke their annoying words. They have a problem when they see a 24+ girl being unmarried and their metabolism will not let them be in peace when exam results are out. Moreover, they want every girl to cook food and earn a surplus amount. I think these people should move on to Mars and spare mother earth.
  • Being an over smart: Smartness is important and it makes us look confident but showing excessive of it, especially when you know nothing, can backfire you. Whenever I come across such an overly smart person, I do grumble.

To overcome these, I just walk away and I take the help of ignorance. And sometimes, I don’t stop myself from slamming such people. Being grumpy can be a choice for some people but it is mostly due to the incident taking place around us.

Concluding, I would say, stay calm and pay no heed to things and people who make you grumble.

Grrrrr mmbbllliiinnggggg – THE DAILY DOSE OF AN EVERYDAY LIFE

Grumble

verb

  1. to complain about someone or something in an annoyed manner

“Grumbling is a virtue of the weak-minded not of the strong-willed”

…wait! Don’t pounce on me just yet – Think about it…

Jog your memory a little and try to remember the last person you’ve heard grumbling, just because they had to do something extra for someone else.

Now try and understand what could be the reason behind the request?

  • Inability?
  • Time constraint?
  • The virtue of you being capable of doing the job better? You’re simply better at doing it?

An able, active and a normal person wouldn’t mind going the extra..aaamile in doing something for another person, it’s not like you’re told to climb the Himalayas to fetch a pail of water and come back.

“It is the little things we do for people that make life a better place to live in”

1. The child is asked by his mother to bring a glass of water because she’s thirsty but he’s busy on his mobile phone in the middle of a game…

What is going to be his reaction?

2. An employer tells his employee to finish the allotted work given to him and go home.. its nearing closing time but you’re nowhere close to the end…

What’s his reaction going to be?

Grumble (1)

Nothing is ever be achieved by grumbling.

Grumbling leads to Frustration

                        Frustration leads to Pressure

                                                    Pressure leads to Stress

                                                                Stress ultimately leads to sickness…

…and it’s only all downhill from there.

Now, do we really want to go down that road?

How about getting the job done… and move on? Sounds a much better option now, doesn’t it? 

Everyone grumbles – Yes! It is part of basic human behavior. It’s just that some people do it a lot more than others and are also strangely good at it, not so pleasant though to the person(s) hearing the constant grumbling!

I grumble too (mostly in the mind) – I am human after all, but like the so many things I am working on in my personal life… I am still ‘work in progress’. I am only getting better with time

Tip: If you have someone around you who grumbles as if their life depends on it – Do Not React! Walk away if you must, Ignore if you have too… there is no cure. They say as you mature, you understand life better and complain less about the things around you… But with some people, it works the other way round, and that’s certainly not good news.

IRRITABLE ME OR THE GRUMPIER ME

Irritated or actually Grumpier!!

I myself, let confuse on both when I know I am in a way bothered as well as grumpy by nature.  From the time I recollect, right from childhood, with a denied freedom, that makes me a completely gloomy person. Like Midas turned everything to Gold, I turned everything irritable when touched.  I was a mood spoiler, happiness crusher and even everything as famous as a “dramebaaz” (dramatist) in my childhood (even now in bits and pieces).

As my beloved friend who exclaimed various reasons of “grumbling” in his article this week, as I was reading through – I could actually reflect me in everything he wrote (seemed I was his inspiration). I actually turned grumpier on lot many reasons as mentioned in CP’s article.

I showed grumpiness on being insecure, to hide away my mistakes and even got habituated to it for a certain amount of time. Now I am an addict. Like every other self-medicated patient seeking help from Google, I did search “Why I was so irritated without any reason ?” too. All I found out was  I clinically ill by Google, hence I absconded from those.

True Revelation Time 

When my kids used to fight, they showed me the signs that I was actually being grumpier all along, because they began to copy me… And trust me –The truth was shattering and heartbreaking 😦. I decided every moment of affliction, I shall not be doing it. I even apologised, but repeated the same, shamelessly.

I understood that cognisance is not just the thing I needed.

I needed an altercation.

I needed to practice empathy as well as let go a few things.

It is hard, but worth a try. And I am on it. 

But here let me put it little seriously. Mostly, out of habit, I do get cantankerous. But there are a lot of many reasons other than that :

  1. Lack of Sleep: Ever since  I got into the Parenting part, sleep seems to be a saboteur to me. The moment I am so damn sleepy, I am kicked out of the bed, either by kids or due to a load of obligations.
  2. Anxiety: Common symptom in me, especially when unexpected guests arrive, my alarm doesn’t work, or even when I am unable to do my multitasking.
  3. Mild Depression: Yes !! I get depressed”. Most people see me smiling, Yet I do get pessimistic – mostly on the issues regarding my inability in doing things, my aspirations being downgraded and of course my weight issues (never-ending problems) 
  4. Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder: Woow, the name seems interesting, it is nothing but mood swings in women just before the menstruation. An interesting time, I wish I could be the real demon and blame the Menstruation at times. But I am at my worst, at this time. Visit Me during these days, you will see exactly what a “real joy stealer means”.

All these never brought me to a conclusion that I should try my best to change, until when my kids began to follow my footsteps. They literally began to imitate me, and instead of stopping them, all I could do was pause in disbelief seeing a reflection of me. Ashamed rather, being such a disastrous parent.

All in all, this epiphany was quite startling to me. Now am on a “repair-diet“, hoping to be a better one on the go. I do understand that being grouchy is not at all a solution. When I realised that my grumpiness in spoiling the atmosphere around me, it hurts a lot.

I did realise…

That all I could do was ” Believe – I could heal it “.

Tips I did to help myself were :

  1. Exploration (reasons)
  2. Be more compassionate
  3. Get rid of nervousness with deviation.
  4. Find my alone time and do what I like.

Being grumpy is not always one’s fault, it is at times the surroundings that stimulate you. Hence Stay Cool!!!

FACE TO FACE WITH THE JOY STEALER

Complaining attitude or grumbling is the biggest among all the joy stealers in life, as far as my knowledge is concerned. If we observe the faces of people, we will find them grumpy and ugly when they are complaining or grumbling about something or someone. When I was young, my aunt used to tell me, “Go and see yourself in the mirror, how you look when you scream grumbling about something”.  And after the period, when I actually realize how I would be looking while complaining, I feel ashamed of myself.

But a question popped up in my mind as I was thinking about this grumbling attitude – “Why on earth we complain or grumble?” I understand, it is good to raise voice against something wrong that we see but that’s not what we are focusing here.

If we closely observe our fellow humans, then we will find him or her complaining a lot of time at a particular time. There is a survey which tells that the average person complains 30 times a day. I was shocked to know that… 30 times! Huh! Another article published in The Daily Mail, says – “The average adult complains for eight minutes and 45 seconds a day.” That’s astounding!

Do everything without grumbling or disputing, so that you may become blameless and pure…” This is what the Bible speaks of grumbling.

So, it means, if we grumble, we are guilty. The attitude of complaining or grumbling is sinful. But why is it so? Why doesn’t God like mankind to grumble?

I found the literal meaning of the word “complainer” in Greek is – “one who is discontented with his lot in life.” If I simply explain it, then a grumbler or complainer doesn’t accept things that happen in his or her life and ultimately stays unhappy and grumpy all the time.

So, coming back to the same question that raised in my mind earlier, “why we grumble or complain in the first place?” “What is the psychology behind complaining?”

I found SEVEN such reasons which I have explained as under:

  1. Dissatisfaction and Discontentment: The first reason behind why we grumble, according to me is, when we are dissatisfied or not content with something that we receive or have in life. We grumble, complain and murmur showing our displeasure or annoyance. For example, I always grumble when my wife brings the parents of her students to our home.
  2. Displaying Superiority: Sometimes we grumble and complain of things or surroundings or rules, by displaying our superiority in regards to our knowledge of the matter more than others. “He didn’t understand the situation well at the time of crisis” – this is a complaining statement made on someone else to depict that, “I am mature than him and I could have handled things better”.
  3. Unwillingness and Excuses: Most of the time when we are unwilling to do something, we give excuses in the forms of complaining or grumbling about things or people. When children don’t want to go to school, they either complain about stomachache or about friends bullying them or about bad weather etc. Similarly, we adults grumble to our own self when we skip going to office due to our sheer unwillingness.
  4. To Control Over: We tend to complain or grumble pointing fingers at others to control people’s minds. We provoke others to shift their allegiances to someone by complaining or demeaning about him or her. We find many instances as such in corporate sectors and politics. Mudslinging is the weapon used to take control over a mass using grumbling as fuel.
  5. Out of the Sense of Insecurity: I have a colleague who always irritable about everything and everyone, complaining about this or that all the time. And the clear reason behind his this behaviour is, drawing the attention of all, as he feels insecure about his limited knowledge or lack of education.
  6. In Defense of: So many times, as human, to save ourselves from punishment or correction we complain about situations, circumstances and even the people around us. For example, when students are asked to explain their delays to class, they usually complain about traffic or bus or something even vague to save themselves from the corrective measures impending against them.
  7. Out of Habit: Sometimes, out of habit, we grumble and be critical for everything that we receive or see or about people. This attitude becomes our way of leading life. It becomes a habit for some people, so to speak.

In my life, I have many more reasons to complain about life, stay grumpy and grumble all the time… and I also did a lot, in my past, if not by raising my voice or protesting, but definitely in my heart and mind.

However, my life changed when I started to learn accepting things around me instead of allowing the joy stealer to overpower me. Focussing on God’s goodness and thanking Him for all that He has been doing in my life, transformed my mind and I started leading my life with a new mindset.

Friends! Be Thankful to God for whatever we have because that is the only antidote to cure the disease of complaining and grumbling.

Stay Blessed!

“Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”
THE BIBLE