As many of you know, I took on the unenviable task of quitting bitching for an entire month to raise money for the Sam Beare Hospice in Weybridge. While the month had its difficult moments (and I’ll get into that), it also had its rewards. I wrote an update a few days in, and another one a few weeks in, and this is my final assessment of what turned out to be one of the most interesting social experiments of my life.
As it turns out, a zebra really can change her stripes
I found out I don’t really like bitching
Sure, sometimes I have my frustrated moments, and don’t get me wrong, an occasional moan can feel like a release, but there’s a difference between moaning about something legitimate and trying to find something negative in everyone and everything you encounter.
I guess the biggest lesson has been to separate out someone’s behaviour from their overall character. Because I haven’t automatically resorted to name calling in difficult situations, it’s forced me to look at what might be motivating someone who’s annoyed me. Writing them off as an asshole isn’t always helpful.
It’s also become more difficult to listen to other people bitching, particularly when it’s about someone’s appearance or mannerisms, or something else they can’t help.
There’s actually no need to be catty
I can be very determined
When I started out, I said I would put a pound in the “bitch jar” for every moment I slipped up. Nobody thought I could, or would, be able to do this. The final tally for the month is £35, bear in mind £10 of that was money I put in the pot so that I could make fun of the costumes and singing when watching Eurovision. Also bear in mind that a good £20 of the remaining £25 happened in the first 3-4 days of the experiment. That means, once I got used to the whole thing, I only slipped up five times in about three weeks. That’s pretty good going, no?
I think I’ve changed for the better
I’d like to think that I’m now able to look at things in a more fair and rounded way, and that my experiment has helped me to have a more positive attitude towards life in general. Although it will be nice not to have to pay money for every moment that I’m not perfect!
I feel more at peace with myself
Donations are still welcome
The Sam Beare Hospice in Weybridge helps families to cope with looking after their loved ones at the end of their lives, whether that’s through home visits or full-time palliative care. I spent around three months of my life there all day every day with my dad, and I saw first hand what wonderful work they do. As I said, we couldn’t have coped without them. I will keep the donations open until the end of the month and will add my £35 in with the final amount. Donate to the Sam Beare Hospice here.