One of my resolutions from August is to “Turn complaints into pleasures.”
This vow was partly inspired by something a friend said to me during our senior year in college. She was an art major, and I was an English major, and we were commiserating about all the work we had to finish before we graduated.
“Well,” she said at the end of the conversation, “one day we’ll look back on this and think, ‘Oh yeah, we were complaining because we had to read some novels and paint some pictures.’”
So I’m trying hard to remember that often, I’m complaining about things I actually enjoy. Perverse but true.
This morning, for example, as I was mentally running through my day, I kept thinking, “What a pain, I have to vote. When should I do it? If I go after I drop off the Big Girl at school, I’ll have to bring the Little Girl in her stroller. If I go on my way to Society Library, there will probably be a lunch crowd…” etc. etc.
Then it occurred to me: I love to vote!
I love the sense of accomplishment it gives me, like I’ve really done something significant during the course of my day.
I love the ritual aspect—the whole country going through an experience together. It’s like the Super Bowl.
And it gives me a sense of…of…earning my keep. I live in a stable democratic government—sheesh, I hardly deserve that good fortune if I don’t vote.
And for all my whining, my voting experience could not have been any more convenient. My polling area is literally around the corner from my house, at the Hunter College for Social Work. They found my name on the precinct list right away. Only two people were in line before me. The polling machinery, though quaint looking, seemed fully operational.
And as I walked out, I thought to myself—now, even if I don’t get anything more accomplished in my day, at least I did vote. I love to vote.