My Non-complaining Socks and Me


A few years ago, I decided for Lent, to give up complaining.


Talk about an eye opener.  I bit my tongue many times over those forty-some days.  What happened though, was a small miracle.  I found myself, toward the end of Lent, barely trying to complain.  The thoughts didn’t even bop into my head, much…

Not complaining left space for  thanking, joking, analyzing, admiring, praising, listening, and singing.  (I don’t have a great voice but happily husband Cliff never complains unless I sing the same song ad infinitum.)

And not complaining inspired this poem, titled “Socks:”

Socks don’t lead

An easy life.

Missing partners,

Sweaty feet, and

Hours squinched

In tight quarters,

Yet I never hear

My socks complain.

Maybe I should be

More like socks.

Complaining less,

Absorbing more,

And ever ready to

Step into shoes

For the next adventure.

I hope you won’t complain about my pun, but  I have to say that menopause socked it all to me.  I’m  finally getting  that life throws us punches; that not everything is fair; that yes, there’s plenty of malfunction in the world; and that complaining IS optional.  Time is short and why spend it as an old grump.

What about you?  Do you find yourself complaining more or less the older you get?  And what lessons have you learned from your humble socks?

28 responses »

  1. Great poem! Inspiring- I need to try this genre.
    My biggest complaint right now is my teeth– they are not holding up their end of the bargain. I’ve brushed, flossed, rinsed, gone for gum surgery, get cleanings 4x a year.. and now a root canal that the dentist couldn’t do, specialist where you pay gazillions up front for at least 3 long visits and no guarantee of success. A joy of aging! Still relative compared to what others endure. I just keep my cousins in mind who lost their daughter this year and I am so blessed.
    Love the sock story. My mother knits me socks– and there’s nothing warmer or more loving to cuddle the feet.

  2. I like your socks poem. The topic of socks brought me a memory of my mother darning socks. She had a sky-blue plastic egg that she put in the sock to hold the fabric firm for sewing. I inherited her sewing basket, but the egg is gone. When she was a child she had to darn socks and her nasty stepmother would tear out all her little stitches if they were less than perfect. So how can I complain…I have the luxury of recycling my holey socks into rags, and I had a loving non-critical mother who never made me mend my clothing. I’m also at that age, newly retired from a full-time job, well past menopause, and no body parts falling apart yet, when I wake up feeling good…no complaints at the moment!

    • Hi Judith! Your poor mom! Can you imagine tearing out a little girl’s stitches? Wow. Glad you’re enjoying retirement. Get working on that guest post!

  3. That is a wonderful thing to give up for Lent. I think we too often associate it with giving up food or a treat of some sort but what a wonderful opportunity to work on one thing to make you a more joyful person. i do not want to seem like an old grump and need to adopt this good habit.

  4. barbara, your poem is too cute!! who would ever think of the life of a sock! loved it.
    and i loved your lent suggestion. i will do it and you can call me on any complaint i make! 🙂

  5. Barbara,

    This is a great poem and to the point. As a nurse I find that alot of time I Absorb alot of things all day long and by the time I get home to my family my socks are completely worn out… All the absorption is gone… All that’s left is the stinky, sweaty socks that no one wants to be around.

  6. I loved your poem. Cute!
    I hardly ever wear socks. I’ve never really thought about it, but in summer I live in flip flops and in the winter I wear my Uggs, sockless. I think it’s because I spent so many years in Catholic school, where white knee highs were a fact of life. I have a disdain for plaid skirts too, probably for the same reason.
    I gave up creamer for Lent. Black coffee is like a punishment. I complain about it a lot. Next year I’ll give up complaining and enjoy my coffee. Thanks for the idea!

    • Let me know how you do without the creamer. I just love Catholic school uniforms. I grew up in Baltimore, which is Catholic school city, and always admired all the uniforms (public school girl here.)

  7. I loved this post. I am a complainer and it reminded me to stop complaining and make room for only positive thoughts and expressions.

  8. so funny-I decided to give up (try!!!) complaining for Lent this year! I have a friend who does.nothing.but.complain and it is driving me bonkers! I figured I probably complain far too much so would try to give it a go! I have often found myself about to say something and then wonder, is that a complaint or just a feeling? if I have to think about it I should just shut my trap.. 🙂

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