Janalisa and I went for a walk yesterday. I was also scheduled to walk with Partygirl, but by the time she called I’d had a sudden urgent deadline arise, so it was particularly good that I’d gone for the walk with Janalisa.

We were complaining.

As a general rule, complaining doesn’t make people feel better. You know that griping around the water cooler people do in some companies? Studies show that it makes them feel worse, not better. Ditto for analyzing every moment of what went wrong with that relationship, with your girlfriends. My basic rule is, if it can’t be fixed, don’t complain. If it can be fixed, then just fix it instead of complaining.

But there are times when you just want to get it off your chest, right? And Janalisa and I are similar in that we both have nothing to complain about right now. She’s working less and having more time for her family, but that means that for the first time in years she won’t be going on a cruise this spring.

See? You feel no sympathy for her at all, right?

And me, I have so much work that I feel a bit frantic over getting it all done, a complaint that gets very little sympathy from people who are worrying about losing their jobs. So of course I was glad yesterday when someone said they’d decided to go with another firm rather than me and The Computer Guy, right? No, I wasn’t. I was miffed. And also, my husband is getting all this overtime, so I’m sleep-deprived.

You don’t feel any sympathy for me, either, do you?

Janalisa and I also took the opportunity to complain about having such wonderful accomplished children (wow, the tuition payments for those highly competitive schools!) and such busy social lives, and if we’d walked further we might have started in on how rough it is to be smart and beautiful.

Just kidding about that. But there are some things for which people just can’t be expected to have sympathy. So it’s good to get together occasionally with an equally fortunate friend and whine a bit.

The boys and I got all the taxes finished up yesterday, and #1 son worked out a payment plan for his back tuition so he can get back to school in the fall. I really feel that he ought to pay some of it. I felt that at the time. It seems to me that he should have had a full-time job while he wasn’t in school, and that his hanging around being a slacker while his dad and I work as much as we do is wrong. But I’m going to go ahead and fix him up and let him have one last chance before we say, “Okay, that’s it. Now you have to go be a grownup and take care of yourself.” That comes down to a hundred dollars a week — grocery money, essentially.

Am I complaining again?

I think I’ve found a designer. #2 daughter found him for me, actually. He’s an IT guy, and has very nice code, as well as attractive visual effects. I’m now waiting for the go-ahead from the clients. Janalisa pointed out that having a team just means I’m responsible for him, but it seems to me that I’m already responsible for the designers I’ve presented to my clients. This way, I can move the project management work from the unbillable to the billable side. Possibly this will lead to less complaining.