Today I had to have a tire replaced. I thought I was in for a simple repair, but nope! I managed to get a nail imbedded in a spot that made it unfixable. It took over an hour of my time, and part of that time I had to endure daytime television and a poor selection of magazines. This is the third leaky tire I’ve had since February on a car that doesn’t even have 5000 miles on it. How annoying is that? I’m not even sure how I keep running over nails. I’ve tried to keep my midnight runs through construction sites to a minimum!
Yesterday I went to the grocery store, armed with my list. I flew through the aisles, crossing off my items, very proud that I was being so efficient! I got home and started preparing dinner, only to realize that I was missing two ingredients… ingredients that were essential. I pouted and then got back in the car, ran into the store for the missing items, and drove back home. Don’t you hate it when that happens?
A few days ago one of my computers was running really slow. Every site I tried to access gave me the little turning icon, letting me know the magic was being conjured, but the fairies were just not flying fast enough or waving their little wands quickly enough (that’s how the Internet works, ya know… little magical fairies). It’s enough to drive you crazy sometimes, isn’t it?
Writing about these situations now makes them seem quite comical. Really? Slow Internet, missing ingredients, leaky tires?
One day while out and about with Jordan we saw a man in his stalled car, stuck at a light waiting for help to arrive. I commented on how frustrating that is (though, I must admit I have never had my car stall at a light, but I assume it is quite frustrating). Jordan looked at me and said, “Yeah, first world problem.” Ouch. He’s right. That guy had a car and a cell phone. He was in a part of town that probably has half a dozen auto repair shops within reasonable walking distance. Yes, it was probably very irritating, but… first world problem.
My leaky tire is laughable. Brian, before he died, made sure I had a new car with a warranty and no car payment. He worried at the thought of me having to foot the bill for auto repairs after his death or struggle to make a monthly payment. So, a tire? Yeah, I can handle that. That car, even with a leaky tire, allows me to go wherever I need, even multiple times in one afternoon to the grocery store. Hmm, grocery stores – some people in the world would think they were in heaven if they took a glimpse at what you can see from the doorway of a grocery store. Fresh food, fresh flowers, conveniently packaged toiletries, displays of beverages! A slow computer? Oh good grief!! I have the world at my fingertips, information at the stroke of a few keys and swipe of a mouse. Not only that, did you notice I said “one of my computers”? I should be ashamed of myself! Some people in the world have never opened a book, much less seen or touched a computer, and even if they did, they wouldn’t know how to decipher the letters on the page or the words on the screen. And I have two computers, a television, a smartphone, and more. My first world problems suddenly seem really lame. It took me just a few minutes each time to realize the absurdity of my problems and be grateful that I have been blessed to be part of the world at this particular time, in this particular place, surrounded by conveniences I take for granted on an hourly basis.
Now, I realize we are not all equal, even in America, with what we possess, or the position we are in. But we all have things we can be extremely grateful for. The next time you get in your car, even if you consider it a piece of junk, be happy that you don’t have to walk everywhere you go. When your computer is running slow and you are ready to pitch it out the window, smile and enjoy those few minutes you have to wait and count as many blessings as you can in that time. And when you forget an ingredient, drive to the store and blast the radio and be thankful for all the hands that worked to get those ingredients to the store so you could create a yummy dish. And maybe even share that dish with someone less fortunate.
My So-Called Problems = Joy