There are people that have traveled waaaaay more than I have, but what world trekking I have done – every time I come home, I feel grateful for all the luxuries available at my feet, literally. But I’m still mesmerized by the trivial things people get stressed about.
I was out with some women one night. First time meeting most of them, so I sat back, observed, and listened to them complaining about their “problems.” I felt like an ass for not being able to relate to them, but my friends know that I don’t sugar-coat anything. Stressing about which private school their kid was going to attend, how they were going to reinvent themselves after being out of the workforce for a few years, etc.
Private school. The fact that your child has the opportunity to choose where they are going to school let alone have access to education. Pretty fortunate. There are children all over the world who will never see the inside of a classroom. Your child will be stressing over which color of shoes will match their plaid school uniform. First world problem.
Reinventing oneself. If anyone can hold the record of all the different “career changes”, I
nominate myself. Get a grip lady. People do it every day. Many of us do it because we have to because our former industries have gone under (I’m currently at industry numero cinco). It’s part of life. Your soon to be stay-at-home status going away really isn’t a problem. It’s an opportunity to grow, so suck it up. I grew up in a home where both parents worked. My mother worked the graveyard shift at the hospital for as long as I could remember. As an adult approaching the big 4-0, I’ve never had the luxury of having a two income household. So when I seem a little stressed out because I lost my job, it’s real. When it did happen (3 times in my life), I’d call my mom to get advice and she’d tell me exactly what I needed to hear. You’ve been through this before, you’ll figure it out, and when you fall – it’s time to get right back up.
Holidays. Many many many years ago I worked in retail. That kinda ruined the holidays for me. People were so mean and stressed out over holiday shopping. Black Friday has gone way overboard as well. People camping out and getting trampled over the “IT” toy or that big screen TV? Be grateful you have a family you can spend time with for the holidays. Some of us don’t have that luxury. The best gift that anyone can give me is their undivided attention and energy. Even that is hard to come by these days and cannot be bought at a Black Friday sale. My most memorable holidays did not involve presents. One of them was playing a game of Mexican Train Dominoes until 2am.
Weddings, baby showers, parties, etc. The older I get, the more I realize these things are so trivial. Stressed about planning a wedding? Go away and elope. After all, it’s about your marriage, not how fancy your wedding is. Your wedding day is ONE day. Count your blessings that someone in your life loves you and wants to spend the rest of their life with only you. Baby showers? For most, you’re lucky to be having a baby. Some of us may never have that joy in our lives. Even being an attendee to events like this stress people out. My solution? Don’t go. A couple of years ago I made it a point not to go to any weddings or baby showers. One of the best decisions ever. However, I broke that rule last year. It was for two dear friends who are like family. It was a small intimate wedding with close friends and it was a blast.
Travel. Wow. This one time (not at band camp) I was in a security checkpoint line. This sorry excuse for a human being (and father) was pouting up a storm. Belittling his wife by saying that “her” teenage child chose to come to this checkpoint that did not offer TSA precheck. Well sir, check yourself. Your lovely family has the resources to hop onto that plane and fly to whatever far away destination you all are heading to so you
can share some quality “family time.” As this grown man was throwing his temper tantrum, it took every cell in my being not to speak up. I just simply turned around and glared at him – my quiet way of saying…you’re being an asshole buddy…knock it off. Seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I love having access to TSA precheck and priority boarding as much as the next person. The difference is when it’s not available – it’s OKAY. I’m getting to where I need to be the same time as everyone else on my flight. So Mr. Immature Traveler – take a BIG chill pill.
Food. Can I have that gluten-free, non-GMO, zero-calorie, vegan whatever the hell it is that looks nothing like food. Holy freaking moly. Here’s a bowl of ice. Two words…high maintenance. Yes, I understand there are people in this world who are truly allergic to certain things in food. But take away the ability to choose what you can consume, and shit gets real…real fast. My triathlon club volunteers in the winter months serving dinner at the Denver Rescue Mission. Out of all the years I’ve volunteered there, I can count on one hand where someone asked for a vegetarian meal…make that one finger. May be this is a function of living in a crunchy (aka granola) state. Only in Colorado do people try to out-do one another by being more vegan than the other. SMH.
Lift lines at the ski resort. Can I get a WTF? Yes, lines suck…but you’re at a ski resort for crying out loud. Growing up, the word skiing was never part of my vocabulary. Aside the summer trips to Thailand visiting family, we never went on any fancy vacations growing up. Now that I live within 2 hours of over a half-dozen ski resorts, I’m grateful to line up – even if that means waiting for over 30 minutes before getting on the lift. Someone once told me “a bad day on the mountain is better than a good day in the office.” So true.
I could go on and on about all the various first world problems people stress out about. Especially now, many are politically loaded in nature. But in order to preserve my sanity and avoid the mess it may create, I’ll leave that one out there and not touch it with a 50ft pole. One thing I do know for sure is that life isn’t fair and it never will be, but there are people in this world that have it far worse than I do. So rather than fight every battle out there because something may not be fair, I’ll continue on living and enjoying what I do have…and hopefully have a lot of fun along the way.