- Our flight was delayed an hour and we had to run like maniacs through the airport to make the connection.
- Our internet service has been spotty lately and I had to endure high blood pressure, severe annoyance and likely additional hair loss as I dealt with the service rep on the phone.
- I took my car in for some repairs last week and $600 later there’s still a leak in the cooling system.
Oh, I could go on.
But when I catch myself wallowing in the problems that plague my life, I like to stop, do a little mental pivot, and see this disaster from a different perspective.
- We made the flight and, somehow, the miracle-working baggage handlers got our suitcases onto the next flight in four minutes flat! The aircraft mechanics had ensured the plane was flight-ready, the ramp crew loaded it with fuel, the pilots got us safely home and the flight attendant asked if I’d prefer red or white. Thanks, Delta!
- The tech support actually fixed the problem quickly and I can again reach every corner of the globe from the lazy comfort of my couch. Thanks, Apple, Google and Xfinity!
- I have a comfortable, reliable (and even slightly indulgent) car that I can drive anywhere I want in comfort and style. I have a conscientious and skilled mechanic who is more upset than me that we have to take a second look. Thanks BMW and Autobahn Service Center!
I’ve got problems all right.
I also have blessings. More than I could ever begin to count. And the blessings I enjoy so staggeringly overwhelm whatever I might label as a problem, that I’m ashamed when I catch myself complaining about anything.
To even describe them as ‘First World’ problems would give my so-called trials more weight and importance and give myself more self-indulgence than either of us deserve.
I think about Thousand Oaks. I think about Syria. I think about children around the world who are hungry, thirsty, lonely and scared.
I have no problems. Only gratitude. And obligations.