Warning. Rant ahead.
But before I begin, let me say that I’m not without my complaints. I have a bad day now and then, my kids sometimes drive me crazy, and I get pretty irritated when someone in front of me is driving 15 miles below the speed limit.
That said, I am generally able to put things into perspective, and with each year I grow older (and somehow, miraculously, more patient with myself and others), I’m more appalled by the people I see who are unable to understand that there are lots of minor (and yes, sometimes major) annoyances in life. But they are just that. Annoyances. And it’s really important for us to remember to keep these things in perspective. And really, I do understand that crappy things happen to all of us.
But…. a bad haircut is temporary. If your kid is assigned to a class without her best friend, she’ll adjust. And so will you. The construction to update your kitchen is running behind? As they say, it’s a first world problem, my friend …. consider yourself lucky that you have the means to update your kitchen. Or that you even HAVE a kitchen.
I think it’s even more important to teach these lessons to our kids. When Matthew was in 4th grade, he woke up one morning, realized he’d forgotten about a science test he had that day, and said, “I forgot to study! I’m going to get an F! My life is ruined!!” Sure, failing a science test because you forgot to study kind of sucks. But more than anything, I wanted Matthew to understand that even if he did fail, it’s unlikely that this would be the most difficult hurdle he’d face in life (much as I wish that were the case). Incidentally, it turned out that the test was actually the next day, and while I think Matthew did fine, ironically, I don’t remember that part of this story.
So the next time you have something to complain about (to me, anyway), ask yourself if this is really something that’s a problem. Or just a minor inconvenience in your otherwise pretty wonderful life.