So, I had this idea for all sorts of whining and complaining about how many (First World) problems we’re dealing with right now. About how, just because a problem is First World and there are millions of people out there who’d give their left leg to have the same problems, doesn’t make it any less of a problem for me. Then I thought about it a little more and came to realize the things I want to complain about aren’t even problems…they might be irritating situations sometimes, but problems? no.
A problem is a life threatening disease, Or, in First World context, having to have the septic tank pumped because your neighbor is complaining about the smell and threatening to call the Health Department. Trust me on that, it can be a very real problem. Especially when….well, anyway…
An irritation would be having to, yet again, clear the junk mail off the dining table in order to set it for dinner. Junk mail is not an irritation. It is confirmation that you exist, especially if it’s addressed to you specifically and not “Postal Customer”. I like confirmation. An irritation is having to find a place for the gun stuff. A problem? NO…a problem would be living some place where we weren’t allowed to have gun stuff…or the faith of our choice…or a Bible. That would be a problem.
And no, the apparent dissonance of discussing Bibles and guns is not lost on me. But that’s how we roll around here. You got a
problem irritation with that?
My attempt, this week, is to sort out the difference between problems (disease! persecution!) from irritations (dirty footprints! that mysterious odor in the bathroom!), and remind myself to quit complaining about the problems and stick to
complaining about the irritations recognizing how good we have it here.
Oh sure, the house could use some work. The landscaping? ugh. The rotten bits on the eaves? whoo. The way the spiders build webs so the front porch looks like an invitation to a Halloween party? really? A problem? Not exactly. The roof is sound, there’s room for all of us, and that funky odor in the bathroom can be dealt with (and is…lemon juice and baking soda, the ultimate odor remedy)
Remembering the difference between problems and irritants is important. It keeps me sane, and grateful.
Look at irritants as an opportunity to exercise your creativity. The landscaping is 47 years old and Not Pretty. What to DOOOO? Get a landscaping program and start playing around, then hire a son to get out the old and put in the new. The rotten bits on the eaves? Normally Himself’d fix them, but we have decided to contribute to the local economy and some other person’s financial well-being by hiring a fixit man. Plus Himself is dealing with arm surgery (VERY irritating bordering on a Real Problem) and can’t do it. I’m going to have to work on the spider situation.
Anyway…that’s how it is here. I am wondering if there’s anyone around here who has mad decorating skillz and can come over and help figure out how to make this house prettier without buying thing. It’s a real problem for me, the way it looks.