This weekend I was curled up on the couch with a painful health thing that involved an infection, a migraine, low blood pressure and nausea that I’m still dealing with. Add in a cat that somehow found a way to uncover the fake plant potting I’ve covered, eat it again and puke it up, and you pretty much have my whole weekend.
I don’t say that to evoke any sort of sympathy, but rather to just set the scene.
People often talk about perspective, and for good reason, as perspective is what reminds us that the situation we’re in could always be worse.
If your car breaks down, at least you weren’t in a horrific crash. If the temperature is 103 degrees and you haven’t had rain in a month, at least you have power to plug in the window AC unit that brings the temp in your living room down to a chilly 85 degrees (I promised myself I wouldn’t write about this, by the way, so at least give me this one chance to whine.)
But at the same time, I think it’s important to remember that even if what happens to you isn’t life-threatening, it can still be a pain in the ass.
When you feel like crap on a cracker, your car breaks down or your kid pukes in a store, the last thing you want to hear is someone tell you that things could always be worse. At that moment, you don’t care. You just want things to be better and not to hear how there are starving children in Africa that would love to puke up Apple Cinnamon Cheerios in aisle seven of Costco.
Perspective is remembering it could be worse, but also knowing that things out of your control that upset you are valid.
Running into $500 in car repairs doesn’t have to be met with a laugh. Just because you have power doesn’t mean the heat isn’t oppressive and damaging, not only to your pocketbook and greenery, but also to your psyche. I’m of the mindset that getting a little pissed and annoyed with the knots in your life is normal and can even be healthy.
Acknowledge the crap and move on.
That doesn’t mean dwelling or sending out evites for a pity party—BYOB?—but simply honoring the fact that things sometimes happen and that better things will come your way. When things stink, it makes you appreciate the times when you don’t feel like crap, when your car’s running fine or your kid is an angel at Costco.
We’re handed the bad to highlight the good, and that’s where I find my perspective. Or maybe that’s the medication talking, but either way, things could be worse.
And if you can’t find a way that it’s possible, then yes, you’re probably screwed.
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