Monday, September 03, 2012

First World Problems

I've had a bad day (bear with me, this post is not just a whine).  I started off pretty tired, physically and emotionally.  My sister got married on Saturday - I was ushering and managing logistics.  We finished clearing up at about 12, then I had to be at church for 8 to set up on Sunday morning.  Following church and then clearing up from it, I was helping to clear the wedding reception until about 5.  Then there was the mix of emotions that goes with one's sister getting married, and the bizzare feeling of situations like seeing my oldest friend, Annie, for the first time in about 3 years, and only having time for a quick hug,
I woke up pretty shattered.  And my knee (long term injury) and shoulder (more recent but currently more annoying) were both aching.  The last thing I wanted was the first day of term.  Particularly this term, knowing that, although the kids don't come back until Wednesday, we will only have Tuesday to move our entire science department, including all the equipment, back into science labs following a refurb (it took us a whole week to move out).
This morning we found out we won't be able to get into the science labs until Wednesday.  Yes, that's the day the kids come back.  And the labs will be empty when they arrive.  Today was filled with mostly boring, mostly pointless, mostly inefficient meetings.
I came home via taking two carloads of church kit back to our normal venue.  When I got home I locked the car and then realised that half the key had snapped off and got stuck in the lock.  It's less than a month since I had to get a replacement car key cut.
I decided to play football for an hour with some friends to try to let off some steam.  I played really badly and got really frustrated, and damaged my thumb playing in goal.  I didn't have much appetite for dinner.
It was all a bit pathetic.

This evening I went to our monthly prayer evening.  I reckoned I needed to get some perspective.  As I stood in a room filled with people I love and trust, I remembered that phrase 'First World Problems'.  I remembered that I have a continual supply of food.  I have a phone, a car, and a house.  I have time to do things I enjoy, beyond just staying alive.  I have a laptop on which to write this.  I have had amazing experiences in the past.  I have played for possibly the greatest sporting club on earth.  I have done Lord of the Rings marathons.  I've climbed to the top of a mountain in Norway at 11pm to watch the sunset.  I've seen Idlewild live in concert three times.  I've been to the mast wonderful summer camp a total of ten times.  I've been up the Eiffel Tower.  I've watched live athletics at London 2012.  I've ushered at my sister's wedding.
And that's not to mention any of the people in my life.  My family, my friends from home, the imperfect people who somehow make up the seemingly perfect community in Durham.
Suddenly I was feeling overwhelmed with gratitude.

The contrast between my blessedness and my ungratefulness is staggering and sickening.  My short-sightedness is shameful.  And the scary thing is, I do this every day.  And if you have the means to read this, you probably do too.


Chris Morgan said...

Good blog post!

Louis said...

THIS POST SPOKE TO MY SOUL. Yes capitals were necessary. Great piece. So true.

Tim Dixon said...

Right on the money. I definitely do this too...

Nicole said...

Well said. Thanks for the perspective.