Aug 7, 2008

A new perspective

At the risk of sounding uncharacteristically sappy and/or preachy, I want to tell you what happened last night.

Morley and I are the kind of people who just naturally stay busy most of the time but these days we have a lot on our plates even by our standards. Too much work and not enough people to do it, planning a wedding, keeping up with the house and garden, a mission trip to a third world country, buying one boat and selling another, fighting with our health insurance company, all on top of the other normal everyday chores and worries that everyone has---it's a lot to fret about.

The endless list of things that have to be done and not having enough time to do them has finally gotten to us. We're worn down mentally and both of us have been a bit cranky lately, something that is truly unusual for us.

Last night we dragged ourselves home from the office around 6:30m. We were physically tired, mentally spent and really hungry so we started digging to find something to cook for dinner. But the pantry was bare because we haven't had time to make a grocery store run in ages. A dark mood of crankiness descended and we began to focus on dark clouds and not the silver linings.

After we spent a few minutes wallowing in our frustration and gloominess, it began to dawn on me that lots of people would gladly trade their burdens for ours. Even though it's true that we have too much going on right now, at the root of almost every "problem" was something good.

In an economy where some people worry about having a job tomorrow, we're desperately looking for people to offer jobs to because business is booming. We're stressed over planning our wedding but the root of that "problem" is we've found our soul mates at a time in life when most people would have already given up and accepted that they'd never find theirs. And all those worrisome wedding logistics come from having an abundance of friends and family in two countries who love us and wouldn't miss our joyful occasion for the world.

I methodically went thru the list of things bugging me and to my amazement there was something good at the bottom of almost every single one of them. Keeping up with the garden is killing us--an abundance of food! A mission trip to Nicaragua--I'm helping instead of being desperate for help! We're in a dispute with the insurance company over the cost of the "out of network" treatments Morley received at the Mayo Clinic--he was miraculously cured! And the list went on and on just like that.

After I eliminated the list of problems stemming from good things, the list of remaining problems was astonishingly short. Our spacemaker microwave crapped out last week and the replacement we bought turned out to be DOA (which we discovered only after we'd installed the thing). Shelby needs to be taken to the vet to see about the strange rash on her paws that isn't going away on its own. We need to make a grocery store run to buy one of everything. All simple, everyday, ordinary stuff that anybody, even I, can handle.

After I thought about it some more even these problems come from being abundantly blessed. For most people on Earth it is unimaginable to have the ability to buy as much food as you want or have ready access to medical treatment (for an animal yet!). Even the "need" for a machine clad in stainless steel to cook whatever you want to eat in just minutes is unimaginable to the average Earthling who has far more time to cook than food to eat.

Changing my viewpoint snapped my attitude into a 180 degree barrel roll. All my crankiness and frustration were kaput, I felt a surge of energy, and this morning I feel completely different about the things on my To Do list than I did this time yesterday. I still have the exact same list of things I need to accomplish but I no longer see the glass as half full but as overflowing with good things. Who knew? It really does boil down to how you look at it.

It was an amazing and enlightening experience to kick myself in the ass like that.

Okay, I'm done being sappy. And now we return to the regularly scheduled program of shallow, self absorbed topics that normally appear here:

  • Last night we sucked it up and dug around in the kitchen until we found a package of frozen hamburger, a jar of sauce and enough spaghetti to cobble together dinner and thus we did not starve. We have solemnly sworn to make a joint trip to the grocery store immediately after we leave the office this afternoon.

  • I'm taking Shelby to the vet today and returning the DOA spacemaker for a working model. I also convinced Morley that it wasn't necessary to remove the mounting bracket to return it with the dead microwave since they'd only give us another one just like it with the new working version.

  • The revised version of my dress arrived yesterday and my hooters do not hang out as much as with the first version, plus Saint Carol says she can modify it to cover even more of my girls. Thus I solemnly swear you have heard the last of my whining about not having a dress to wear to my own wedding.

  • We still have tomatoes coming out of our ears but it occured to us that we have not yet fully exploited the neighborhood. Thus we will begin delivering bags filled with tomatoes to our neighbors' doorsteps after they go to bed at night.
Note added several hours later: I told you we were out of everything. We just finished putting away the groceries--$600.84 worth. I think we just set a new all time record.

No comments:

Post a Comment