Weighty Matters

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First World Problems

on October 3, 2013

For the last couple of Novembers, I’ve joined in on an effort on Facebook to do 30 days of gratitude. I posted about it here on November 2nd last year. A couple of days ago, two young women with whom I’m friends (Yes, Hope, your twin sisters.) dedicated October to posting about first world problems. I was a little slow on the uptake at first, but then I got it. Lots of things that we react to as problems, living here in America, are really not a big deal when you compare us to people who live in third world countries deal with or don’t have. While I’m not by nature a big complainer, sometimes I do start to feel a little “set upon”, cranky, or put out. If I’m going to be completely honest, some of the things that put me in those moods are pretty darned insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

Attitudinally, I can do better than let myself mire in the muck of dissatisfaction. I honestly try to cultivate gratitude as much as possible. I think it’s a graceful state of being, not just in November, but year round.

Going back to the first world problem thing, have you ever looked at a full closet or in a drawer and had trouble choosing something to put on fo the day? That was me this morning. So, my first world problem for the day could be, “So many clothes I can’t decide which to wear.” That’s only a problem in first world countries. In third world countries, many people have only rags to clothe themselves.

Relating to me and my eating disorder struggles: “Food is all around me! It’s so hard to stay on track.” When millions of people are starving in the world, I have a lot of nerve wigging out because I have too many choices. Seriously, Mary. Suck it up. The problem isn’t too many choices. The problem is choosing to eat too many times.

Complaining again about eating right and exercising but the weight not dropping off? For today, I’m even going to think about that being a first world problem. There are countries where the path to good health is not accessible to everyone. At least I always have the ability to eat good, nutritious food and work on my physical fitness to improve my health and well-being. In third world countries, there are many people for whom every minute of the day is a struggle simply to stay alive.

I don’t know if I’m going to join Christina and Allison in posting daily, but I’m grateful they started the exercise and post it on their pages. They’ve made me think.

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4 responses to “First World Problems

  1. Hope says:

    I posted this on Allison’s page today… First world baby problem: “I threw all my food on the floor and now I’m hungry.”

    Thought you’d like that one. 😀

  2. Skye says:

    Gratitude is good. We feel what we feel, and we have no control over feelings. But being able to put a situation into perspective is a good thing. I used to do a gratitude journal: at the end of the day, write down 5 things I was grateful for that day. Sometimes it would be names of friends who’d touched me that day, or having food and shelter, or even something as non-essential as having some of my favorite ice cream (and not overeating it). I think doing that helps me maintain some necessary perspective and calmness.

  3. Susanne says:

    My husband volunteered with a program to help refuges intigrate into their new lifes. When he described how people here use gyms to work out, their expressions told it all. Really?

    Thinking is a good thing. We’ve got so much to be grateful for.

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