First World Problems

Posted on | October 17, 2011 | 15 Comments

I’ve been struggling a lot lately with the concept of putting one foot in front of the other.  I know it’s what I’m supposed to be doing.  I know that I’m supposed to be the grown-up, supposed to get dressed and go to work every day, supposed to keep everything running smoothly.

But it’s hard to do all of that sometimes.

Lately, I’ve been waking up in the mornings wondering why on earth I went to law school.  I’ve been wondering if I’m ever going to be a decent lawyer.  I’ve been wondering if I’m ever going to have enough money to pay all my bills and still afford a pumpkin for Halloween.  I’ve been wondering if I’m doing anything right, anything appropriately, and anything at all worth being proud of.

Sometime last night, I lost my voice.  J graciously shared his germs from last week and I’m a sniffling, coughing mess of a mommy today with very little voice to speak with.  And on my drive to work this morning I realized something infinitely important…

With the exception of today, I have a voice.

I live in a country that is flawed, but that allows me the opportunity to vote, work, and for the most part, live my life the way I want to live my life.  No one forced me to get married.  No one forced me to have children.  No one forced me to go to school, educate myself, and get a job.  Do you know how many women in this world WISH they had the opportunities I have? Do you know how many women in this world are wondering if they have enough money to feed their children and never even think twice about a stupid Halloween pumpkin. 

It’s hard to remember all the good things when I’m staring down at the stack of things on my desk and searching desperately for the motivation to start somewhere… anywhere…   It’s hard to remember that not so very far from me at this very moment, a mother is waking up on the streets of downtown Macon, staring down at the hungry eyes of her son or daughter and wondering how in the hell they ended up there. 

I hate not being able to spend time with my son all day every day… but I am so very fortunate that I don’t have to.  I hate getting up and going to work and leaving him in the care of others… but I am so lucky to have my job.  I hate being a lawyer sometimes, but oh my God, I was able to go to law school, graduate law school, and pass the bar… and there are women fighting just to go to elementary school.

It’s really easy for me to wallow in the self-obsessed world in my head.  It’s easy for me to swim around in the mud of my mind until I’m figuratively stuck in the rut of thinking that everything is just blegh.  But the truth of the matter is, I get up every day in a house that I pay for and put on clothes that I bought and picked out myself.  I take my son to a daycare where they love and cherish him and I drive the car that I bought and picked out myself to the job that I earned from my own sweat and tears.  I sit in an office that is cool in the summer and warm in the winter, and I bring home the effing bacon.

So what if I can’t afford a stupid Jack ‘o Lantern this year.  So freaking what.  We’ll draw one on a piece of paper and color it together and you know what? J will love it just as much.  There are people with real problems in this world… and when I think about their faces and their struggles? Well, I don’t really have the right to complain, do I?

So yeah… good morning, my little voyeurs… let’s count our many, many blessings today, shall we? Even if it is Monday.


15 Responses to “First World Problems”

  1. Jana Anthoine
    October 17th, 2011 @ 8:31 am

    What beautiful perspective. xoxo

  2. Maria
    October 17th, 2011 @ 8:41 am

    Great message this morning…thank you!

  3. Too Much To Do! - jana's thinking place | jana's thinking place
    October 17th, 2011 @ 8:49 am

    […] First World Problems […]

  4. Destinmarler
    October 17th, 2011 @ 10:40 am

    One of your best blogs ever! I just read an article this morning about the fears of women in Afghanistan….losing ALL their rights if/when the US pulls out our forces and the Taliban come back in. 85% of their women can’t even read and we are able to do some legally…and go to college and support ourselves w/out a man, etc.

  5. Adrianne Farr
    October 17th, 2011 @ 10:44 am

    Thanks for the reminder. We do have so much to be thankful for!

  6. Heather Griffitts Clark
    October 17th, 2011 @ 11:10 am

    I absolutely love this post. Love it! It IS so easy for each and every one of us to forget what real struggle is and get caught up in our own little world. I remember the first time a certain person in my life complained after 9/11. This was (and is) a constant way of life for this person – it is non.stop. Think: victim complex. Out of nowhere, the filter came off my mouth and I said, “I think there are about 3000 people that would gladly trade places with you right now and come home alive and safe to their loved ones. Mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and little bitty children. Your life ain’t so tough, really”.

    And ever since then, that’s my mantra. There are MILLIONS of people in the world, not just 3000, that would happily take on my toughest day.

    Hugs to you – I know the daily grind of being alone is tough. Let me say that again, it is TOUGH. It sucks when money is tight. There is no way to sugar coat that. It just sucks. I have been there at various points in my life. But knowing that we’ve still got it better than a whole lot of people is half the battle.

  7. Maria
    October 17th, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

    Well said. Update: Today’s pity party is cancelled.

  8. Lola M.
    October 17th, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

    Thanks for the reminder!

  9. Mcruz
    October 17th, 2011 @ 1:20 pm

    Brilliant. Thank you for this.

  10. MoMo's Mama
    October 17th, 2011 @ 1:47 pm

    Time to start a pumpkin farm lady !! 🙂 You said something that is hard for all of us to admit most times. We have it good no matter how bad it is. Again i will say this “the will of God will never take you where the grace of God cannot protect you” Thank you for sharing your thoughts and words!

  11. Catherine
    October 17th, 2011 @ 2:08 pm

    I just LOVE this blog. Such great thoughts that can insprire, prompt self-reflection, and push me to be a better me. Thank you. I look forward to checking and seeing your new posts. Always worthwhile.

  12. Kinnison
    October 17th, 2011 @ 4:11 pm


  13. @TheNextMartha
    October 17th, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

    I’ll give you money for a pumpkin. You take paypal?

  14. Amber
    October 17th, 2011 @ 10:02 pm

    Agreed. I have been on the hate my job pity party for awhile now and I appreciate the reminder that at least I have the chance to work. AND am lucky enough to have a job in this economy.

  15. Kristinayellow
    October 17th, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

    You said it! Counting my blessings and being thankful for what we’ve got–both material stuff as well as non-material stuff–is something I try to do daily. I make sure that DD and I talk about what we’re thankful each day–silly things like Shaun the Sheep or Shrek but also important stuff like Poppa’s job so we have money to pay bills and our home so we can be warm and sheltered. Things may be hard-my chronic illness and problematic marriage–but honestly, compared to so many people I am insanely blessed and I should remember that.

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