Giving Up First World Problems

SpheresIt’s so easy for us to complain about the little things that bother us in our day-to-day lives, though what I like best about hitting midlife is how much easier it is to distinguish between real problems and what’s become known as “first world problems.” (KnowYourMeme.com defines them as “frustrations and complaints that are only experienced by privileged individuals in wealthy countries. It is typically used as a tongue-in-cheek comedic device to make light of trivial inconveniences.”)

Lately, when I’m feeling annoyed by something work-related or less-than-happy with somebody at the office, I remind myself that I write social posts and website articles AND teach people how to be nice to people, FOR A LIVING.

Some people stand over hot stoves all day, or stand on their feet and wait tables, or care for the elderly in nursing homes, or perform the same redundant function, over and over again, on an assembly line. All day long, they do something that they don’t love. Something that they have to do to pay the bills. Something that leaves them physically exhausted and unsatisfied. They dream of having a job that they love, though they have bills to pay and family to care for, and they don’t have the option of going back to school or pursuing a new career.

Me? I’m incredibly blessed with my work. Even I work too many hours. Even if it seems to  hurt my brain. And how incredibly self-centered would I be to let any of it truly annoy me?

When I think about it for just a few seconds, I’m pretty stupified by how fortunate I am to get to do what I do. And extremely grateful that it pays for my family to have a comfortable home, clothes on our backs, and food on the table.

The “first world problems” lens is a good one to hold up when you feel angry or annoyed about just about anything. How important is it really?

What first world problems have you stopped complaining about? Tell me about it! 

photo credit: Wootang01 via photopin cc

2 thoughts on “Giving Up First World Problems

  1. I’m glad I came across your post. I experienced a melt-down at work today and felt so terrible about it afterwards because I realized that many people are unable to find work. While mine may be an awful one, it’s still pays my bills, keeps a roof over my head, and puts food on my table. Many people aren’t fortunate enough to even have a crappy job. Your post made me appreciate my job just a little bit more. #31dbc

    • Thank you so much for letting me know, Helena! I try to look for something that’s good about any situation (or even person) that I don’t like. In the case of a job, you’re so right! We’re fortunate to have steady jobs and money to pay our bills. Appreciating your comment!

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