Gratitude: First World Problems

First World Problems.

It started last year as something I would often say in conversation when complaining about something or, to be honest, talking about someone else complaining about something.

“Yeah, you know, serious first world problems. What are we going to do?”

A lot of this has been influenced by leaving the first world and realizing how fortunate I am.

I’ve spent a lot of time at my non-yoga-teaching job over the past 8 1/2 years hearing, solving, and reporting these types of problems. (I have often referred to this job as “interpreter of rationalities.”) Working with the general public in a theatre, you wouldn’t (or maybe you would) believe the “problems” that come up. It’s been a long practice in patience and compassion to be present with adults who absolutely lose their s***t over things like not having fresh cream for coffee, hating the ink used to print a program (not dark enough – clearly it is a dark grey, not a true black), having to wait to go inside the hall due to being late, etc.

Applying the old yoga adage, “I see you, I see myself,” I started reflecting this back on me and seeing where my silly “problems” are coming up.

Over the past months, I’ve been making an extra effort to turn my first world problems around into moments of gratitude. Here are some examples:

  • In the car: parking lots, traffic, distances, people parking on my street etc. (Gratitude: I live where I live, I have a car that is paid for and running, I have these places to go….)
  • Opening up the pantry and refrigerator and declaring, “There’s nothing I want to eat!” (Gratitude: I have food and a choice of what to eat. I can go out and pick something up from a restaurant…)
  • When I was uncomfortable and pregnant (Gratitude: Being pregnant without complications…), looking at photos of us in Thailand and wondering when I’ll wear a bathing suit like that again and when, oh when, will I get to travel? (Gratitude: I have traveled and been able to sit on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world with my favorite person in the world who always reminds me to cut it out while telling me he thinks I’m beautiful…)
  • Supplementing the feeding of my baby with formula. (Gratitude: I don’t have to be there every single time she’s hungry – freedom! There is an alternative to safely help us keep up with her appetite when I can’t feed her enough….)
  • When I really want to take a shower and the water doesn’t get hot quickly enough. (Gratitude: I have running water…hot water is a bonus….)
  • Deciphering health insurance and coordinating maternity leave. (Gratitude: I have health insurance. I have great health insurance. I can take months off from my FT job to be a mom.)
  • When Netflix Watch Instantly is glitchy – the video and audio don’t match up or it just freezes (Gratitude: Do I really have to spell this one out?)

You get the idea. So where are your first world problems? How can you turn a perspective of lacking into a reminder of abundance?

2 thoughts on “Gratitude: First World Problems

  1. That is a hard one because we tend dsiinmh our contribution to the world by thinking we are not good enough or that we can’t make a difference. When we can look at ourselves and realize that we are worthwhile individuals and that we have something to give to those around us we can be grateful. The world can be dimished by the loss of just one person. We may never know what our contribution to this world is but it is sure that someone would miss something if we were not here.

  2. Pingback: Sanctuary | yay

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