Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN


August 26, 2013

Tidbits: Don't let those "First World Problems" get you down

CROSSVILLE — A Monday morning of misfortunes is enough to think you’d have been better off throwing the old alarm clock through the window, pulling the covers back up and holding the pillow over your head until sweet sleep returned and Monday morning went away.

For many of us, it’s the end of our weekend and it marks our return to work and school, and the thought of what’s accumulated in your email inbox over the weekend can be exhausting. Add to that some annoying missteps, like spilling your beverage on your white sweater or spending 20 minutes looking for your keys, only to find them hiding in the console of your car, and Monday morning can be a real challenge. You can end up feeling like the world is out to get your and that your life is oh so very hard.

But sometimes we forget just how easy our lives are compared to those who came before us — or those living right now around the corner or on the other side of the world. Sometimes, we let the frustrations of our pampered lives get us down and out and we can forget just how very blessed we are.

It’s a phenomenon that’s being called “First World Problems.” They are those little annoyances that pop up that, in the giant scheme of things, aren’t really problems at all. These are things like earphones getting tangled in your gym bag; having to watch a movie on your phone because your tablet died; or a car that doesn’t have a port for your MP3 player.

When you consider there are people who honestly don’t know where their next meal is coming from or where they will sleep tonight, it makes those little “problems” seem really insignificant.

Am I trying to make you feel guilty for your first world problems? Maybe a little. I’m guilty of it, too. But when I stop for a minute and think about all the wonderful blessings I have in my life, I realize that Monday morning isn’t so bad.

OK, I have to get up and go to work, but I have a job, and it’s one I actually enjoy a great deal. There’s many people in this world that would love to have a job, even if they didn’t necessarily like the work.

Yes, I spilled a diet Dr. Pepper on my white top this morning. But I had a change of clean clothing readily available.

Sure, I misplaced my keys, but at least I have a car that provides me with reliable transportation to get to and from my work and to the store and to the parks and down the road to my favorite book store.

There are many that would love to have the problems that sneak up on me on a regular basis. Sometimes, we just need to be reminded how lucky we really are and forget about the first world problems dragging us down.

• • •

Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. Her column is published on Tuesdays. She may be reached at

Text Only
  • LION AND THE LAMB: Four ways to demonstrate opposition

    Marcus Borg and John Dominic Crossan mention in their book, “The Last Week,” that Roman-occupied Palestine during the first century was under the control of Pontius Pilate who lived in the coastal city of Caesarea. Each year at the beginning of the Passover observance when Jews celebrated their liberation from Egypt, Pilate feared that they might be getting ideas about revolting from Rome, so he would come with additional soldiers on horses to beef up the Roman garrison in Jerusalem. 

    April 15, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: Is it (new) party time?

    The Democratic and Republican parties are toast, according to Joe Trippi. The Republican Party is coming apart at its Tea Party seam. Democratic candidates struggle to celebrate President Obama’s health care successes, while responding to criticism of his failed promises, e.g., government transparency.

    April 15, 2014

  • TIDBITS: I found it at the library

    I have such fond memories of going to my local library as a child, searching through shelf after shelf and finding a book that would make me a Little Princess in World War II England, or bring me along as Nancy Drew solved the Secret in the Old Attic.

    April 14, 2014

  • STUMPTALK: The reason words have meaning

    If words did not have accepted meanings we would not be able to communicate effectively and civilized society would not exist.

    April 14, 2014

  • Lion and the Lamb: Do we really believe in democracy?

    The recent Supreme Court decision, McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, is in a long line of debates about power in a democracy. Should power be in the hands of all the citizens or should it be in hands of those who have greater wealth and social position?

    April 8, 2014

  • We the People: Public education or business opportunity?

    A month ago, we followed the money trail left by a ‘think tank’ to the major sources funding an attack on our traditional, locally controlled public schools. We saw that a handful of billionaires provide major support to many organizations lobbying for change.

    April 8, 2014

  • Stumptalk: Just another government lie?

    There is a vault located in Fort Knox, Kentucky. It was built in 1936 and encased in 16 cubic feet of granite and 4200 feet of cement. The door is made of 20-inch thick material that is immune to drills, torches and explosives.

    April 7, 2014

  • GARY'S WORLD: The chance to speak your mind

    Are you tired of hearing people complain about the way things are run in Cumberland County? Or, do you like the way the county government is run and operated in our beautiful county?
    Are you happy with the way things are, or would you like some change?

    April 3, 2014

  • LION AND THE LAMB: Digging beneath the headlines

    Our media have been focusing on two important events that have taken place overseas during the last several weeks.

    April 1, 2014

  • WE THE PEOPLE: SNAP, health and work

    A recent letter from Representative Diane Black to me states that she voted for the farm bill (with $8 million in Food Stamp (SNAP) benefit cuts) because she, like me, is a supporter of food stamp benefits for Tennessee families who qualify. That’s a lot of families, as most recipients are families with children and the elderly. Now, recall that there was already a major cut to the food stamp program back in the fall. But for some Republicans, that was not enough.

    April 1, 2014

Marketplace Marquee
Must Read
Section Teases
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Weather Radar
2014 Readers' Choice