Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

August 26, 2013

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

By Heather Mullinix
Assistant editor

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.

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Heather Mullinix is assistant editor of the Crossville Chronicle. Her column is published on Tuesdays. She may be reached at hmullinix@crossville-chronicle.com.