Have you heard the phrase “first world problems?” It refers to the fact that in first world or affluent countries where we have nothing of any real urgency to worry about, we can still find things to complain about.
It’s really quite true. In comparison to the conditions the rest of the world has to face every day, our “first world problems” are of no consequence.
Your car has a flat tire and you have to get a ride to work.
Your electric bill goes up $20 a month.
Your dishwasher breaks down.
You’re having a bad hair day.
All first world problems.
Can you even imagine that someone is Sudan or Syria or __________(fill in the blank with another country who is experiencing war or famine or some other national crisis) could be worried about any of those issues I just listed? Absurd.
And yet we get overwhelmed by these and other relatively insignificant issues every day. We get bogged down by worry about things that are not life and death. We are quick to feel like life is out of control if too many of these things happen at the same time.
I’ve learned a new way to view the first world problems that I face and that’s to say “It is what it is.” Then I proceed to consider my options in dealing with each of the issues as they present themselves.
This past week I’ve had to deal with a fourth week of back pain stemming for an injury that isn’t healing as fast as I would like. I also learned that one of my sons has been diagnosed with diabetes. In addition to those things, I also had to deal with the trauma of three of my sons being involved in a car accident. Thankfully, they only experienced some bumps and bruises.
I could feel life was closing in on me as these experiences piled up. I could have just given in and allowed myself to shut down and refused to go on. But instead, I chose to engage my secret weapon. I chose to say,” this is my life today. It is what it is. What am I going to do with it?”
What’s going on in your life today? Are you feeling overwhelmed?
Take a fresh approach. Look at your life.
It is what it is.
What are you going to do with it?