I’m sure I’m not the only one: has it ever happened to you that you spend your whole life never hearing of something, then you hear it once and all of the sudden it’s everywhere?
For example, I felt that way about the show Downton Abbey. On Monday I’d never heard of it, on Tuesday I was introduced for the first time, on Wednesday it seemed to be the subject of every conversation and blog post I’d stumble into!
So it was just a few months ago that I saw a pin on Pinterest about this concept of “First World Problems” (“First World Pains” on Twitter). Now I can’t go a day without thinking about it. In case you’re not yet familiar with the term, it’s a tongue-in-cheek way of reminding us privileged Westerners of the high standard of living that is built into our everyday complaints. For example:
- I forgot to charge my iPod before I left home so now I have to listen to the radio in the car.
- The barista put whipped cream on my mocha after I specifically said “No whip.”
- My refrigerator stinks because my vegetables went bad before I could eat them all.
- My baby grew out of her clothes before she had a chance to wear all of the cute outfits I had in that size.
So you get the point. It’s all in good fun, but it’s been a seriously helpful reality check as I listen to my own complaints throughout the day. I don’t deny the inconvenience of the moment, but it’s a good perspective to remember that there are many blessings implied even in my complaints.
About a week ago I took this a step further and started thinking in terms of “First Wife Pains.” How many of my complaints about my husband come from the fact that he’s set the bar pretty high in our home? The examples came readily:
- He cooked breakfast for all of us but left a dirty pan on the stove
- This morning he dressed our two-year-old in an outfit that’s not one of my favorites
- He’s working late tonight so I have to make my own coffee
- It’s taking a long time for him to get my kitchen cabinets painted
- He didn’t sweep off the back porch after he finished mowing and edging
Again…I think my point is clear. How many wives would love to trade for my complaints!
Thinking in these terms doesn’t mean that I never get annoyed or frustrated, but it certainly does take the bitterness out of much of my complaining. And it reminds me to take a break from my complaining to tell him how lucky I am to be married to such a selfless servant!