I had my little pre-Christmas panic attack yesterday which I have had every year since getting divorced. I get overwhelmed at the responsibility for making my kids’ Christmas as ‘good’ as it’s always been. They say they have the best Christmases ever. We love Christmas, playing carols from June onwards, making gingerbread men together still (and a whole lot more when they were little as I love craft) and in December, our family tradition is to watch a cheesy Christmas movie together every single day until Christmas if we can possibly can. I have a huge selection of movies.
Anyway I digress. I admit there is no charity work, no church involved, no Christmas feasts or coming together of families on the day as mine are far away. There is just more togetherness in the lead up and a large amount of inexpensive presents, mess, games and doing whatever we like as a four on the day. The panic is that I rarely shop, unless I absolutely have to as I dislike it, I can’t make a decision (on what to buy) to save my life and because I am not a big earner and a single mum I get too stressed wasting large amounts of money. I say wasted because I see so many things around the house that were never really loved, no matter how enthusiastically accepted on the day.
But yesterday I was reminded of the expression my kids have started using, which I love which is ‘First World Problems’ which is another way of saying ‘Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff’ or ‘Get over yourself’ or ‘Tell it to the hand or to someone who cares’. It’s actually quite rude and I LOVE IT. A slap in the face reminder is a good thing once you get over the shock. The point is to get past yourself and agree with the essence of what someone thinks is worth telling you. I think that’s the answer to being happier. Take the ‘criticism’, process it, agree as much as you can because it’s in your best interest not to defend yourself but to examine and accept your imperfectness. It’s OK to be you.
A colleague at work sent me this image yesterday among many others but this is the one that spoke to me. I asked what the mask and snorkel was about and she explained it’s to make a ‘living’ diving for scrap metal in the Ganges. Such love, tenderness and to us, discomfort all in the one photo. Third World Problems? Maybe, maybe not.
My ‘problems’ are ‘First World’ which of course are no sorts of problem at all unless I cling to seeing them that way.