I’ve been enjoying the summer thus far– the sun is out (somewhat), the days are long, and I’m out of the office. But all is not well in my bubble of comfort. That’s right: I’ve got first world problems.
Sure, things are bad out there in the world at the moment. Innocent people are dying in the streets of Syria, genocide continues in Burma, and Mali is on the verge of political collapse. But it all looks about the same to me on the shiny screen of my new Nexus 7 tablet.
So I decided to take a break from the news to make a list of what’s really preoccupying my attention these days.
- The broadcast delay of the Olympics means that the medal winners show up in my RSS feed before I can watch them on TV, effectively invalidating my motivation to watch the actual events. Super annoying.
- I spent the last couple of weeks in Vancouver, BC enjoying phenomenal Chinese food. Now everything in Seattle tastes like Panda Express. Is a decent pork dumpling too much to ask?!
- My one-year-old keeps getting up early with a special, stinky gift for me in his diaper. Not the best way to wake up. The stench also makes it pretty difficult to go back to sleep.
- A crafty little spider spins the same virtually invisible single thread of web across my walkway every single morning and I keep walking into it. You would think he would have learned by now that: 1) he’s not going to catch me, and 2) it would be better for both of us if he could move his web elsewhere. It takes me at least a few minutes to find the web and brush it off my face.
- And the list goes on.
Obviously, my “problems” are pretty insignificant, but I’m amazed (though perhaps I shouldn’t be) at how easy it is to become fixated on these ridiculous kinds of minor annoyances when in fact I should be breathing deeply and savoring the good gifts of my health, my family, meaningful employment, and much more.
At times, I convince myself that I despise the hopelessly self-focused, anesthetized existence that has come to define North American consumerism. But deep down, I also wonder if I’m so far gone that I could never survive without its comfortable, trivial consumer accessories that have made my life so damn cushy.