JUST THINKING: When it rains it pours

We’ve had a series of annoying issues at our house lately. First, the dishwasher conked. Then during a recent hot, muggy weekend, the air conditioner wouldn’t work. And now the dryer is on the fritz.

One of my kids lamented, “Why is all this bad stuff happening?”

Even though each of these things occurred within a relatively short period of time, I hadn’t strung them all together until “all this bad stuff” was pointed out. A year or so ago, I for sure would have looked at this through a glass-is-half-empty lens. You know, “Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve it?”

Fortunately, my perspective has changed. Are these kinds of problems frustrating? Sure. Do they warrant lament? No. Dishes can be washed by hand. Being hot is not the end of the world. And air-drying clothes or schlepping my laundry elsewhere is a pain, but not the end of the world.

The secret is perspective. It’s a hard thing to teach kids. What’s worth worrying about and what’s not. Worry and lament have been a part of my make-up for a long time, which is likely where my child gets it. It comes from being a little superstitious — for example, bad things happen in threes; the belief that everything happens for a reason, which works against you if you always assume you did something to deserve it; and not being in a good place in your life.

What we’ve been working on in our house is looking at life from a positive perspective. We are in a great place, surrounded by caring friends and neighbors and amazing opportunities. Sometimes people aren’t nice or they disappoint us, but usually it’s the result of life circumstance or immaturity. And, the fact of the matter is, things that give our lives comfort, like air conditioners and dishwashers and dryers, break down. It stinks. But in the big picture of life, we’ve got a lot of good things happening to us, too.

 

juliestafford@staffordgroup.com
(616) 548-8260

Just Thinking | Julie Stafford

We’ve had a series of annoying issues at our house lately. First, the dishwasher conked. Then during a recent hot, muggy weekend, the air conditioner wouldn’t work. And now the dryer is on the fritz.

One of my kids lamented, “Why is all this bad stuff happening?”

Even though each of these things occurred within a relatively short period of time, I hadn’t strung them all together until “all this bad stuff” was pointed out. A year or so ago, I for sure would have looked at this through a glass-is-half-empty lens. You know, “Why is this happening to me? What did I do to deserve it?”

Fortunately, my perspective has changed. Are these kinds of problems frustrating? Sure. Do they warrant lament? No. Dishes can be washed by hand. Being hot is not the end of the world. And air-drying clothes or schlepping my laundry elsewhere is a pain, but not the end of the world.

The secret is perspective. It’s a hard thing to teach kids. What’s worth worrying about and what’s not. Worry and lament have been a part of my make-up for a long time, which is likely where my child gets it. It comes from being a little superstitious — for example, bad things happen in threes; the belief that everything happens for a reason, which works against you if you always assume you did something to deserve it; and not being in a good place in your life.

What we’ve been working on in our house is looking at life from a positive perspective. We are in a great place, surrounded by caring friends and neighbors and amazing opportunities. Sometimes people aren’t nice or they disappoint us, but usually it’s the result of life circumstance or immaturity. And, the fact of the matter is, things that give our lives comfort, like air conditioners and dishwashers and dryers, break down. It stinks. But in the big picture of life, we’ve got a lot of good things happening to us, too.

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