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First World Problems

In this day and age, we tend to feel sorry for ourselves over the smallest things....and complain about extremely trivial matters aka "first world problems." We tend to freak out over these things in our lives, even when these problems are NOTHING compared to what other people are suffering across the world. We have no right to complain about half of the stuff that causes us to use our 4-letter word vocabulary list.

My own first world problems of the day:

  • I lost my all-time favorite hat today. I lost it somewhere between a velvety kneeler at the front of St. Paul's Chapel (behind the organ) and my front row seat in Neurobiology. It's either in one of those buildings or outside on  a handicap access ramp, lost forever in a waterlogged and extremely uneven brick walkway,  or even stolen away by some squirrel (unlikely but still somewhat plausible). I may never find out. However, I am kind of upset by this. My sisters won it for me in some sort of raffle and it is a hat that suits me well. It screams "Rutgers Pride." Yes, it's one of those hats... red with black, flannel-lined ear flaps that I can tie around my chin, a tiny little puff at the top, and a monstrously huge "R" right above the forehead. I'm going to miss that hat...because it suited my own eccentricity so well.
  • My 4GB mp3 player died on me. I have all of the music saved on my computer, but there is a slight chance that I have one or two lectures saved on it...that weren't saved on my computer. I haven't had the courage to do a full inventory of the damage. I use it for my music and lecture-recording backup in case my 8GB gets full or runs out of batteries before I can get to my computer. 
  • The banana I packed for lunch was a bruised, soggy mess by lunchtime.
  • Rain + extremely uneven brick walkway + cloth shoes = ICY COLD FEET
  • Pandora started playing Christmas music before advent.  For the record, I am one of those people who hold off on Christmas music until at least mid-December. Usually, I only start playing Christmas music so late that I almost miss the Christmas music season altogether. This is great for those of us who can't stand that awful "Christmas Shoes" song...but terrible for those of us who happen to love my future husband's rendition of "Oh Holy Night."

Sorry, I could not resist Josh Groban in all of his beautiful, singing glory...

Yeah, I know. First world problems...which is why I have no right to complain. Fortunately, I have learned to be thankful.

  • Thanksgiving is the day after tomorrow. As much as I love the food, it's not the most important thing for me during this day. The important thing about this holiday, for me at least, is that I get to see my family for the first time in weeks...and I even get to see some extended family for the first time since this summer. Being a PhD student, I don't get to see my family as often as I would like even though we live in the same state. Therefore, the mere fact that Thanksgiving brings us all together is enough to make me excited for this day. 
  • I got to go to Saint Paul's chapel today and got a good 10 minutes of peace in an otherwise hectic day. 
  • I made a great cup of tea during lunch.
  • I had a few laughs in the lab today. 
  • God has given me a pretty sweet life. There are so many people out there so much worse off than I am. A look at Penn Station on a typical morning or night will show you just how many people out there have nothing. There were so many homeless people at Penn Station tonight and it was very sad. It was especially sad because so many of them were just there trying to get some sleep and shelter from the rain. 
  • My 8 gig mp3 player is still alive and kicking (along with all of the lectures I have stored on it).
The list could go on and on...and fortunately, I am able to acknowledge a lot of the positives in my life. Even if there aren't too many positives to go around...God's given me a pretty good sense of humor. I can, and usually do appreciate the humor of pretty much any situation...

...and I do mean ANY situation. A good example of this was the first New Year's Eve after my mom passed away. So many terrible things had happened that year that my family just wanted that year to end. Well, the Portuguese eat a lot of fish during the holidays and we had an octopus in a pressure cooker. At some point, my dad had lost the heavy little knob you place on top of the pressure cooker lid to allow the air to escape while keeping the contents pressurized.  He replaced it with a tiny stick. I guess the stick must have expanded due to the humidity of the steam being released and this, in turn,  must have prevented the release of the rapidly expanding air within the pressure cooker. Needless to say, the pressure built up and next thing you know BOOM!!! ....Octopus on the walls. Octopus on the floor. Octopus on the ceiling. Octopus on every appliance. Octopus on the windows. Octopus on every kitchen surface imaginable...including the blown up pressure cooker. 

It would be an understatement to say that the idea of cleaning the now-pink kitchen was pretty depressing. However, in the middle of this...I start laughing. I imagine telling my grandchildren about this event and their reactions...and laugh until my sides hurt. My entire family still laughs about this story now...but it really was depressing at the time that it happened...and even then, I was laughing. 

Attitude is everything when it comes to living your life. No matter how many things go wrong in our daily lives, we will never have a bad day if we make the most of it. A teacher told me this in middle school and I have tried to make the best out of each day ever since...and it's worked. Forget buying "Eat, Pray, Love" and forget all those books by Joel don't need any of them. You will also save a fortune at the local bookstore. 
Ignore the nice smile...and gorgeous hair...
Just stick to what this teacher told me in middle school. Or, if you prefer something a little more official: 
"In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all. Extinguish not the spirit. Despise not prophecies. But prove all things; hold fast that which is good. From all appearance of evil refrain yourselves. And may the God of peace himself sanctify you in all things; that your whole spirit, and soul, and body, may be preserved blameless in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is faithful who hath called you, who also will do it."
~Thessalonians 5:18-24

Be thankful for what you have at all times and appreciate it all. If you are able to read this blog right now, I assure you that God's got you covered...

Pax Vobiscum

Oh, and since I share a confirmation name with this saint, I can't end the post without saying happy feast of Saint Cecelia!
Saint Cecilia
John William Waterhouse

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