I’ve been feeling a little philosophical lately. I’ve found myself pondering many things but unable to break any of them down into concise thoughts or feelings. I’ll keep pondering.
Instead, I just have a short thought for you today.
Yesterday was one of the most stressful days I’ve had in years. Everything went wrong from the get go. I woke up at 4:30am and couldn’t get back to sleep, there was a major hurdle with a personal issue that took most of the day to sought out, and nearing the end of the day just before delivering the first draft of copy for a client, my word document failed. All the work in the document was gone. Gone! Fortunately, I know a computer wiz and he was able to restore a previous version for me. So, that was at least something.
By the end of the day I had experienced every possible emotion on the lower half of the spectrum. There was, anger, frustration, bewilderment, and even a few episodes of tears. It wasn’t a good day.
And then today I felt guilty. Guilty as I overheard someone tell of their own awful day involving a sick sister in need of a serious operation, and a separate situation of a car crash where a father had been died and his young daughter being seriously injured.
My day really wasn’t bad compared to that was it.
Then I got to thinking.
Everyone has their problems. Big, small, seemingly insurmountable. Many are facing hopeless futures, broken hearts, unimaginable suffering and struggles that they face on a daily basis.
We use phrases such as #firstworldproblems to put things into perspective. And while I agree that some things are ridiculous to get stressed over, I also don’t think we should feel guilty for feeling emotions over our small problems. And I don’t think we can always compare our problems to that of others to put things into perspective. Sometimes absolutely, but all the time, no.
In the moment, our own problems are significant. Hindsight and perspective are great, but we need to allow ourselves permission to experience the emotions that bad days and stressful situations bring us. I really think that is the only way we can grow.
So next time you’re having a bad day, don’t compare it to those experiencing the worst of the world. Allow yourself to breathe and work through the emotions and the situation. And don’t feel guilty about it. Don’t belittle your experience, as in that moment it’s the pits. And it makes you appreciate when things start to turn around.
Live, learn and grow. And be kind to yourself.