This weekend I was curled up on the couch with a painful health thing that involved an infection, a migraine, low blood pressure and nausea that I’m still dealing with. Add in a cat that somehow found a way to uncover the fake plant potting I’ve covered, eat it again and puke it up, and you pretty much have my whole weekend.
I don’t say that to evoke any sort of sympathy, but rather to just set the scene.
People often talk about perspective, and for good reason, as perspective is what reminds us that the situation we’re in could always be worse.
If your car breaks down, at least you weren’t in a horrific crash. If the temperature is 103 degrees and you haven’t had rain in a month, at least you have power to plug in the window AC unit that brings the temp in your living room down to a chilly 85 degrees (I promised myself I wouldn’t write about this, by the way, so at least give me this one chance to whine.)
But at the same time, I think it’s important to remember that even if what happens to you isn’t life-threatening, it can still be a pain in the ass.
When you feel like crap on a cracker, your car breaks down or your kid pukes in a store, the last thing you want to hear is someone tell you that things could always be worse. At that moment, you don’t care. You just want things to be better and not to hear how there are starving children in Africa that would love to puke up Apple Cinnamon Cheerios in aisle seven of Costco.
Perspective is remembering it could be worse, but also knowing that things out of your control that upset you are valid.
Running into $500 in car repairs doesn’t have to be met with a laugh. Just because you have power doesn’t mean the heat isn’t oppressive and damaging, not only to your pocketbook and greenery, but also to your psyche. I’m of the mindset that getting a little pissed and annoyed with the knots in your life is normal and can even be healthy.
Acknowledge the crap and move on.
That doesn’t mean dwelling or sending out evites for a pity party—BYOB?—but simply honoring the fact that things sometimes happen and that better things will come your way. When things stink, it makes you appreciate the times when you don’t feel like crap, when your car’s running fine or your kid is an angel at Costco.
We’re handed the bad to highlight the good, and that’s where I find my perspective. Or maybe that’s the medication talking, but either way, things could be worse.
And if you can’t find a way that it’s possible, then yes, you’re probably screwed.
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Well, at least the Tigers won yesterday. 🙂
Hope you feel better!
Exactly. As long as there’s baseball, all is okay with my world 😉
crap…amy took my comment. The Tigers won and you’ve got yoursense of humor and your lame friends….*raises hand*
Friends and baseball. Win-win!
I’m the annoying person that says “It could always be worse.” But only to myself – I never say that to others for fear of getting punched in the face.
I actually say that to people all the time and agree that yes, it could always be worse. Sometimes though, it’s the last thing that you want to hear (even if it’s just what you need to hear.) 😉
I find I can only really say “it could be worse” about 3-4 times. Then, after that, the next thing to bring me down is also what allows me to have a pity party and be bitchy for a day. It’s a nice balance.
hey , medication can help. Or thats when i pour a glass of wine. Just kidding, kinda. Bad days happen, it is what it is. And i totally think we have the right to complain, a few times, then we put on our big girl pants and get over it, right?
Awww . . . hope you and Monie feel better soon, that your team wins next Saturday, your fake plant recovers from the carnage and the store has the freshest brocolli in the world the next time you visit. Big hugs xxxx
I completely agree. Bitterness is a human right, and damn those Pollyanna-types who try to rob me of my wrath!!
I have been doing this a lot lately, and it does help to make you feel more grateful for what you do have. Yay!
Yes. I hate it when people diminish other people’s stuff (unless the other person is just being ridiculously over the top and needs a reality check).
Yes!! I do not like it when I’m struggling with something, or whining about my sunburned butt (LOL–hot ass–thank you for the laugh) and someone delivers the line, or its equivalent, “You’re lucky that ________.”
It’s important to have your pain, discomfort, complaint . . . validated . . . not tossed aside like a stray strand of hair.
And to be allowed to decide, in your own time, to move along. Like me, I can tell that you do just that.
Feel better. And the A/C thing would have me tearing my hair out. Heat gives me a permanent headache. Not to mention sunburn.
When things are wretched, you might as well wallow in it for a minute (denying the reality is just too Pollyanna-ish and cheerfully annoying). Then move on.
I hate somebody perkily saying “things could be worse.”
That phrase is like foreshadowing – once uttered, things will get worse.
Must have been the raging solar flare covering you.
If the migraine has eased, life is surely better.
i have always made a specific point to never say “it could be worse” cus you know what chump? when you’re going through it, it sucks. so yea, don’t wallow in it forever, but its ok to be upset about it cus it SUCKS.
amen. xoxo sorry you been feeling crappy.
and why won’t your comments let me put my web address and email? its asking me to log in with twitter or FB?!?
Because WordPress is an ass and it sucks and is stupid. See how mature that I am? Anyway, yes. No wallowing. Just acceptance and no Pollyanna until that ship has sailed. I’m on it (not the ship that’s sailing, but the perspective thing I rambled about.)
I’ve found karma to be a sneaky twisted evil person. When I say “things could be worse” they usually become it. Like sailing against 6′ waves “At least the wind isn’t blowing in our face” to have it suddenly howl away from hell’s depth like if it heard me thinking it…
p.s. hope that health thing you have doesn’t come through the internet, if so I’m running off to shower under a bucket of hand sanitizing gel
Nope! Not contagious!
I’m totally that annoying “it could be worse” person. Always. But I never say it to a friend suffering a migraine, because I get them and know that when you have one, it really feels like things COULDN’T be worse.
I am so with you Abby. I feel like, if it makes someone feel better that someone ELSE is worse off, that’s just twisted and mean.
I’ve never really thought of it that way, but I don’t think “it could be worse” is really a mean thing to say. But I get your point. It’s perspective. 😉
Does “it could be worse” actually bring anyone comfort? Maybe I’m just a bitter person.
Usually when I think things could be worse, they get that way!
Excellent post, so well said and great “perspective” 😉 Also, sounds like a truly horrible weekend–you had me at the cat puking!
I have a lot of things in mind right now (my brother’s impending marriage to a person I can’t stand is one). But you’re right: It could be worse. I’ve come across some unlucky stuff (like the a-hole who broke my car window and stole my GPS, or the other a-hole who stole my iPhone, etc) but every time this happens, when I have people to turn to and complain, I am reminded how blessed I actually am. Not everyone has sources of connection and support. So yes, it could be worse.
I think pity parties are BYOC – bring your own complaints.
I agree about perspective. People who have perspective don’t need to be told it could be worse, they already know. But that doesn’t mean they stand in line at the DMV for hours with a weirdo smile on their face, that’s just creepy.
I’ve taken the time,
I’ve wallowed in pain
And then I’ve gotten up
And carried on again.
and so it continues….
Huge bummer. I’m so sorry you’ve been feeling under the weather. With it being about 140 degrees outside, sick too is not good. I agree. When you’re in it, you don’t need someone else telling you to just feel better or appreciate that it’s not worse. That does make it worse.
Meh. It could be worse 😉