When I first heard the term “first world problems” I figured it was an excuse for someone who wanted to whine, but had enough perspective to feel guilty for doing so. I’m not big on whining. I am big on taking life by the reigns. I am big on counting my blessings, and I know I have been very blessed. Maybe it is the African art in my kitchen, reminding me of that adventure, but more and more recently, I have been very conscious of just how blessed we are.
This afternoon I decided I really wanted something for dinner from this little, local store that makes everything fresh daily. I felt like we have been in a meal preparation rut as of late. I threw on a hat, grabbed my keys, and headed out to see what amazing meal I could create, only to discover I had left the cabin light on all evening after scrubbing out the interior. With no-one but the dog at home, I couldn’t jump the car (or get it out of the garage. Being Sunday, I was afraid they would close early, so I figured I could walk. A dead battery is certainly a “first world problem” and I wasn’t going to let it get in my way (of fulfilling my craving…because let’s not forget the very stocked refrigerator that I have).
About a block into my journey, I realized that it was the middle of a hot July day and perhaps not the best time for a walk. But I am stubborn, and I had already started. I tried to stick to the shady side of the street, but by the time I got to a busier street, I was not thrilled to have to wait on (air-conditioned) cars before I could cross. It wasn’t until I was a block from my destination that it even occurred to me that this little, local store might be closed on Sunday’s – it was. Next door is a market though, so I grabbed a lemon shake-up to cool off, pulling my credit card out of my too expensive purse.
Suddenly my “empowerment” of walking to fetch food like so many others must do seemed a bit ironic. I’m big on walking anyway with gas prices, parking, and the general dangerousness of driving. I have opted to walk to the grocery or restaurant or government building loads of times. Walking wasn’t new to me. This time, though, I had let myself feel powerful by not being thwarted by inconvenience. I had allowed myself to fantasize that I was less spoiled because I could fetch my fancy food without the aid of technology. Humbled, I took my overly-sweet (yes, I was ready to complain about too much sugar by this point) shake-up into the neighborhood health-food grocery to seek my craving in the freezer section. I have never walked so slowly through a grocery before.
Walking home with my craving, a snack I knew S-man had been craving, and my fancy cheese, I reflected on how many first world solutions I have for first world problems. I took a nearly three mile walk in the heat, reading blogs on my iPhone, and came home with more food than I’d intended to purchase. The humidity and allergens hurt my lungs a bit, but two puffs of albuterol when I got home, and I was fine. My house was air-conditioned, and I was able to cool down fairly quickly. If anything the exercise was good for me. I have nothing about which to complain, but there is much humor to be found in my venture.