Reality Checks For A Perspective Change

April 19, 2019  |  
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reality check ahead

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We can all get into those negative moods where it just feels like the world is out to get us. I got in one the other day. I was rushing to leave my apartment because I was running late for an appointment because our hot water took too long to heat up for my shower and I’d been distracted by texts from my sister, complaining about her relationship, and, when I finally made it out the door, I found some piece of work blocking my driveway with his car and he wasn’t even in his car. So, already late, I had to run around the building, trying to determine whose car it was. When I finally found the perpetrator, I was ready to give him a piece of my mind. I was really at my threshold for patience and then…I felt like the idiot. The car belonged to someone who volunteers for Meals on Wheels and was delivering a hot meal to a 90-year-old woman who lives all by herself in my building. Woah. That was a perspective check. If you need one, here are some reality checks that will change your perspective today.


You can’t afford a certain luxury

So you’re upset because your whole crew is going to a concert, but tickets are $200 a piece and you just can’t swing it this month. You start getting frustrated, thinking your job doesn’t pay you enough and life is unfair. You really take pity on yourself because you can’t afford this luxury.


Some people can’t pay basic bills

Some people cannot afford to pay for their basic bills. Some people have their water or power turned off regularly because they didn’t pay the bill. Some people face eviction regularly because they can’t pay rent. If you don’t have to worry, even a little, about covering your basic needs, you’re in good shape.


You’re so over working out

You want to lose weight, but you’re getting so sick of hitting the gym. You’re starting to resent the gym and hate to exercise. You speak of exercise with total disdain, and feel bad for yourself when you’re on your way to that treadmill. “Why can’t I just be naturally skinny like some women?” you implore the weight loss gods.


Some people are bedridden

While you’re busy being upset that you have to exercise, there are people who would give anything to have the health to do so. I have a friend who is recovering from an intense surgery right now and can barely walk at a fast clip without being in pain. This will go on for him for the next three to five months. It would be in poor taste for me to complain about “having to” exercise in front of him. He’d love to exercise.


Your parents are overbearing

My mom can be a bit overbearing. I think about once a week, she has it in her calendar to call me and remind me that I could be making more money or I could be living in a better apartment or I could be drinking less wine. It could make me scream sometimes.


Not all parents care

I have to stop and remind myself that, I have a few friends who would love to have overbearing parents because they have the opposite—self-centered parents who never really parented them or…just completely absent parents. Yes, my mom irritates me sometimes, but I also have the comfort of knowing she’s always there for me. Not everybody has that.


The lines at the store are too long

Tensions can run pretty high in line at the grocery store or farmers market. I’ve certainly partaken in a few line disputes about who cut whom or who is squeezing 16 items into the express lane. I can leave, with bags full of food, pretty angry.


There are produce deserts

Did you know that, across America, there are things called produce deserts where nobody lives anywhere near fresh produce? Parts of Detroit are produce deserts, and the most someone can hope to find as far as fruits and veggies go are canned varieties at liquor stores. I should be grateful to wait in line to buy all the fresh produce I want.


Chasing your dream is taking too long

Naturally, we all wish we got to live our dreams tomorrow. The grind can feel exhausting and at times be soul-crushing. You can be frustrated that your manuscript didn’t get accepted into that competition or you didn’t get that grant for your small business.


Chasing your dream is a luxury

We can forget that the act of chasing our dreams is a luxury. Some people could never even dream of, well, chasing dreams. Some people have to work three jobs, just to get by. They don’t even have the time to think about a better life, let alone pursue one.


Traffic is a nightmare

Living in a big city, I can lose my temper in traffic—a lot. I’ve arrived home to my unsuspecting partner in a terrible mood due to traffic. I’ve said some profanities to my fellow drivers on the road. I have felt cursed to live in so much traffic.


You could just not have a car

Once in a while, I give a ride to a friend who doesn’t have a car and realize the traffic doesn’t bother them—they’re just so grateful to not be on the bus, where they sometimes feel unsafe, or to not be walking in the scorching sun.


Your relationship is in a rut

If you’ve been together with your partner for years and years, you can feel bored, you can feel disenchanted, and you can feel as if you’re in a rut. Nothing is actually wrong—you aren’t fighting—but things just don’t feel exciting like they used to, so you feel hopeless.


You could still be single and searching

Remember when you were single, going on terrible dates, and would do anything to just find a loving relationship with someone with whom you can be yourself and who loves you unconditionally? You have that now. To be bored with it is to take it for granted.


Gratitude correlates with happiness

At the end of the day, the happiness we feel is a direct result of the gratitude we show for the things we have. Your life only feels bad if you focus on the negatives. Meanwhile, a little perspective check can remind you that you actually have it pretty good.


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