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When you’re having a bad week, it can feel like the whole world is out to get you.

But really, it’s all about perspective. (At least, this is what I’m learning.)

Things get hard, people let you down, boys/girls break your heart, work may be difficult, strangers can be rude, accidents can happen, bosses can be unfair, plans can fall through, you can get sick, people pass away unexpectedly…

But I can tell you that if you even have the ability to log onto a computer, go online, and be educated enough to read this blog at this very moment, you have no idea how blessed you are.

My Mom was on the phone with me last week, after I had vented to her about the awful commute I had in the morning, the humidity and heat that I had to walk through all day in the city, the cuts and scratches I got from the construction site, the stupid clients I had to deal with, etc. etc…

And she calmly interrupted me to tell me that my brother was going to be stuck in a DC Metro car for the next several hours because the power had gone out. He had been underground, in a non-air conditioned car with no water, no bathroom, and no way to get out. And he was terribly scared and upset.

Immediately, I felt stupid for my silly complaints and my heart broke for my little brother, whose current situation far outweighed my own in its gravity. I told my Mom how sorry I was for Peter and I was embarrassed for even mentioning my own “problems.”

My Mom then quietly told me that while there had been a power outage and there were people unfortunately trapped in the DC Metro, that she was lying and that my brother had been thankfully given a ride home by his boss prior to the black-out.

I listened as my Mom continued by telling me that even if my brother had been stuck underground, his and my situations were still nothing compared to what other people go through on a daily basis.

I slip (a lot) when it comes to complaining. Like many upper/middle-class Americans, I am spoiled (a lot) which makes small “problems” seem like much bigger ones in my limited perspective. And often, I forget about the great things that God had blessed me with when I, instead, focus solely on the negative.

So today, I am gonna break the rhythm of that negative vibe by making a list of 10 things (this weekend alone) that I am super thankful that God has blessed me with. In no particular order:

  1. A job with an awesome boss that both challenges and teaches me (and lets me travel!)
  2. The ability to even apply to Grad School (and the Grad Schools of my choice, no less!)
  3. Parents that lovingly unleash holy wisdom onto my foolish head (even when I’m being a whiner!)
  4. My little brother and sister, who I looooooove (and love to talk to on a daily basis!)
  5. My YAM friends, you guys are awesome, and I thank you for not only encouraging me with my studies and work, but also encouraging me to take some time to also just enjoy life (<3)
  6. My cozy apartment (home sweet home!)
  7. The crunchy and delicious apple I ate for dinner today (it was perfect…and the only one w/o bruises in the market!)
  8. My air conditioner (oh, Jesus, THANK You for my air conditioner!)
  9. The many trips I have to look forward to (Philly, Miami, Shanghai, Seoul, and Haiti, oh my!)
  10. That even after 2 services at church and taking an hour-long nap, I still had lots of time to study today for my GMAT (yay for preparation!)

I could go on and on…and on and on…and on and on with even more things, but I think you got the point!

If you’re having a hard time right now, I encourage you to write your own list. See how much your attitude changes when when you focus on the good instead of the bad.

Just a little bit of perspective.

No, not *that* kind of perspective.

A Cartoon Stuck in a Real Girl’s Body

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August 2010