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Once a week, I have a phone date with one of my best friends. She and I have been pals since our college days. If I remember properly, she had her nose stuck in a book, and I knew immediately that we’d get along. I was right! It’s been seventeen years, and we still have our weekly chats, and in those chats, we give ourselves the luxury of whining a little.

Just a very little. We aren’t really the whining types, but sometimes we just have to vent about something, and after we have, (with lots of sympathy from the other), we end up saying the same thing:

“Wow, First World problems, am I right?”

Because our problems aren’t that big.

If you think about it, most of the things that irritate us involve frustrating people or an unexpected bill. We might get a cold or flu, but we have doctors and health care professionals available to us if we’re ever seriously ill. We might get irritated with someone in our lives, but we all make enough that we can live independently, so we aren’t living with several different families together unless it’s something we really want. We might have allergies, but we have grocery stores stuffed to the rafters with other alternatives… We have running water, free schools, jobs, heat, cupboards full of food, even if it isn’t always our first choice of what we feel like eating.

Photo by Smerdis

Photo by Smerdis

My husband was born in a third world country, and he always laughs when we argue with our son about eating at mealtime. Because when he was growing up, no one had to force him to the dinner table, and no one had to plead with him to finish his food. There was no such thing as “I’m too full. I couldn’t eat another bite.”

So when we sit down for our nightly pleading (Five more bites. BIG bites. That’s too small. Another one…), he says, “Wow, we’re blessed to have these kinds of problems.”

And we are. Let’s never forget it. We’re so very, very blessed to complain about the things that we do.

This month, I’m thankful for those First World problems.