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Got Perspective?

Updated on January 27, 2010
Ever feel like you are stuck at the bottom of a deep crater and can't climb out?  Get perspective.
Ever feel like you are stuck at the bottom of a deep crater and can't climb out? Get perspective.

My Daily Rant 1/27/2010

 I have noticed lately that a lot of people have been writing about despair, suicide and depression.  I imagine it has a lot to do with the time of year.  January is a depressing month for many reasons.  After the inflated expectations, vigorous planning, crazy spending and over indulgence of the Holidays, January often feels like a let down.  It's kind of like a wedding, you spend months and tons of money planning something, and it's done in one day.  Also, there is the gloomy weather, bad roads, and of course, the economy.  Most businesses slow down exponentially in January (with the exception of tax professionals), so people's incomes are often down.  Also, you have to think about getting ready for taxes, which if you are a business owner like myself, can be daunting.  This January is no different, in fact it seems to be a little bleaker than usual.  Our economy is in the crapper, unemplyment is at record highs, and our President and Congress seem intent on shoving things we don't want down our throats.

No wonder so many people are depressed. I can relate.  My whole family has experienced quite a bit of depression over the past few months.  It has been a very tough year.  Life has not been kind, as is so often the case.  And in a marriage, it's very difficult to keep a family afloat when both spouses are drowning in despair.  Over the years, in my particular situation, one or the other has had highs and lows, but they typically seem to offset the other, so one person keeps the other motivated and such.  When both are depressed, the whole family feels the effects.

I was lying in the tub last night thinking about that.  How it's so easy to become absorbed by despair and feelings of helplessness, and then you start to feel sorry for yourself.  No one likes me, no one would care if I died except when they ran out of laundry, everything bad happens to me, when is it my turn?  And I realized something.  I need to have perspective.  Everyone needs to have perspective.

When my children are giving me trouble I never thought I would have to deal with, and I seriously don't think I can take another minute, I remind myself of my dear friend who lost a child in a car accident.  I imagine he would gladly trade a little teenage angst or a strong willed little one for the hand he's been dealt.  Perspective.

When I am finding myself frustrated because the paycheck always seems to run out before the bills are all paid, or before the next one, I remind myself of the man who has been out of work for six months.  At least I have a job.  Even if times are tough, I have a job.  I have some money coming in.  Perspective.

When I am annoyed because I feel like my extended family is sort of falling apart at the seams and doesn't have the close family ties they use to, I think of some loved ones who lost three family members all in the same day to a tragic accident.  While my family may not be perfect, they are here.  I can call them.  I can email them.  I can visit.  Perspective.

When my children are driving me insane with their constant need for rides, money, help with homework, clean clothes, etc, I think of my husband who would give anything to have to deal with those things from his two children from a previous marriage who will have nothing to do with him.  My kids can be needy, but how would I feel if they didn't need or want me?  Perspective.

When I am sick and tired of working all day, just to go directly into cleaning and cooking and caring for my family with no break, I think of the millions of people who are working countless hours in Haiti.  The ones who are seeing devastation, destruction and tragedy on a scale I will never, ever even begin to comprehend.  Makes my messy house seem pretty trivial.  At least I have a home.  I have my family.  I have running water and electricity and more than most of those people had even before the devastating earthquake.  Perspective.

When I am overhwhelmed and need a break, but really don't know if I can afford to go on a much needed Girls Weekend, I think about the woman who won't be able to go to girls weekend because she needs to stay home and care for her paralyzed husband.  Perspective.

When my husband annoys the ever loving snot out of me, I think of the woman whose husband has been overseas for months, and who may not come home.  Perspective.

This goes for other people too.  When I hear people complaining about how expensive their kitchen remodel is going to be, I think, "geez, I don't even know if I can pay my utilities this month.  I sure wish I had your problems".

Or when I see someone on television agonizing over whether they should have a boob job or a tummy tuck, I think, "Thank goodness everyone in my family is healthy at the moment.  We are uninsured and if someone gets sick or has an accident, we are screwed."

The thing is, everyone has times of trial.  EVERYONE.  No one is exempt.  But the thing we all need to remember is, for as bad as you have it, I guarantee someone out there has it worse.  Maybe if we all think a little about perspective when we find ourselves complaining, it might make us realize how very fortunate we really are.

I don't really believe in New Year's Resolutions.  But I for one am going to make a concerted effort to concentrate on my blessings, no matter how big or small.  No one likes negativity.  And I think Abraham Lincoln said it best when he said "Most people are about as happy as they make their minds up to be." 

How happy will you be?  It all depends on you.

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    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 7 years ago

      I loved this hub. It is so well written and so thoughtful. Frankly, you have created a manual for making the best out of things and appreciating life as it is. We should all print it and carry it around, to pull out and read, when things get to be a little too much. Great job.

    • profile image

      daytripeer 7 years ago

      Great, great hub. This should be required reading for all of mankind. Thank you for these reminders. :-)

    • sunflowerbucky profile image
      Author

      sunflowerbucky 7 years ago from Small Town, USA

      Thank you daytripeer and breakfastpop. I am a firm believer in the power of a person's own thinking. I think positivity and perspective would cure about 90% of people's illness, depression, etc. In a world where everyone is so quick to turn to the newest wonder drug, we have lost faith in ourselves and this may sound cliche', but in the power of positive thinking. Thanks you two, for stopping by, reading and commenting!

    • resspenser profile image

      Ronnie Sowell 7 years ago from South Carolina

      Excellent hub.Sometimes we just have to walk a mile in someone else's shoes and be glad to have the shoes!

    • sunflowerbucky profile image
      Author

      sunflowerbucky 7 years ago from Small Town, USA

      So very true resspenser!

    • William R. Wilson profile image

      William R. Wilson 7 years ago from Knoxville, TN

      Everyone should take the time to step back like you do, Bucky. Even in January 2010, we in America have it better than 99.99 percent of all humans ever!

      I hope you have a beautiful day.

    • Mit Kroy profile image

      Mit Kroy 7 years ago from Georgia,USA

      Great job! We do need to be reminded sometimes.

      Keep on hubbing!

    • Ken R. Abell profile image

      Ken R. Abell 7 years ago from ON THE ROAD

      Very well said. I appreciate your honesty, attitude & perspective. It is always a challenge to keep our lives & problems in perspective. Blessings & much encouragement to you.

    • profile image

      Bonnie 4 years ago

      I missed this one some where along the way its a great one as always.. and I think maybe you were putting it out there for me ? :)

      I do lose my perspective as well as the next one and sometime more often than others sometimes you in your own suttle ways snap me back !!

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