First World Problems—When Do We Have a Good Reason to Cry?

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We all have those moments when we feel like tapping out, but when should we complain and when are we being self-centered? I would love to say I have all the answers. Just get me talking (or typing) and I sometimes am good enough to fool myself. But I simply do not know.

I struggle with boundaries, with saying I need help or that I am having a rough time. Then what happens is because I didn’t acknowledge the small problems early? They pile up and hit me like an avalanche. *whiiiiinnnne*

Bear with me…

Last week was one of those that seemed to just KEEP COMING. It started out well enough, then sucker-punched me. It took three appointments to get the cat, Odin neutered. I’ve never had a cat I waited so long to neuter, but have learned some valuable lessons.

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Lesson #1 Never name your cat Odin. I think he might just have kept a few ice giants around because every time we had a vet appointment? Texas got smacked with another ice storm.

Lesson #2 Wait to neuter a cat too long and you will never sleep…ever. He will howl all night long bemoaning his lack of opposable thumbs to escape and find a girlfriend. He will wail how he hates you because you keep “forgetting” his Axe body spray.

Lesson #3 Revenge will happen. Expect it.

After ice storm early in the week, I finally got Odin into the vet to be neutered. Get him home and Spawn (my 5-year-old boy-child) and I get a simultaneous stomach flu. I’m so sick I can’t move. Meanwhile, Spawn managed to puke all over every surface of the home. Carpets, furniture and anywhere that was not a bucket, a toilet or TILE.

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By the way, Hubby now knows why you don’t buy red Gatorade for a sick kid.

Granted, Hubby was a ROCKSTAR and took care of both of us and didn’t sleep for days. But today? As I was gazing across the mountains of biohazards that used to be clean blankets, clothes, sheets, towels, pillows…I notice this bad smell that just has been around for days and so I go hunting.


Apparently, as some point during the fugue-like state of having a stomach bug, one of us must have shut the door to the guest room and not realized Odin was…in it.


…with no litter box.


Thus, today I am cleaning. Okay, right now I am screwing off and whining to you guys, but after this I am totally back to cleaning. I am Norwegian. I live in an apron. I’ve also now witnessed what my house looks like after I have been too weak to tidy for a few days and it ain’t pretty. I’m overwhelmed.

I go to clean the carpet, but the sink is full of dishes we were too sick to wash. So I try to wash the dishes so I can fill the carpet cleaner but then I can’t find garbage bags, because I need to scrape off the leftovers. So I try to get a trash bag, but then the spice rack falls and breaks glass all over the floor. So I try to find the broom to sweep the glass and remember it is likely in the bathroom, where I find more clothes Spawn puked on, so I gather those into a…

*breaks down weeping*

Thus, the whole time I am in this spiral, I keep saying, “It isn’t cancer. It isn’t cancer. Breathe. Others have it far worse and you are so blessed.”

I guess the point of this blog is that I really didn’t want to clean the guest room and would rather hang out with y’all. Wait. Okay, a little too much honesty. No, really. I know I am usually the one offering advice, but today I am tired and my ponytail is crunchy 🙁 .

I know I should focus on the good stuff. I am amazed at single parents. What a tough, tough job. I was so frightened when I was too ill to move. We don’t really have any family nearby and it could have ended really badly had we been alone. I am tremendously grateful I have a husband willing to hold my hair out of my face when I get sick. I am grateful that Spawn is well now and that it wasn’t as bad as Web MD said.

We DO NOT have Dengue Fever.


But aside from all my “gratitude” I am more than a little ticked off that I was stupid enough to want to be a “grownup.” And yes, I do want some cheese with my whine. I am whining so badly today, I want to slap myself. But what is the fine point between whining and complaining or genuinely having a good reason to cry?

I can always think of someone having bigger problems than mine. Hey, be grateful you badly injured your leg in Jiu-Jitsu, some people don’t even have LEGS to INJURE. I can also think of events in my life that makes this seem ludicrous. Well, Kristen, at least your father isn’t DYING.

But when is this “attitude of gratitude” healthy and when is it just more than a little cray-cray? I try to not complain, but then how can other people change or correct what we don’t communicate? How can others offer help if they don’t know we are struggling?

How the hell did Spawn get Pepto all the way up THERE O_o ?

Anyway, when I am feeling myself having a pity party, I watch these to cheer me up and give me perspective.


I really DO want to hear from you because y’all are way smarter than me and I can put off cleaning for “work.” What are your thoughts on complaining versus having a real reason to be down? Do you have to remind yourself to get perspective? Or do you go a little too stoic-smiley and almost end up in Stepfordville?

What are some First World Problems you struggle with? I’d like to hear, before the battery on my Apple goes dead because I misplaced the charger in all the stuff I own…. 😛

I love hearing from you!

To prove it and show my love, for the month of MARCH, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly. I will pick a winner once a month and it will be a critique of the first 20 pages of your novel, or your query letter, or your synopsis (5 pages or less).

Also, for more help on how to use characters to ratchet anxiety to the nerve-shreding level, I am finally back teaching and offering my Understanding the Antagonist Class on April 18th and YES, it is recorded in case you miss or need to listen again because this class is jammed with information.

I LOVE teaching this simply because our antagonists are pivotal for writing a story readers can’t put down. Yet, too often we fail to harness characters for max effect. I look forward to seeing you there! I also offer the Gold level for one-on-one. Maybe you’ve hit a dead end. Your story is so confusing you need a GPS and a team of sherpas to find the original idea. Instead of wasting time with misguided revisions, I can help you triage your WIP and WHIP it into fighting form 😀 .

For those who need help building a platform and keeping it SIMPLE, pick up a copy of my latest social media/branding book Rise of the Machines—Human Authors in a Digital World on AMAZON, iBooks, or Nook


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    • Becky Fyfe on March 16, 2015 at 3:34 pm
    • Reply

    Aw! You have a cat named Odin and I have a cat named Loki. Loki’s name suits him as he has caused nothing but chaos since we adopted him, but we love him dearly despite the chaos and mischief.

  1. … I have a cat named Karma…and it ain’t fun when “Karma” happens. My deepest sympathies but I am forever in awe of your ability to turn crappiocca into hilarious material. You, my dear, need to write an Irma Bombeck-ish book.

  2. Big hugs! I keep telling myself “Hey, you don’t live in a hut with no running water while drones are flying overhead trying to bomb your village out of existence. You got no problems.” But I just discovered all of my baby veggie plants, which I’ve spent the past six weeks nurturing under grow lamps and just set them outside yesterday, are fried. Fried by the sun, because I draped a sheet of clear plastic over them to keep them safe while they adjusted. Fried. And two weeks ago I had to put my cat Bumpy to sleep. That’s three deceased kitties in seven months. And I’m eating every carb in the house but can’t get motivated to go back to Weight Watchers. When I walk on the treadmill my feet hurt. When I peddle the stationary bike, my hip hurts. I surrender. I’ve ordered oversized harem pants and will now begin grooming my new identity as Jabba the Hut. Speaking of which, at least I don’t live in a hut . . . etc.

  3. First: you get to cry whenever you feel the need and it won’t crucially undermine the morale of someone who needs to keep it together. (Translation: if all your kid has to hold onto in some crisis is that you appear to be calm and in control, you fake it until things ease off.)

    Second: illness and chaos and vomit and broken glass are not an everyday combination, and it’s OK to acknowledge that you’re having a rough few days. It seems to come naturally to you to keep some perspective, and that’s great — but don’t beat yourself up about feeling somewhat overwhelmed.

    But you asked for your readers’ experiences with First World Problems. Some that come to mind are really All World Problems, the kind none of us fully escapes: family members with health challenges, aging parents. More in the First World Problem category: gee, how are we going to keep paying for two smartphones and broadband Internet while the business that has let me spend around twenty years working from home on my own schedule ain’t doing so well?… I do remind myself fairly frequently how lucky I am, while also realizing that I should enjoy my luck now, since the bottom can fall out at any moment. (Having parents who barely escaped Nazi-occupied Europe does remind you of such possibilities.)

    • Lanette Kauten on March 16, 2015 at 3:42 pm
    • Reply

    You have every reason to whine and cry. Getting puking sick is not a first world problem. People in third world countries just don’t have as much to clean when they start feeling better. (No one flame me. That was meant to be tongue in cheek.)

  4. We just endured six days of the barfing flu at our house too. I totally get it and you are not alone. Yes, it’s very true that we’re blessed with much to be grateful for but, on the flip side, there are just those overwhelming days. Here’s what I think, if you’ll feel better after a good cry, go ahead! Set a timer and let yourself wallow for a bit. Then, pick yourself up and get moving.
    And I agree with the prior comment–you’re the next Bombeck 🙂

  5. I always try to keep in mind that many domestic disasters can turn into future funny stories (especially with a master like yourself) because we can all relate. My daughter threw up for the first time at 10 years old. She was so surprised by the event that she turned into a vomit breathing dragon covering every surface of her room including the ceiling! Good luck from your adoring online friends!

    1. Vomit-breathing dragon made me LOL. That was SOOOO Spawn. Kill. Me. Now.

      • Tasha on March 16, 2015 at 11:50 pm
      • Reply

      i think your “Vomit breathing Dragon” comment is going to have me laughing for days

  6. Purrsideon is visiting the vet this week … we expect to deal with a very unhappy kitten…

    As per complaining, I always say, get it out of your system (in print, so you can burn it, if you need more catharsis), then continue forward.

    My only other bit of advice is to keep Ester C on hand and at the first hint of flu coming on, take a good dose of it. Sometimes this totally sidetracks the bug, other times it seems to minimize the attack.

    Best of luck with your healing and cleaning!

  7. Everything is so much more overwhelming when you’re sick. Hope you feel better.

    • shinyoliver on March 16, 2015 at 3:55 pm
    • Reply

    Schedules. I don’t like schedules. That’s my first-world-problem of most inglorious peevishness.

    For two reasons: 1) they cause a lot of anxiety in other people, and when other people get anxious I have trouble keeping my cool, and I like to keep my cool. I totally understand the use and advantages of setting things up so that occasionally people arrive in the same place at the same “time” for events where that matters–movies, presentations, classes, and stuff of that kind. It seems like people get more uptight about the inconvenience of unkempt schedules than the schedules really deserve.

    Then, 2) I don’t believe in the linear idea of time. I’ve had a lot of philosophy shoved into my head. After an awful lot of abstract thinking and concrete application of those thoughts, I have concluded that the linear description of time is wrong. It’s awfully hard to live out the possible truth of that philosophy in such a strictly-scheduled world.

  8. Reblogged this on Tina Bausinger and commented:
    Kristen is THE BOMB. Enjoy!

    • Shelby on March 16, 2015 at 4:01 pm
    • Reply

    Sometimes, I find that it is the little things that bug us the most, because when something big goes down in our lives, there are people there, there are shoulders to cry on, but when it is the little things, everyone just wonders why you are so upset. That feeling is a very lonely feeling.

    1. That’s a really excellent point. See! I knew y’all were smarter than me 😀 .

    2. Well said. I will also add that even moderately awful days are difficult to express when you have friends with dire medical conditions or who just lost a husband etc. You just don’t feel justified in venting or asking for help when your crisis isn’t as major as others around you. I’ve been surrounded by people with horrible problems for the last five years or so, and while I wish I could make their troubles go away I find myself “sucking it up” a bit more often than I’d like to. Hows’ that for a selfish whine? It makes me sound jealous that my troubles aren’t as troubling as everybody else’s. Ugh.

    • lynettemirie on March 16, 2015 at 4:03 pm
    • Reply

    Sucks to be you right now. A giant pity party is definitely in order considering the situation. Praying for you, hope you feel better soon. No hugs though, I can’t afford to catch it!

  9. Being British, I tend to be guilty of ‘hanging on in quiet desperation’ It’s what we do. Crying doesn’t come easy, especially when it comes to First World problems. They often seem to be so temporal compared with Third World problems I witnessed, particularly in Sudan, Uganda, and Ethiopia in the late seventies and eighties.
    I spent last week sitting around in the medina of Fes, sipping mint tea, watching blind beggars shuffle past, and wondering how many westerners realised how fortunate they are.

    If I ever start to whine, feel sorry for myself or utter the unutterable ‘it isn’t fair’, I remind myself what unfair truly is, which for me is –

    Get well and be happy 🙂

  10. Reblogged this on Literal Lessons of Life and commented:
    Thank you, Kristen, for sharing your vulnerability — and helping us see that 1) humor always helps, 2) you have very good reason to cry, even if nobody has cancer.

  11. Reblogged this on MY PYJAMA PROJECT and commented:

  12. Think of the theory of relativity and perspective, so when you’re buried in the moment, it matters not what’s happening in the third world. My motto — take the 30 minutes to drink that bottle of whine and enjoy it with some excellent cheese (and maybe an antipasto platter), then put it away and get on with it.

    I was going to suggest hiring a good cleaning person; however, if your description of what they’d find is anywhere near accurate, they’d quit before they started (or at least mine would, or we’d never cease hearing about it :-D).

    I’m glad you’re all feeling better and that this will soon be a distant memory. Cheers!

  13. In England, we have an advert (I think by the Red Cross) which says you cannot compare a crisis in Newcastle to one in Uganda (I think that’s the country they said, there were many examples). We all have personal crisis which, in the moment, can seem overwhelming and unbearable. I think it’s if that feeling lasts that it may be deemed as a major issue. However, a flood in your living room can be just as devastating to the individual as the flooding of an entire town or city. Metaphorically speaking, the flood may not last, but the damage does and it’s hard to fix.

      • Stephanie Scott on March 16, 2015 at 4:34 pm
      • Reply

      ^A good point, especially when say someone is passionate about a cause and another comes along with, “well what about XYZ?” and because that new situation is deemed worse, we are made to believe our original cause isn’t worthy.

      1. exactly! Any cause that helps at least one person should be “worthy”. I know that mass destruction (natural or otherwise) is awful and can ruin many lives…but I don’t think we shuld dismess anyone’s problems because a car crash can seem like a tornado to one person if it turns their world topsy turvey.

    • Stephanie Scott on March 16, 2015 at 4:31 pm
    • Reply

    My grandma was the most grateful person ever. When my mom and her sisters complained about having to do dishes (in a time when kids were the dishwashers, not a machine), she would ask them, “aren’t you grateful you have dishes to eat on? And hot water to wash them?” Probably not initially, but she had that constant attitude to be grateful for each thing. Her homes were small, but she had a roof and a warm bed. She was the type that had 7 different non-related people call her Mom.

    That sort of attitude sticks with me when I find myself feeling ungrateful. Though even today I was somewhat lamenting that I’ve been in the same condo for 9 years, a place we figured we’d stay 3-5, but we bought right before the economy went to crap. We’ve been responsible with our mortgage, but because of where we live, and previous inflated prices lalalala, we are underwater. We can’t move and this sucks. And yet, we have place to live. It’s not a dump, and we can manage.

    I think we should allow ourselves to feel bad or annoyed or grumpy if we have to. But perspective matters, and finding it is usually better for everyone in our lives (lest we be stuck with whining family members) 🙂

    • Rachel Thompson on March 16, 2015 at 4:33 pm
    • Reply

    When they were young, all that must of happened with my kids and worse, I was a signal parent. But you know what, I can’t remember the loneliness and desperation. My mind’s eye only sees the good times when I look back. My kids only remember the good I did for them and not me pulling out my hair. “This too shall pass.”

    • Diane Burton on March 16, 2015 at 4:33 pm
    • Reply

    Come here, sweetie, and let me give you a hug. There, there. Feel better?

  14. Thank you, Kristen, for sharing your vulnerability — and helping us see that 1) humor always helps, 2) you have good reason to cry, even if nobody has cancer.

    Speaking of which, my first world problem is that I did lose my husband, my great love, six years ago to cancer. Before that, I lost my two daughters for almost a decade to a religious hijacking. Very grateful that I got my daughters back…but not the husband. It’s pretty hard to cry about most anything after those events, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have deeply distressing feelings at times. I just let them roll through me and understand any tears are just part of being human. No matter if we’re first or third, all of our feelings help us know we’re alive.

    The firebombing by the blood of the lamb my daughters endured has been turned into my first book, and I’m now working on another called A Blue Moon Phase of the Heart to chronicle the loss of love and how you carry on.

    P.S. Thanks for allowing us to re-blog.

  15. My prediction: Eventually, life’s arms get tired, you’re still standing, and it walks away to pummel someone else. Life is a wuss that way.

  16. Oh fantastic! I was a single parent for many years and… it is the absolute toughest job in the world. Sickness comes to us all at one time or other. Go ahead and whine. You deserve it… just not too long… you know you got laundry to do!

    Love your articles.

  17. Reblogged this on Swamp Sass and commented: I linked to this. I love your blog. Yours is one I always… always read!

    • habisha on March 16, 2015 at 4:52 pm
    • Reply

    Oof, what a week you had! Very glad you are feeling better. And it takes some time after an illness to feel like crawling under that great pile of horrible laundry and sleeping. Be gentle with yourself and accept this cup of tea.

    My first world problem is having fibromyalgia and osteoarthritis, as well as two collapsed discs in my lower back, all at the same time. There are days it is difficult to stand, sit, or lie down, let alone walk. But I absolutely refuse to let it beat me. It may knock me down (a lot) but it won’t ever beat me. As you said, other people CAN’T walk. Doesn’t mean my pain isn’t legitimate, just that it could be worse. Honestly hope it doesn’t get worse. I have enough trouble now. But today is sunny and relatively warm after a huge Pacific storm yesterday. Sun is good.

    Hugs to you. I promise the laundry will get done and the carpet and eventually it will all be okay. Right now is just the pits. Hang in there.

    1. Thank you. You guys always, always make me feel better ((HUGS))

  18. It’s a sign of maturity when you can step outside your situation and see it for what it is and in proportion. Great. So – dammit – why can’t we just walk out of it altogether? So feel for you Kristen. Been there. I am grateful every day for a husband who loves me (although I make it hard), children who are healthy, happy, intelligent and hardworking (even though they fight like rabid mink), a roof over our heads, food on the table and a story in my head and halfway written. Pollyanna is a very great character and her life lessons (which you exhibit beautifully) are not always understood. Sending you strength and compassion from the UK. And a commiserating stroke to Odin (we neutered our guinea pigs last week: much more difficult than cats – especially when the wounds become infected afterwards. Squirting antibiotic down a guinea-pigs throat is… well… it’s an experience)

  19. I’ve had my share of pity parties.

  20. You had a bad week; so I will share a secret. When the mother of my children pulled out of the yard some twenty five years ago, and took my life and my two boys some 3000 miles away, all else became “not a close second.” I learned a number of lessons, among them that I have no control over anything.
    Yes, the stupid stuff comes and goes – I believe they come in threes. And while you are going through them they make the rest of the world look so pleased with itself that you want to puke.

    It’s all okay. We need to get back to the routine, and realize it was merely “our turn.”

    Does not mean we have to like it. I firmly believe we should form a group and call it “wana”.

    What do you think?

  21. Well, you can always perkily chirp “We need the bad times to appreciate the good ones!” (Be sure to duck, though…Mary Sunshine can be a tad irritating. Hope the kid is better – nothing’s worse…unless it’s a male cat determined to get out or get even.
    It’ll all et straightened out eventually, take your time – maybe a little sunshine and fresh air if possible – even if wrapped in a blanket in a sheltered spot – helps mind and body for all ages. (except the cat. Vet visit is the only help there…he won’t blame you. We always said that…)

  22. We call these “house that Jack built” days–when every step forward requires three steps back and a punt.


  24. You have a great reason to cry. Of course, I’m pre-menopausal and think a life insurance commercial is a good reason to cry, so you might not want to consult me as a final authority on this subject.
    We all have bad days. We need to have a safe place to vent. All of us are happy to be “that place” for you because you are constantly giving of yourself to help us up the writing ladder of success.
    We all know a chronic whiner when we meet them (and thereafter do our best to avoid them), and you are NOT that person.
    Now, I really don’t want to edit *whines* but I have a deadline.
    Chin up. A virtual hug here and prayers going Heavenward for the Lamb household.

  25. It’s a matter of scale. When I was in my twenties I thought that when a woman dumped me that I was living a tragic life. When I got married and had kids I worried about how we were going to make it financially. When I hit my fifties my sister got sick and died from ALS, and my wife became disabled. Now it takes a bit more to get me cranky and dramatic, but I don’t begrudge folks with a lower threshold. Everybody is just trying to make it through the day, and everybody is facing an obstacle course. I let myself blow off steam from time to time when I get overwhelmed, and then I remind myself to not take my operatic moment too seriously. I indulge in my drama, and then I look around and find something else to do with my time.

  26. My first world problem is having to clean. I hate doing the dishes. Then I remind myself I’m lucky to a) have dishes to clean b) a place to live never mind clean.

  27. You triggered two words: Norwegian and cat. I bought a neutered Norwegian forest cat about 14 years ago. Large, beautiful, and loving. He was perfectly happy being an indoor kitty in coyote infested California, But after the first time outdoors in England, he yowled all night long to go back out. Now he’s a happy indoor-outdoor kitty, even in the worst of English winter.

  28. *Hugs*

    I believe that we all need to complain and vent from time to time. When we feel like we need to cry, no matter what the reason, it’s because we’re emotionally upset with a situation we are dealing with. I think it’s all about balance. As long as we’re not doing this behavior constantly, then it’s okay. Feeling upset all the time is a sign that something isn’t right.

    I know I feel frustrated and want to cry when I have technology issues. That’s my first world problem. If my computer crashes while I’m in the middle of a blog post that I didn’t get the chance to save, I get so upset!

      • Robyn Dadig on March 16, 2015 at 10:27 pm
      • Reply

      Oh yes! Crying and frustrated with technology problems!! That is SO me! And I feasted on the funny-sad blog and these wonderful responses!

      1. I’m glad you had so many responses that helped you. We can relate!

    • dkent on March 16, 2015 at 6:15 pm
    • Reply

    In 1981, I lost my dad, my maternal grandmother, an aunt, a close friend, two beloved dogs, and a cat. That year gave me perspective about the minor sh*tty things in life.

    • jeanmariebauhaus on March 16, 2015 at 6:16 pm
    • Reply

    One thing I’ve learned is that pressure is pressure and feels just as stressful no matter what’s causing it. It’s good to have perspective and count your blessings, but cut yourself some slack. An overwhelming amount of stuff to clean might not be as life-shattering as cancer, but it’s still really hard.

    Another thing I’ve learned: the concept of 20/10s. Get a timer, set it for 20 minutes, pick a section of your house to clean, and dive in. When time’s up, take a 10 minute break. Repeat until done. Or, repeat as often as you can each day until done. Nobody says you’ve gotta do it all in one day.

  29. The very good thing about your various disasters is that none of them is life-threatening so it doesn’t matter which one you start with – although the broken glass might be best – or even when you do them, measured not it minutes but in days.

    After all, pukey clothes won’t change much in a day or even three days; they’ll just get crusty. The gunk will still wash out just fine. Can’t stand the smell? Stuff them all into trash bags and set them on the back porch (or fire escape) until you get to them. Dirty carpet? Drop a paper towel over every disgusting spot (so nobody will step in it) and do it when you get to it, maybe next week. The important things are food, water, sleep, and clean hands and faces. All the rest will get done when it gets done. It’s just rat stomping: one at a time at no particular speed, until they’re eventually all dead.

    Chill. And laugh.

    1. THANK YOU. So much awesome advice. I knew going to you guys was smart 😀

  30. Oh no, poor babies! Throwing up is one of the things I hate most in life. How’s that for being a whiner? I’m such a baby about it, so I feel for you. Yay for hubby taking care of you. He’s a trooper. Some people can’t stand the small and they get sick on top of it all, so glad to hear he held up. Don’t you just feel like throwing all the dishes and dirty laundry away rather than deal with it. So tempting when we feel so lousy.

    Feel better soon, and stay better. Luck o’ the Irish be with you! Wear green for St. Patrick’s Day, but don’t feel green. 🙂

  31. Kristen, I know this exact problem, because I grew up with some really vicious critics in my life and tend to feel I have to “prove” that I am not lazy, weak, etc. Like, to the point that doctors say “Good Lord!” when they look at my infection/bloodwork/test results.
    I’m working on this. My personal guideline to distinguish whining from pain that I need to honor and accomodate, is this: “If someone I care deeply about told me about this problem, what would my response be?”
    Then I try to say those things to myself.
    Hope the cleaning goes quickly. Take it easy and don’t give yourself a relapse.

    1. Great idea! I like that! Thank you ((HUGS))

  32. Hugs, Kristen!! I am a single mom but I still feel your pain. We went through 2 bouts of this flu, plus the strep, and then something else I can’t even remember like within 2 months. It was awful and there were times I just wanted to chuck it all but like you said, there comes a point when you just realize things are so much worse elsewhere and to get on with fixing things the best you can.

    • Melissa Keaster on March 16, 2015 at 7:58 pm
    • Reply

    Hmmm….as a 30 year old mother of two with a devastating, chronic illness which keeps me mostly home-bound, I feel for you. Stomach bugs make me pray for death. No joke. I was stuck in bed yesterday, unable to eat with a 101 temp, so I’m with you. The effort it takes to get back to life after just one day in bed is monumental. And hey, I’m married to Superman. The dude cooked, did dishes, washed laundry, took care of kids. Seriously, why is today so hard? It shouldn’t be. And yet… Vulnerability is undervalued in our culture. Why shouldn’t we share our troubles? What is wrong with us that we are afraid to give and receive compassion? Why do we think compassion is the same thing as pity? Sometimes a hug, a word of encouragement, or a smile is needed. Jesus is the One who keeps me steady, but where would I be without my friends who pray and let me know they haven’t forgotten me though I’m stuck at home and feel my losses too keenly to enjoy Facebook? Solidarity–it’s needed. So from me to you: hang in there. It will get better, which you know. I’ll think of you as I recover from my last bad bout, and say a prayer for you.

  33. Pain is pain. The way I feel pain is different from the way another person feels pain. Getting even slightly sick with a cold or fever (like I am now) still knocks us for a loop. When we start comparing our problems to others and saying, “We don’t have cancer like they do, therefore, I should not be complaining when I throw up,” we seal ourselves off from letting others help us. We say, “I’m fine because I’m not having the same problems, therefore, I shouldn’t cry,” we actually prevent ourselves from feeling better by releasing our feelings. This topic is similar to the topic of comparing our beauty or our personality or our worth to others. Saying our pain isn’t worth it is just as destructive as saying, “I’m not worth it because I’m not as pretty as her.”

    Outside of that philosophical paragraph, I’d say that your description of everything going on definitely does not sound like a fun day! It’s much easier to break down when many small things add up, because it seems like they just keep coming and they’re unexpected, and my guess is that many times, our “first-world complaints” come about because they’re added on to some real concerns.

    My example of this took place tonight. I was trying to take a picture of the sunset showing in my side mirror of my car (I was stopped!). The picture never turned out right, and I became upset. “Stupid phone!” I kept saying, even though it’s an advanced smartphone, one of the latest models. “I need a real camera!” and I threw my phone on the seat next to me to drive on.

    On the surface, if I stopped there, that would sound terrible. “First world problems,” someone would hashtag and scoff. However, the back story is that I have been sick since Saturday morning, and my voice started going out tonight so that I had to cancel a much-needed substitute teaching job for the morning. I also have had camera problems, and as a photographer who is working to sell some of my best work, as well as curate more excellent photos, that has been incredibly frustrating. So all of these thoughts about being sick and just wanting something to go right, as well as seeing the possibility for a new photo to sell go down the drain when my phone wouldn’t capture the scene right (and I KNEW a quality camera would) just added up to frustration with my phone.

    I hope this week goes better for you. Cheers!

    1. What a great comment and perspective! THANK YOU!

  34. What do you do when you need to whine? WHINE! Not horribly, because it’s not cancer, but that doesn’t mean our own problems can’t be hard to deal with. Sometimes we just hit the breaking point, and while it may not be life-changing, it’s still difficult. And that’s what friends are for – to listen and to give hugs when we need them. So here’s a hug!

    Also, it sounds like you’ve got an AWESOME husband (and I do, too). But: “Hubby now knows why you don’t buy red Gatorade for a sick kid” — ewwwww. Just ewww.

    I hope you have a much better day tomorrow and that the mound of laundry diminishes soon. And if not, give another shout out!

  35. Omg this post sounds way more like second world problems , at least ! Seriously, I’m sorry. I know the whole “in the grand scheme of things” but still. So much vomit, ew. Hope you’re all on the mend over there.

  36. It happens. Life gets the better of us and it’s OK to have a moment of weakness. I’ve been so unaccountably depressed these past two weeks that last Monday I came home and my partner just gave me a look of sympathy. just a LOOK and I completely broke down into tears. Nothing to be ashamed of.

    And neither is not wanting to clean after you’ve had a horrible week. My house always looks like a hobo squatter’s camp after I’ve been sick: tissue and trash everywhere, laundry strewn about in places where it shouldn’t be, not a clean dish in the cupboard, roving bands of semi-sentient mold colonies, etc. You’re not alone. 😉

  37. Reblogged this on ugiridharaprasad.

  38. No worries, your core issue may be your syllabic tendencies, and their grouping. Even before you said, never name an animal Odin, I was thinking, I would never name a cat Odin. Spawn surely has to be a pet name, but whatever. I loved seeing Hyperbole on your blog; I miss that sooooo much. Well they are good first world problems; mine was husband turns 80, sick, sick, sick, shakes, spasms, plays in Alzheimer land a lot, dies November 19; I was there; good part; we tucked him in in the most joyous ceremony ever, with all friends representing the oneness of mankind. Landlord’s car burned, taking mine with it. Totaled. I mention to doctor I forget things. Of course I am in a first world muddle with a rental which terrifies me because of its gadgets; preparing to move to the sidewalk, but now in friend’s house, got Cat scan for brain and took 2 hour required testing; bumped someone at Target, and am getting all manner of emails and snail mails telling me in crisp first world terms “it’s your fault.” So I found your blog notice heavenly. My husband and I lived in Ukraine and Belarus 1990-1993 – got used to water on, water off, buckets on the floor, food deficits, I could go on, but I won’t because I love the people. Trust me, we are becoming a third world nation; don’t worry about the level of your issues; Guess we’ll have issues no matter what; best to you!

  39. Thanks for sharing. Hugs. My first reaction was one of joy (how odd is that?). I haven’t been feeling well for some time after having the awful stomach flu. Reading your story made me laugh! I completely felt your pain and despair and heard all the whining I’d done in your words! It made me smile. You are not alone and you reminded me that I am not alone. It was a wonderful moment. Many before me have made some wonderful suggestions, including using a timer. I firmly believe if you need to vent, do so. Of course, writing so eloquently about it is great, too!

    My first world issue happened: I lost my wonderful husband 12 years ago. I was totally unprepared for it and the loss hit me hard. Almost worse, within two years after his death, I was diagnosed with a plethora of health issues, a couple quite daunting, especially without him to help and console me. After one particular, life-changing diagnosis, I found myself whining and complaining all the time and could not right myself. Of course, I tried the usual, telling myself I had it better that some and it wasn’t cancer, and there were things that could lessen the pain, effects, etc., but still I was miserable. I still struggle, but most days I keep trying to live life in a way that makes me happiest.

    Here’s to a better week and fun with son and cat and of course, your wonderful hubby! Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Blessings.

    • Tasha on March 16, 2015 at 11:47 pm
    • Reply

    So at one point me being the animal lover that I am (this is while i lived in kansas). One night there was a horrible snow storm (snow up to my shins) and I heard a cat outside mewling and crying so me being the good person i am went and rescued that cat knowing if it stayed outside that the winter would harm it… After about a month of having Him (the un-nuetered male cat, oh gawd help me) in my house he decided to run upstairs to my bedroom come jump on me and put his face in mine and whine and cry and meow until he woke me up (i was not a happy camper at 2 in the morning) so i got up out of bed and followed him downstairs… and where does he happen to run to? right to my front door putting his paws on the door and staring at me and crying… i say “No you can’t go outside” of course to him that is the WRONG answer and he continues to cry until i let him outside…. less then a week later he was at my front door crying to be let in… every month (sometimes every 6 weeks) he demanded that i let him outside, he would of course come back in until the last time i let him outside and he never came back i was sad 🙁 i missed him torturing me by waking me up at 2 in the morning

  40. Dear Author:

    Thank you for your recent submission.

    However, your story idea of a recently neutered cat, various plagues, and the helpful but not too helpful husband character are good, but it needs a little more drive. Perhaps you could put your character in the middle of a hurricane, on a train on a ship that is sinking, while asteroids are threatening the earth. To make it topical, please include some “diversity” characters. With the current story, we are unsure what the conflict was (the dirty clothes and house, dishes?) and the story arc seems to suffer from that. Please revise and resubmit.

    No love,

    The Publishers

    1. Your post made me chuckle! A writer like Kristen can certainly appreciate your take on the situation. Thanks for the laugh. Hope it made her feel better, too.

  41. That’s a crap week, my friend. If I lived there, I’d totally have cleaned your kitchen and told you jokes. However, since I don’t, CALL ME. I’ll tell you the jokes while you clean. 🙂 {{Hugs}}

  42. I think it’s a wrong-headed idea, that you can’t “whine” if someone else has got it worse. By that logic, only the person who is suffering the most in the world at any given time is allowed to “whine” – the other seven billion gotta shuttup.
    Well, rubbish. If you’re having a hard time, you’re having a hard time, and sharing with friends helps. Anyway, I figure it doesn’t count as whingeing unless you refuse to do anything but complain, and you don’t seem to have that problem.
    Have you considered taking photos to remind yourself in days to come of how much you overcame? I had to clean up once when a person who shall remain nameless ALMOST made it to the toilet before throwing up – all over the toilet etc, including up the walls to about three feet. I took a photo before cleaning it up (all this in the middle of the night) but alas, the film didn’t develop properly and my evidence was lost.
    Speaking of photos, no doubt once he recovers the Spawn will be delighted to see how like a zombie he looks in your photo 🙂

    • Carrie Kwiatkowski on March 17, 2015 at 12:32 am
    • Reply

    I think one should entertain both viewpoints. It’s important to stay grounded and not let yourself get too worked up over seemingly insurmountable craptacular day(s). But then it’s also super important to own what and how you’re feeling. Yes, you can compare it to the worst scenarios and thank your lucky stars you don’t ‘have it that bad’, but you are denying your right to feel. That can only end in disaster over time…and in a prescription for anti-anxiety meds. Feel better soon!

  43. Hey dear! Days like that give you all the rigts you need to complain! Life isn´t always fair, rather rarely it is.
    I´ve been through this f***ing cancer thing for 1 and a half year. And I may say, bad hair days are common, and make you whine when your pony tail is crunchy (oh, thanks! I love that quote!!), but they can be even topped by “no-hair-days” with no pony tail at all… …
    But, lucky me!: here I am again: laughing, living, writing, and still whining sometimes over a simple bad hair day…
    Take that time for the whining. And then stand up, roll up your sleeves and start again.
    It´s worth it 🙂

  44. I hear ya. I have those days and yes, I try to tell myself that others have it much worse and I should be happy that I have the challenges that I have. It is true. I should. However, they still exist and I have to find a way to deal with them. Sometimes a pity party with a big helping of whine is what needs to happen to kick start me. Sometimes, I watch My 600 lb Life on TLC. Those people have hard, hard problems, but they are still first world problems. It feels good to cheer those people on and be really happy for them if the succeed or sad for them if they don’t. It may be a first world problem, but it is still a problem. I could go on, but I know you understand. Go kick some FWP!

  45. We all compare the most recent bad experiences with the several bad experiences a few times before that one. When I had a family member in intensive care 20 years ago, with blood poisoning, and who subsequently had multiple amputations, I developed a new saying: “if it’s not going to affect you in five year’s time, it doesn’t matter.” But as time goes by, and that experience fades, I find myself getting upset about things that don’t fit the “five year” rule. I have to keep remembering: “this is unpleasant, but in five year’s time, I won’t even remember it.”

  46. Sometimes I want to feel sorry for myself – sometimes I want to lie in my bed withf the covers over my head and just feel like crap on a stick because everything is just grey and sad. And when I am like that, I don’t want to think about gratitude – I don’t want someone pollyanna’ing me — I want to do what I have to do to deal, and to deal, I need to let myself have some feel sorry for me pity party time. But only for a little while, then it’s time to get up, and get to it, and then to feel that gratitude.

    We can’t stay on this “golly gee but life is great and I’m SOOO thankful for just every little doggone thang in my life no matter how terrible it feels right now – golly gee!” Because inside there’s a Mt. Vesuvius storm ready to erupt one day – when we don’t recognize those feelings and let some of them out. Sometimes, we’re just pissed off, too, but we can’t express the anger to the person or persons we are pissed off at, so it has to read as “whining feeling sorry for ourselves.”

    Before my books were published, when I’d receive a rejection letter, I’d allow myself two days to drink vodka, eat really bad for me food, and lie on the couch feeling sorry for myself – then, I’d get me arse up and get back to work. Worked for me!

    Own it, girl! 😀

  47. There’s perspective and perspective.
    Perspective #1. Today really sucks. This week really sucks. I’m allowed to feel that it sucks.
    Perspective #2. I really don’t have it as bad as so-and-so.

    I think we’re allowed to have both perspectives. The trick is to feel the first one, actually feel it. Acknowledge it, pray about it, ask for help for it. But the trick is to feel it so that you can let it go after. So that when perspective #2 shows up, we have already moved through our feelings and are prepared to put on our big person pants, and move forward. Bottling up our feelings because of guilt only makes the next time something little happens so much more catastrophic.

  48. Reblogged this on Wynwords's Weblog and commented:
    Love this blog! Check it out, my lovelies! Parenting while sick… yah, while it’s no joke, she’s hilarious and spot on!

  49. Loved it and reloaded to

  50. I always feel like if it’s one or two things I can handle it: whether they are overwhelming or just plain a pain in the ass. But when the problems pile up (even the “to-do” list) and it’s ONE THING AFTER THE FREAKING OTHER that’s when you find me curled up in the only clean corner of the house drinking wine right out of the bottle. The only way I’ve found to get through it is to just take one thing at a time. And wine. Wine helps everything.

  51. Yes, I understand your post completely. It’s not easy to keep that kind of perspective your’e talking about. Especially when you’re sick. I’m hoping you’re on the mend.
    I’m house-hunting now, and Florida really is the land of foreclosures, with piles of houses (that are just an inch away from being torn down) to choose from. And yes, dealing with the Realtors and the mortgage guy and scheduling all this is just not how I want to spend my day, but I have to put into perspective that, because of said foreclosure crisis, etc, so many people cannot buy these homes, but I can!
    The real whining is going to come when I have to pack all this and move into this yet-unknown-place. All I really want to be doing is writing!

  52. Randomly getting sick is a good reason to complain. I think obnoxious territory is more along the lines of that shampoo/conditioner picture you posted. Yes, others will always have something worse going on than you do, but that doesn’t invalidate how you feel about your situation.

    • Ms Hanson on March 17, 2015 at 11:25 am
    • Reply

    Years ago a friend I had not seen for awhile was in town and we got together for coffee. Unexpectedly (or not), I began to pour out my woes – days much like the one you described, lousy job, idiot boyfriend, etc. When she opened up, she told me she was living on her (unloving) sister’s sofa with no means of support, having fled an abusive husband in a different state. Asked why she would even lend an ear to my pitiful troubles, she said “We all have our problems. Don’t weigh them against others. Validate them, get them out, and don’t poo-poo them.” Despite her grave situation, she understood the human condition.

    I honor your Bad Day, knowing not every day will be like that.

    1. You guys are making me tear up. THANKS so MUCH! You guys always make me feel better and help me get perspective ((HUGS))

    • Gaines on March 17, 2015 at 11:56 am
    • Reply

    I am always amazed by your ability to take mundane subjects and make them entertaining, but you seem to shine even brighter when the chips are down.

    My first world problem is myself. I was having my own personal pity party last Friday because someone didn’t get back to me about a job they said they would call me about on Wednesday (they still haven’t and it is now Tuesday!). I was doubting myself, feeling worthless and cursing how people are unreliable. Then something just popped into my head

    “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;” Phil. 4:6

    I had instant peace and was a little ashamed of myself.

    Your problems were real and much bigger than mine (there are always more people willing to hire a freelancer). So, my suggestion, if you need a hug He is always there to give you one. Others may have bigger problems, but He cares about even the smallest.

    Anyway, it always helps me.


  53. You are totally allowed to whine once in awhile. It’s therapeutic to cry– it lubricates your eyes and your sinuses and keeps you from exploding all over the place when you have a build up of “Adult Bovine Guano.”

    I know what you mean. I am annoyed and sometimes get down when I can’t do stuff. It seems that there’s a mountain in my house, everything that should be getting done. The closet needs cleaned so I can put the clothes into it instead of using the upper rails of my bed as a closet. The towel closet needs the door put back on and everything in it rewashed because the cat (yep, Squeaks) has decided it is her bedroom. There’s papers and yuck in the office and the library (which used to be a dining room) is being used as a catch-all for everything from my mother-in-laws china that my sister-in-law sent to me because she had no room for it to the break-down bed that has three pieces of plywood plus headboard and foot board. And that’s in the way before you get to the piled up table. The two Shelties, Isis and Rhi Rhi, have been shedding and I need to vacuum again.

    But I have days when I have to look at it and remind myself that I don’t have enough spoons to get through the day without having to tackle those things.

    Oh, spoons? There’s a wonderful site by a lady who has Lupus and the Spoon Theory is how she describes the way those of us with autoimmune conditions deal with the day. It’s under .

    I have fibromyalgia and a form of MS. I have good days where I can tackle everything and I have days when I have to remember that there are only so many spoons for my day.

    I’m having one of those days today, and probably for the week. I was in Dallas this weekend for All-Con, a science fiction and media convention that was from Thursday to Sunday. I was an author guest and I did 5 one-hour panels over that weekend. Even with using the wheelchair and taking naps, I’m still way down on energy for this week and I have to take it easy until everything catches up.

    Be easy with yourself. Let yourself heal. Get over the sick before you tackle all the things you’re laying there listing. You’re wearing yourself out making the list of things you have to do and you double it when you get up and try to bull your way through it. No one will judge you if there’s stuff wrong around there. The sick kid stuff is icky enough (and germie enough) that you have to get it. The cat stuff will be there, let it get hard first. Or get the husband to do it. You have a compromised immune system and cats have nasty things you don’t need to breathe or touch.

    The rest? It will be there when you are better.

    And in big things, phone a friend. Ask for help. You’re not an island and there are people who are near you who would love to help out, if you just ask. And you can return the favor when she and her family come down with the 3-day zombie fever.

  54. First- I am so sorry! You def had legitimate crap going on girl- and yes- we all know someone somewhere that has it way worse- but I have to say I like all of you commenting people here- no judgement- nice dose of compassion and a kick in the arse- good people around you Kristen! And again- you never fail to make me smile and feel good to be human after all. 🙂

  55. I think a good cry over a sick kid, a cat trapped in the guest room, and spicy glass all over the kitchen HELPS! Go ahead and whine; that’s one of the reasons we are here. We love you.

    We are going through some battles in our family while a dear loved one divorces her husband. She has three kids, and is an eight-hour drive away. I’d quit my job so I could move near her, but my 88-year-old Mom with Alzheimer’s lives the same town with me and my husband, and can’t be moved. So we pray. And read about your junque, which makes us feel not so alone.

    Thank you.

  56. I personally think having a sick child puking around the house and being sick yourself and having to clean it all up and breaking things in the process are plenty good reasons to cry. But I’m a mother. I can picture it all too clearly. Been there.

    And frankly I’ve been to a lot of hard places that are not described as the First World and the people there have these problems too. At least the sick kid/sick parent ones. And it is always hard, You don’t have to live in a slum in Dhaka to have real problems. Yes, being sick with a small child (whether the child is sick or not actually) is a serious problem, if you don’t have a spouse, grandparents or extended family and friends around. I have been through a few days like that when my husband couldn’t be there and we had no other support network locally.

    But I have LOTS of tile in my house, so on the other hand, your problems are worse in lots of ways too.

    Good luck. It is okay to know things are hard.

  57. I recently took one of those silly online quizzes and it told me that I’m Loki. Go figure.

  58. Big hugs. Being sick is no fun. It’s especially no fun when both you and the child or children are sick. We’ve all been there. With me it was my 2 year old daughter, dubbed, The Girl. She vomited and had diarrhea multiple times. I ran through every crib sheet and blanket I had. Then all the towels, then my own bed’s sheets, then my own extra blankets. She kept whimpering, “I’m choking.” It’s OK to whine a little. Get it out of your system and then you’ll feel better about getting back to that marathon cleaning session. You’ll have a great story to tell in a few years when you can view it with some distance. And poor Odin. Give him a hug from all of us.

  59. Thanks for giving a shout out to single parents, because that’s what I am. My wife and I separated a year ago and we have a beautiful four-year-old son. I keep waiting for the day, and I know it will come, when I need to be responsible for him but am so sick I can’t even get out of bed. Fortunately, my ex- and I are very respectful toward each other when it comes to providing the best care for our boy, so I know everything will likely be fine. But the worry that I associate with having to be everything for him when he’s with me is akin to my current first-world problem. I hope you feel better, Kristen!

  60. I think it’s desperately unhealthy to negate all complaints with the idea of “But at least…” Sure, minor complaints can be a little silly – I hate doing paperwork but at least I have a job – but if you’re sick, you’ve injured yourself, or something is making you deeply unhappy then of course you have every right to complain, even if some people do have it worse than you. Otherwise if you just keep showing gratitude and accepting the problem you’ll never work up the impetus to change it.

  61. Hey Kristen! Firstly I am a BIG fan of positive thinking. I believe problems are exactly that but only if you let them become one. Everyone has the choice to let themselves get down about something however big or small. You are so right in saying that there will always be someone in this world far worse off than us. I try and let as much as I can go over my head. That’s not to say I don’t care, I just only care about the things I can change and do something about. You keep smiling! Don’t worry be happy! 🙂

  62. I complain way more than I probably should. Some common ones include complaining that my daughter WON’T. STOP. TALKING. or that my husband doesn’t appreciate anything I do (even though he totally does). But sometimes I feel completely justified in whining because I usually have at least one of those days every month where EVERYTHING just comes down on you at once. I’ll have a bad day at work – which, by the way, involves me being 3000 miles away from my family for 14 days straight – and my daughter will decide that’s the day she doesn’t want to talk to me when I call, and I’ll realize that I forgot a blog post, and my computer will crash, and I’ll get my period a few days early, and my phone will die because I forgot to plug it in, and my IBS will act up so bad that I don’t get any sleep, and etc. etc. etc. Any of these things by themselves is annoying, but for me they only seem to happen ALL AT ONCE. lol

    1. You don’t say. Now I know why my mum has one of those “volcano eruptions”, as my father calls it.

      1. Yeah, that description just about covers it. lol

  63. You’re so funny and entertaining! Loved the post!

  64. After reading your post, I’m going to try hard never to complain again. I don’t think I’d hold up as well as you have through the tribulations you’ve been dealing with.

    1. Same here.

  65. To make you feel better I would like to let you know I bought your book Rise of the Machines. I feel I know you personally after reading it. You are so sincere in the book and I think you are, or have had, a burn out. You seem to work too hard making everyone happy. Take it easy. Bad times come and go, and we end up laughing about it afterwards. I feel that people like you that are so used to doing a million things at a time feel lost when they don’t have the strenghth to go on because of a flu. You panick. We are no different from animals when they are injured and can’t move, they feel threatened and in danger. So it’s normal, I feel the same way when I get sick and fortunately it happens rarely. As soon as we feel better we quickly forget about our fears and get back to our daily routines. Nice post I’m happy you got everything off your chest, it helps at times.

  66. When do we have a reason to cry? Anytime we feel like it!

    • margaretpinard on March 19, 2015 at 10:17 am
    • Reply

    I second the Irma Bombeck-ish type book suggestion, Kristen! This is both hilarious and heartfelt, and you were still reeling with emotional backwash… thank you for the post, and the permission. 🙂

  67. It is okay to have a bad day. I know others in the world have problems that are far greater than my own, but sometimes, it is okay to sit down and let yourself cry. It is healthy and helps relieve some stress.
    It’s not okay to whine, but it is okay to be stressed and let yourself work through that stress. It helps you and nothing is wrong with that.

  68. Lost count how many FWPs exist in my life (Happens to people around me). People should really get off their sorry backsides and start caring about the other needy people in the world instead of worrying about their diet.

  69. With all that you definitely have a permission slip to whine. I think you are well overdue some incident-free time *hugs*. Apart from a crazy dog incident that I cannot talk about for shame for shame we’ve had it easy here. Touches lots of wood.

  70. You poor thing! I would feel the need to whine after all that myself. *hugs*

    If I feel the need to cry, I do. I think everyone should. Beyond that, I read about a theory of how to approach problems from a societal context that I feel works well. I wish I could remember what the article called the approach! Basically, you assess who needs sympathy most, and act accordingly.

    You’re home alone, sick. You get to whine all you want. You have a sick kid? You can whine all you want to yourself, but put your kid’s needs above your own and let them whine it out to you when they want. You should not whine to them because you’re the parent, and their need for sympathy is (should be) greater than yours. Outside of your home, you have a relative who’s dying of cancer? Well, you can whine at home all you want, but when you talk to them, put their needs first. Complaining of your sniffles to them is just crass. You have friends who are still healthy and living life up while you’re bedridden? They should be deferring to your need for sympathy and offering it, not whining to you about the scratch on their car while you’re puking every five minutes.

    You triage sympathy according to who needs it most. Nurses don’t complain about their aching feet to the mom giving birth, but might show little sympathy to the hypochondriac who is just sure he’s dying from the little cut on his finger. Our problems are our own, and we have every right to be upset about them, but we should remember everyone else has problems too. Writing this piece was a productive outlet for your concerns, so I say kudos to you for doing it. I hope you manage the mess soon!

    And remember, Odin may be a little upset from being locked in a room for days on end with no food, water, or facilities … show him a little sympathy too.

  71. Don’t mean to laugh at your expense, but this was hilarious! I was a single mom for 8 years and I’ve had my share of similar FWP’s but none topped the last 2 years for me. Two seizures, loss of hearing, diagnosis of lung disease (never smoked) and a pacemaker because my heart stopped 4x’s during the night! After a while I had to laugh, if I cried, might not stop. One thing I’ve learned is, crappy days (no pun intended) will come, but so will the sunshine. Hold on and things are bound to get better. Hope you and your family feels better.

  72. I’m glad you survived. Sometimes that’s the very best one can do.

    Whenever I have big, dark feelings about ANYTHING, I use the T-R-U-T-H Technique:

    T: Tell yourself the situation (e.g., “Everything’s gone haywire and I feel like crud”)
    R: Realize what you’re feeling (Put a word to it, e.g., “beleaguered”)
    U: Uncover self-criticism (e.g., “I’m being a whiner”)
    T: Try to understand yourself (e.g., “Of course I’m upset. This is hard.”)
    H: Have the feeling (I.e., let yourself experience it so it can move through you and out)

    Once you feel awful about something, it’s too late to choose a different emotion about it, like grateful or optimistic. We don’t get to choose our feelings. If we did, we’d feel joyous and invincible all the time, right?

    So how about we all let ourselves off the hook for a change, and just deal compassionately with the feelings we have?

    And by the way, just because someone else has cancer doesn’t mean your own pain doesn’t hurt like stink.

  73. Yeah, I’m feeling like I’m in a similar boat. Only, in ours it is cancer. We’re like, hey other people are in worse situations. We are still alive, breathing, and fighting. We aren’t in peril, no one is bleeding, we have plenty of blessings. We just solved a major issue! (Yay small victories!) But the news still hurts and being sad is okay. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how strong you are, life can be quite overwhelming sometimes. But, it does get better. 🙂 Good luck K!

  74. Reblogged this on Aloe Vera UK.

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