Saturday, August 20, 2011

My Problems are Not Problems

Friday marked my last Friday off of the summer. We had errands on this day's agenda, starting with an appointment to get our main sewer line cleaned, a task we do every year to prevent problems.

We may have problems anyway, though, in that the sewer pipes are separating and may eventually break. We've seen it happen up and down the street, invariably in the middle of winter when the ground is frozen. Neighbor after neighbor has had their lawn excavated, new pipes lain and had to re-seed or sod. It seems bound to happen in an old neighborhood like ours. We could prevent this by re-lining the pipe, basically creating a new pipeline inside the old pipeline. (There's more to this, but that's the basic idea.)

Estimated cost? $11,000.


Later in the afternoon I took the girls to get their back-to-school haircuts. The stylist got halfway through Lindsey's cut and called me over.

"She has lice," she says quietly. "I can finish the cut, but if her sister has lice too I can't cut her hair."

Sure enough, Marissa's got nits, too.

Awesome. Weren't we just through this?

I posted something on Facebook about this, and how the news of this day was bumming me out. A few people commented in sympathy. And then I thought about my other friends on Facebook who would be reading this.

My friend Anita, who is still recovering from a brain injury after a bicycle/car accident that happened seven weeks ago.

My friend and former neighbor whose 6-year-old daughter is in the midst of difficult treatments to battle her cancer back in remission. She first had leukemia at age 3, when they lived down the street from us and Marissa and Annika were playmates. She is now six and will not be starting 1st grade along with her friends, as she will be too sick to attend. Treatment this time around is more difficult, because at age 6 she knows more of what's going on and resists the pokes and prods, and the treatment is stronger and harder on her body.

My dad, who is home again recovering from major abdominal surgery to remove colon cancer. He was home for a while but then was in so much pain he ended up back in the hospital, and only recently came back home.

My problems are not problems. They are insignificant hiccups in my life, compared to the challenges that others are facing.

While I am thinking about and praying for my friends' and family member's situations to improve, I will also remember to be grateful for what I have.

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