It's easy for me to get down about things. I'm in the middle of several problems at my job including one in which the school system is charging me a quarter per page for copies of a 147-page document. It's tough not to read that as snotty and mean. Maybe it's standard policy, but it's no way to treat people. My younger daughter has a nasty cold that's in her lungs now and which hasn't much responded to antibiotics. My older daughter is disappointed with her swimming at the last couple meets and befuddled by what's going on. I don't have solutions and struggle with not being able to fix things. It all brings me down.
Then I got a couple emails.
One was from a friend with whom I haven't spoken in years. We grew apart and he and his family moved away. Things just kind of fizzled. He sent a note catching me up and reading it I saw that he has had a more difficult time of things than I have, by far. As I read, I kept wondering, how do I respond to this when my life is so good? I don't want to be an ass and rub my blessings in anyone's face, but I keep being blessed and both his email and my response to it left me in wonder at how well things are going.
The second email was from another friend who lives with his wife in a country violently coming apart. I've been concerned for their safety and am relieved that they are preparing to move to Syracuse, but his wife's family, who are from that country, will remain behind in the midst of all that violence. I can't imagine having to leave my family behind like that, but there are few good choices. He asked if I could look at an apartment here in town for them. I not only had the time to do that, it was easy and showed me again how good I have it.
My daughter has a cold, my other daughter swam a fraction of a second slower than last week, management is miserly and punishing, but none of these things are overwhelming. We will take one girl to the doctor, tell the other to relax and just swim with joy, and I'll play $36.75 for copies and live to fight another day.
The problems aren't the takeaway from all this. It's the blessings that become clearer with each passing moment, too many of them to count.