putting problems in perspective

image courtesy of ny daily news

i recently came across a quote by regina brett: “if we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.” this really stuck out to me – especially because i am the world’s biggest complainer, always forgetting that there are bigger problems than delayed flights, broken phones, and the entirety of my purse spilling into the rainy streets of the city.

i’ve been living here in new york with my dad’s best friend’s family. it’s been a hassle trying to live around them, and i feel like i’m always in their way even though they tell me i’m not a burden. through all my complaints about it, i forget how fortunate i am. their son suffers from a very rare genetic neurological condition, familial dysautonomia (fd). he has an insensitivity to pain, can’t produce his own tears, has unstable blood pressure and gastrointestinal dysmotility, along with many other setbacks. he was diagnosed at birth and his family has had to revolve their lifestyle around his needs for over seventeen years. they do everything in their power to help him lead as normal a life as possible; and they have done an extraordinary job in doing so. he has surpassed his life expectancy, has done things his doctors told his parents he would never be able to do, and has been accepted into a 5-day college program in boston. however, living with this family has made me realize how much i have to be thankful for and the excess of things i take for granted.

in the wise words of regina brett, “life isn’t tied in a bow, but it’s still a gift.” at the end of a bad day, remind yourself that it could be worse. i’ll admit, this is one of my biggest struggles… but let me tell you, once you realize that, it’s amazing all of the things you begin to appreciate.


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