The other day I was getting a pedicure, my appointment was at 11:00am. Well, there was a mix-up at the school (I went to a beauty school because getting a pedicure there is much cheaper and just as good) and I didn’t get seen until 11:30am.
I had planned on walking out of the school at 12pm, and my time limits hadn’t changed so I didn’t have time for her to paint my toenails. The technician apologized profusely and I told her it wasn’t a big deal, I would just come back and she said, “I wish more people had the same attitude as you do.” And that got me to thinking, why would this upset someone?
One of the benefits of travel is getting to see how other people live. I’ve traveled to countries where people didn’t have running water, where kids didn’t have enough to eat, and parents had to make decisions such as whether to pay their light bill or buy their child a pair of shoes. I think when you see people in these situations and know the type of life they have, it helps you to appreciate all that you take for granted.
For instance, when you get sick and need to stay home, don’t you have a comfortable bed or couch where you can rest? Don’t you have electricity and running water so when you need to get up and go to the restroom you have the luxury of sitting on a toilet and flushing?
There are millions of people around the world that can’t do that. And even when we are going through real problems like cancer, death, depression and things like these, we can still deal with these problems in comfort.
If you don’t feel like cooking you can order food and have it delivered. If you have a headache you can go to the store and buy medicine. If you don’t have any money you can go to the bank, ask a friend, or use a credit card. I don’t know anyone that has ever come home from work and had to pump their water from a well, light candles to be able to see, or sleep on the floor of their shanty home.
I think because I have seen what real stress can look like without the comforts of all that I take for granted, it has helped me to not take things so seriously, especially things that aren’t really important. Not getting my toenails painted is so not a big deal.
How many things go on in your daily life that may upset you but when you stop to think about it, the big issue you are having may really not be that big of a deal. Not to say that disease, death, anxiety, depression and things like that aren’t big deals. Of course they are.
I was flying back and forth to Los Angeles to take care of my cousin after her chemotherapy which was an extremely stressful time for all of us involved. But my cousin was able to lay in her soft bed, wrapped in her blankets, and she was as comfortable as she could be in her after-chemo state.
So many people around the world who suffer from all types of maladies don’t have the luxury or electricity, blankets, hot tea with lemon, or having someone rub their feet. I am in no way saying cancer is easy to handle. But I am saying that because we have so many things in our life that others see as complete and total luxury, it’s sometimes hard for us to realize that the life we are living is so pampered.
Traveling has made me understand that which in turn helps me not get upset when the little things go wrong. And many times, if we stop and think about it, it’s the little things that cause us so much unnecessary anxiety.