Every now and then, the stress of planning and paying for our wedding really overwhelms me, and I’m literally gasping with panic and rocking back and forth like a traumatized 5-year old. The weight of everything – work, wedding, life – comes crashing down at once. I’m fortunate that I have my BFE, who is very good and helping pull me up and save me from drowning.
One of those moments happened a few days ago – complaints about how extravagant our wedding was, stress about working too much, not seeing each other enough in our waking hours – it was all too much to bear. I was sad and worried. and was up rather late worrying about all my problems.
The next day, I went into work, still stressed out and now tired from a night of minimal sleep, and beaten from thinking too much about it all, I found myself pouring out my mess to a co-worker. Without even expecting it, I got a little perspective.
My coworker has been married for over 20 years, and for several of the last few years his wife has been living and working in another state. Not a commuter deal, literally two different households, two different states, no, two different REGIONS of the country. They sometimes go weeks and months without seeing each other because the price of travel is so cost-prohibitive, but they make it work. And while I’m bummed about BFE’s schedule for the next 6 months, that he’s working too hard, or we don’t see each other as much as I’d like, well this dude’s going to be living several states away from his wife for at least another year.
It was a cold slap to the face, and a reminder of all my blessings. I felt a bit spoiled and a bit “first world problems”-ish.
I can’t say I won’t get fussed about those issues anymore, but I know that I’ll be counting my blessings a lot faster than racking up my woes.
And just when I thought my heart couldn’t take any more… I went to the Chick-Fil-A today.
I know. Not that big of a deal. I got my usual, and as I turned from the counter, I saw this big group of military folks, lining up for their lunch.
I tried not to stare, but I always find them so interesting. As I’m grabbing my packets of ketchup and napkins, I hear people murmuring to the soldiers, “thank you for serving”.
“Thank you for serving”. I starting to really think about what that means. Standing in the presence of people whose job it is to protect our country gives you perspective too.
My friend and I sit and eat, and it just so happens that the soldiers all sit in our section. AS we’re talking, my gaze kept turning to them, watching them eat like… like normal people. Seriously, I know I sound crazy, but I find them all so fascinating.
All of my sneak creeping on the military peeps meant that I saw the two Chick Fil A people approach with a big tray. They thanked them all for their service to our country, and gave them free ice cream. It was nothing huge, but it felt like a big gesture. I felt warm all over.
All week I’ve been working with a client whose job is computer investigation, like the folks that weed out child pornography, search computers of criminals, and keep cyberspace safe. From these guys I learned how frightening and disturbing a place can be, as well as the people in it. Seeing these Chick Fil A folks say thank you, and hearing random patrons do the same really warmed my heart.
How easy it is to get sidetracked from the things that matter! Grateful for perspective and restored faith.