Monday, April 22, 2013

A little lupus perspective: life isn't all that bad

Last week was a tough one. Everything seemed to go wrong. Nothing went my way. And I was mad about it. Let me set the stage for my little pity party:

On the Homefront: The washer in our rental house went kaput a week earlier. We replaced it temporarily with our magnificent 2 1/2 year old washer which was sitting in storage. The water filter cracked somewhere along the way (in transit or when the guy was hooking up the valves), and it fried the motherboard, rendering it financially irreparable. Thus, we've been without a washing machine for over two weeks, AND we ruined our fabulous washer. Ugh.

In Renovation news: I learned that our cabinets are running behind schedule, potentially pushing our move-in date by a month, our choices of specialty paint colors are going to cause extra fees, and the roof of our carport has to be rebuilt. Double ugh.

In the land of Pillbags: My back-up manufacturer promised to deliver a slew of Pillbags to supplement my dwindling inventory (which is, in fact, a good thing!), but he didn't come through. After a week of difficult conversations, begging, and pleading (some of which took place during my sacred nap hours of 2-4pm),  the bags still aren't here. Triple Ugh.

Add to that some back and forth with my attorneys regarding my patents, hauling my laundry back and forth from my sister's, and the normal shenanigans the girls threw at me, and by the end of the week, I was toast. I'd reached my limit of things that weren't going my way, and I was feeling sorry for myself.

So late Friday afternoon, at 4:30pm, I found myself on the phone with my manufacturer. I was simply calling to confirm that my overdue Pillbags were going to ship that evening, but based upon the length of time I'd been on hold, I was sure things weren't going as planned. As frustration gave way to anger, I decided to distract myself. While I listened to "hold" music in the background, I picked up a book from my bedside table. (In the small rental house, my "desk" is my bed...which is another reason the cabinet delay is upsetting.) The book, "Little Princes", is my book club's choice for this month. It's a wonderful story, about a guy who stops in Nepal along a trip around the world, realizes there's a need for intervention in the world of child trafficking, and decides to return to Nepal to open up a children's home. A fabulous story, with a great ending, but not without heart-wrenching stories in between. I was in the middle of one of those stories when I picked up the book. In the midst of the week-long pity party going on in my mind, here's what I read:

***
(Note: The author, Conor, has just walked into a room of a "house" where trafficked children are being held, in deplorable living conditions.)

"It was dark. A moldy smell washed over us as we stepped carefully inside...At first it looked to be an empty room. Then shapes began to distinguish themselves...a shape appeared, dimly lit by the light from the doorway. It was a child. He must have been seven or eight years old, but he was dangerously thin and clutching a handful of rice...soon more children were coming out, boys and girls. Most were bald, their heads clumsily shaven to banish lice. There were more than thirty of them."

(The author has come to this house in search of seven children in particular, who have recently disappeared. When it's confirmed that none of those seven are in this house, the guide he's with, Gyan, a Nepalese government advocate for trafficked children, declares that they must leave. Here's the conversation:

Conor: "Wait! What about these - are you just going to leave these kids here? They're starving!"
Gyan: "I can see that, Conor sir. What would you like me to do?"
Conor: "Take them with us, put them in a home!"
Gyan: "Which home, Conor sir? Your home?"
Conor: "I don't have a home yet, Gyan, you know that. I mean a government home."
Gyan: "We do not have a home, either, Conor sir, not one with room. Nobody has homes for these children...I know this is difficult. This is not like your country. We do not have solutions as you do."
Conor: "So we are going to leave them here...with so little food, living in a hole?
Gyan: "This is Nepal, Conor, sir. There are thousands of children like this. But now we must continue to search for your seven children. We cannot give up, no?"
Conor: "No, we cannot give them up."
Gyan: "Then we must go. I hope I may come back for them. But this woman ["in charge" of the children] knows I am watching her. She will not let them expire. This visit has scared her. The children will eat better tonight."

The author then writes: "Leaving that house was one of the most difficult things I'd ever had to do in my life."
***

So...you can imagine how my pity party, along with the anger and frustration I was about to unleash on my manufacturer, dissolved after I read that selection. As if my issues with pillbags, washing machines, and paint colors weren't insignificant already, with a little perspective, they seemed absolutely ridiculous.

I read a few more sentences, and then my manufacturer returned to the line. As expected, he hadn't been able to finish the bags, and nothing was scheduled to ship that night. I was disappointed, yes. But was I angry? Irrational? Was I going to really let him have it? No. In comparison, my issues were manageable. This wasn't an issue of life and death. This was business. And at that moment, I was thankful that I even had business to conduct.

As I go about my affairs this week, I hope I can remember to keep my blessings at the forefront...for I truly am blessed, lupus and all.





8 comments:

  1. thinking of you sg - loved this entry and LOVE YOU! xoxo

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  2. So true!! Great job putting it all into perspective. And that book IS amazing, especially that gripping passage.

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    1. So glad we read this one-- thanks for commenting!

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  3. OMG! Sara! I hope I didn't add to the stress of the awful week! Mom loved her Pillfold, and I cannot wait to gift my mother-in-law hers. I am already using mine! You are a pillar of strength!

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  4. Andi - On the contrary! It was a pleasure doing business with you - and I'm so glad you and your mom love the Pillbags. Here's to having your Mother's Day gifts all squared away! thanks again - SG

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  5. My girlfriend has been having a difficult week as well, so I am thinking about passing along this message to her. Her parents are in a really rough area right now, and as it usually goes, this has been having a really negative impact on her and her sister. I'll pass this along to her and tell her about the book as well. Thanks for sharing Sara!

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  6. Oh, what a drain emotional stress can be! i hope she's able to find a way to distance herself...easier said than done, i know. thanks for sharing!

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