At dance class today, people were talking about their problems. One person said it was important to be kind, that everyone had a secret problem they were dealing with.
At that particular moment, I was feeling calm, at peace with the world, and fairly cool. (The coolness would wore off quite quickly — the air conditioner in the studio is broken, and it got up to about 103° today.) So said, “I don’t have any problems.”
They came back at me with a stern, “Everyone has problems,” and one woman reminded me that I still don’t have my car. (It’s been at the auto body shop for three months.)
I kept my mouth shut as I so often do now. I get tired of people shooting me down when I talk, so I figure it’s best not to say anything, but the truth is, I don’t have problems. At least not at the moment. I might not have my car, but I have a place to live, a refrigerator full of groceries I purchased, and rides to and from the dance studio. Despite the heat, I have the ability to walk within reasonable distances if I need to get to the store. And I have my computer available to blog or check with online folks.
Next week could be a different matter, but maybe not. A problem is defined as “a matter or situation regarded as unwelcome or harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome.” Synonyms are: difficulty, trouble, worry, complication, difficult situation; snag, hitch, drawback, stumbling block, obstacle, hurdle, hiccup, setback, catch; predicament, plight; misfortune, mishap, misadventure; dilemma, quandary.
The way I see it, my life right now is an adventure, and I welcome whatever comes my way. I might not particularly like some of the interpersonal situations I find myself in, but the situations are fleeting and provide me with lessons and challenges. (I tend to brood when people treat me with less than the consideration I feel I deserve, and brooding is such an unattractive response that I would like to overcome that tendency. But even that is not a problem. Just a character trait I don’t admire.)
I’m learning to live in the moment, and not many problems can be contained in any particular moment. Worry is for tomorrow, and tomorrow can take care of itself. As the saying goes, “tomorrow never comes.” Because when today’s tomorrow gets here, it will be tomorrow’s today.
I have no idea how long I can continue this attitude. When problems do show up on my doorstep (assuming I have a doorstep), I’ll deal with them then. For now, I am lucky. I have no problems.
Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Connect with Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.