Validate Me

05 Jan
Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California

Image by George Eastman House via Flickr

Am I just that self-centered

I’m living my happily ever after. Married to man I love, we have the most beautiful child together, every morning I wake happy, and content.

I have a job I enjoy immensely and no major financial concerns. We’re all in good health, and have everything we need, and can even throw in a treat here and there.

But sometimes at night, I’m not as contented as when I woke up. I’m tired, there’s too much prepping, the baby is kvetchy, I’m not in the mood of washing dishes, my sister is annoying me, I stubbed my toe…the list goes on and every night there is probably one small thing that I have to complain about before the day is done.

But when I try to voice myself, the world stops me. Appreciate that you have a husband, a husband who you love, and he loves you. Appreciate that you have a child, do you know how many people are suffering from infertility?! Be happy that you have dishes to wash, do you know how many girls get married with nothing. Appreciate that you have a job; you know how many people are dying for your position. Appreciate that you have family who care about you, do you know how many people are in fights with their family, or don’t have….and on and, nullifying every complaint by the knowledge that someone has it worse. It’s “Children are starving in Africa” all over again.

I don’t know about you, but I never went for the guilt inspiration. Where being told a story of someone living in misery is supposed to make me a better person. Yes, I recognize that my life is good, and that I’m blessed, but sometimes I don’t have it all together, or mostly together, but not all the way. Why does my life have to be falling apart? Why do I have to be suffering from a heart-wrenching situation to be validated, to express and experience the full range of my emotions? What about me, being a regular person, living a good life, why can’t I suffer in my own small ways?

Or then again, am I that self-centered.


Posted by on January 5, 2011 in Musings


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4 responses to “Validate Me

  1. Sun inside Rain

    January 5, 2011 at 12:06 pm

    I totally get you. It irks me too, and I don’t have a perfect life. That’s why I let my friends complain about their infant’s sleepless nights and earaches and financial trouble. I always hated the line about appreciating what you do have. It doesn’t make the pain go away!

  2. AM Inspiration

    January 5, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    It does put in perspective, but at the same time we do have our own troubles and our own pain that does hurt and our own annoyances that make our lives less than yes..feel are entitled to complain and you are entitled to be frustrated..

  3. Princess Lea

    January 5, 2011 at 1:48 pm

    I happen to go for the “starving children in India” perspective. There is a concept of one who opens their mouth to complain and Hashem says “Oh, really?” (any story from the midbar will do as a reference).

    I don’t think of it as being about guilt. It’s “Hey, I’ve got enough to eat, I’ve got my health, I’ve got a warm cozy home, what could I have to complain about? Everything is a mild inconvenience by comparison.”

    The small blahs of life is what makes it what it is. It’s not supposed to go perfectly smoothly. One can have those thoughts to themselves, but it does not necessarily have to be said.

    Of course washing the dishes are a drag. Duh. But a rare few is above that drag. All mothers are up at night at one point or another. Washing those pots and staying up at night – that’s your tafkid (not my quote). They go along with the job description of wife and mother. You are allowed to shoin your chapped hands and lack of sleep – but still keep things prioritized.

  4. harryer than them all

    January 13, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    I dont know if its self-centered. I believe its normal, in the sense that you do not need to be happy based off other people having it worse off. You base your happiness on your own internal measuring stick and not off starving people in Africa.

    In fact I may argue this is a healthier level than those who look at others. Your ability to be aware of your own satisfaction in life helps you evaluate where you are.

    Another train of thought: women in general tie their job-satisfaction and life-satisfaction closely together. If they are happy in life, they are happy on the job and vice versa, whereas men are able to compartmentalize this area better.


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