"Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy"

Got one of those Messages from the Universe yesterday. You now what I mean? I mean when the FSM himself sends you a little course correction because you're verging on becoming a big jerk? (Okay, this might not happen to everyone. YOU are probably NOT on the verge of becoming a big spoiled baby but, well, point that finger right at me. And then give some props to the FSM, who showed me in a very real way that I was about to need a tattoo on my forehead that said VARSITY LOSER.)

See, I was in a terrible mood on Monday. Seriously terrible. My older daughter Ana was home sick, my husband was out of town, my house was a mess and I had the beginnings of a sore throat. I sent the following little sentiment to my good friend MadMad, "I’m just trying to do my six million loads of laundry without putting my head in the oven. Which is electric and therefore not so useful as in instrument of destruction, anyway. Plus, it needs cleaning so I’ll just feel guilty about that, especially considering it’s self cleaning and I ran the self cleaning cycle but just need to wipe it out."

I swear, I just waited the day out, eager for the chance to go to bed and start again. I did laundry. I knitted. I fed my kids and made them pick up the seven million Barbies they had taken out. I put everyone to bed, took the trashcan down the hill, fed the animals and crawled into bed, disgusted with myself for wasting a day on this good earth and for letting my optimism creep into the red zone.

Then, yesterday, my alarm went off and I wandered downstairs and made coffee and checked my e-mail. My husband had sent me a link to this clip from Conan O'Brien. I can't embed it here so you'll actually have to click on it. But please do because the whole rest of my blog post today has to do with it. Go on, you can do it. It's only four minutes and it's FUNNY. (It has a little bleeped out language and an inelegant sentiment expressed right at the end but you know, it's worth it. I would not steer you wrong.)

Click here.


Did you click? Did you laugh?

Y'all, I've been giggling ever since. For example, I went to reboot my laundry and found that I'd accidentally washed a packet of Gu that was in my husband's cycling jersey and it had exploded all over the wash. I was starting to stomp my tiny feet about my cute husband (who, hello, exercises hard so he STAYS cute) and how inconsiderate that he can't empty his pockets when it struck me how ridiculous I was being. I mean, what did I have to do now--go beat an entire load of clothes against rocks in the river to get them clean? Um, no. All I had to do was add some detergent and press a button. Whooooo...I'm suffering now.

So, then I tackled my kitchen. Dudes, I actually had to LOAD DISHES INTO THE DISHWASHER AND PRESS "ON." Honestly. the things I do in the name of good housekeeping.

It occurred to me that I had come down to a nicely warmed house, courtesy of my programmable thermostat which clicks on thirty minutes before my alarm goes off, and raises the temperature so that I don't even need SHOES. I never even think about that--I'm not splitting wood every day or shoveling coal to heat my house. Just pressing a button.

Everything is amazing and I'm such an INGRATE! I take medicine for an illness that would have killed me a hundred years ago (hypothyroidism.) I had two amazing children via c-section because I don't dilate --I would have died in childbirth a hundred years ago. I complain about driving to Queens to see my foot doctor when he's restored my mobility to me and it's not like I'm WALKING to his office or riding a horse or something.


Everything's amazing and I have totally lost my perspective!

So, all day yesterday, I spent being thankful for the many inventions and time saving devices and just flat out cool things that I am so privileged to have in my life. My mom had a successful hip replacement operation and I get to talk to her on the telephone. I received some books from Amazon.com --y'all, books were delivered to my doorstep! My kids took baths in lovely warm water that I didn't have to heat on the stove. I petted my Edward kitty, whom we only have because he has a micro-chip inside of him that led him back to us after a six week furlough. My kids and I did a video conference with my traveling husband across the Internet --got to see his face-- and it was FREE.

We live in the most amazing times. Everything is AMAZING!

And the thing about all this great stuff is that it doesn't take away from the small things that remain timeless sources of happiness--like the perfect stitch on a sock or the way my kids smell after their baths. It's awesomeness heaped on awesomeness.

Everything is AMAZING. And I, for one, am so grateful!

Comments

Karen ~ said…
YAY!!!!! I am smiling, feeling grateful, and NOTICING the blessings in my life - THANK YOU! I needed this today! Love the link :-)
Bullwinkle said…
Thanks, Barb. I needed that.

(O.k. inventions for training the kitten to use the litter box? Anyone? /sigh)
Lynn said…
I saw that link before and it's SOOO true!!!! The nightly news was showing a new robot to use in war instead of people and one of the soldiers kicked it. It never fell over and actually moved to keep its balance. The IO and I were completely amazed while the rugrats were like, ok. We're having Star Wars flashbacks and they are amazed it wasn't invented sooner.

Meanwhile I think you are allowed to have a bad day. You guys have been sick for a long time and you also have had to live with chronic pain.

and remember when Jane Jetson had an aching finger from working all day?!? It's the injury of the future!!!!
Kathy said…
Thank you! I laughed and laughed.
Mama Ava said…
When we got back to the States after 3 years in Tanzania we were ridiculously giddy over drinking water straight from the tap, and electricity all day every day (and night, too!), and water all day every day. And microwaves!

So with all of these conveniences, how come I am still so bleepin' busy?!
Mama Ava said…
When we got back to the States after 3 years in Tanzania we were ridiculously giddy over drinking water straight from the tap, and electricity all day every day (and night, too!), and water all day every day. And microwaves!

So with all of these conveniences, how come I am still so bleepin' busy?!
Carolyn said…
That was awesome!

I feel like that most days...but sometimes I forget! Thanks for the reminder :)
Kris said…
Thanks...that totally made my day.

Off to share with others and especially my teenage son who never seems to be happy these days.
Becca said…
OK the volume didn't work for me. That says it all about my mood right now. I think I am not ready to get out of my funk.
I'll try again later, I hope it works like you say...cause I NEED IT!!!
Becca said…
OK the volume worked the second time and I did laugh and I do feel a bit better. "You're in a chair in the SKY!!!"
My favorite line: "Is the speed of light too slow for you?"

Thanks for the laugh, Barb. Even if I am a non-contributing zero...
MadMad said…
Hahaha! That reminds me... the other day I caught myself complaining that I HATE it when the landscaper guys see the doggy day care bus pull up to the front door because it's so EMBARRASSING!

What a WHINER!
annabanana said…
heck yeah!!!! I LOVE that clip, I put it on my FB (did you ever come back to FB?) Thank you again, Barb...for funny wisdom!
Susan said…
Thanks for posting the clip - just great!
smalltownmom said…
Great post, and just what I needed after feeling a little too sorry for myself today.
ccr in MA said…
What a great way to look at it! I'll try to play along: 100 years ago, my cracked tooth would have gotten worse and worse until, well, who knows? Now, an hour in the chair and the temporary crown is on and I feel fine. Yay!
Beth in Seattle said…
Barb - I love you. This is just the smack on the side of the head taht I needed to read/see today.
calamityjane(t) said…
oh, barb-- thank you SO much! exactly what i needed!
Mary Ellen said…
So funny, and so true. There does seem to be a lot of whining over things we should be grateful for...

Let's hear it for being amazed!
Terrific post and the O'Brien clip was much appreciated.

But I still gotta whine a little bit. On my last trip back from NY, it finally happened, after years of flying, I was sat next to someone to big for the chair. It was a full flight, with no hope of being seated somewhere else (I discreetly asked about this). It was terribly awkward. I did want to ask the guy: "Dude, what's your plan B if it turns out the passenger next to you is as big as you? Push the third person out in the aisle? What?" So, yes, it's amazing we can fly! I just wish that big people were classified as eligible for larger seats.
kim said…
I really, really enjoyed this post. Not only did I listen to Louis CK, but I made Jim listen to it too. I can't tell you how often I mutter under my breath like an old curmudeon what a bunch of whining pains in the asses people have become -- present company excluded, of course! This is a nice reminder that we really do have it so great.
Ann in NJ said…
That was lovely. Just the right amount of kick in the head to make me say, "well, duh!" you're right, sometimes we lose perspective.
Mrs.Q said…
It totally made me giggle. As well as vindicating my dislike of flying. Dudes - you are IN THE SKY! What if someone forgets to pay the gravity bill?

(Also, I thought of it while texting the DH, on my way to work with a CD of downloaded podcasts, and an email full of corresponding PDF files...How did we ever manage back in the Dark Ages?)
My Year Without said…
I'm going to send that quote, "Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy" on to my husband who writes about this very topic. Actually, we talk about the irony of that statement a lot amongst ourselves. We aim to be happy whether things are amazing or not in our relative situation, and we have found what wizened old people have always said, that money truly does NOT buy happiness.
Well said, and the truth besides.
Grumpy Momma said…
I think about all those little things we take for granted a LOT. There are people in the world TODAY who don't have all the "hassles" we have with our modern conveniences. Currently my family falls below the (American) poverty line, and yet I recognize that we are still extraordinarily wealthy (indoor plumbing! electricity! a car! a multi-room home! multiple sets of clothes for EVERY family member!)

This is a great post and a great clip! Thanks for sharing it..
LaDonna said…
I am thankful...really I am. But I can't help but feel a little whiny and pessimistic as my whole body aches from days of throwing sandbags and dragging furniture and valuables up from my basement. If anyone comes up with an automated way to reduce a 40+ foot water level quickly, please send it to Fargo.
mommeeof9 said…
My mom has a sign near her kitchen sink that says
"Thank God for dirty dishes, they have a tale to tell. While others may go hungry, we're eating mighty well."

I have to remind myself that the mess and chaos of my 9, soon to be 10, kids is what I wanted when we got married 20 years ago. The never ending dishes, laundry, sweeping and mopping, etc. My mom made it look so easy. :)
Marion Gropen said…
This was a wonderful post. And you're right: we live in an amazing time, and should cherish our comfort, safety and wealth.
number1aunt said…
wow - thank you for this! I think I needed that reminder today too.