Mar. 3rd, 2014

Perspective

Mar. 3rd, 2014 12:09 pm
fengi: (Mr. Fengi)
My first job was at a ice cream and fast food restaurant. I ran the grill and register by myself, cleaned toilets and tables and emptied the trash.

On the last night of my first job, they were doing a major cleaning of the kitchen and supply rooms. The dumpster filled faster than usual, so I was tasked with pressing down the garbage to make enough room until pickup day.

To do this, I was instructed to lay cardboard on top of the contents and jump up and down. It worked until the layer became wet and gave way beneath me. I had been jumping pogo style and was wedged neck deep in trash, rotting food and improperly discarded grease.

I was fortunate; this was a high school job I took for experience, not out of necessity.

I had other menial jobs in which necessity was a factor. Not being stuck neck deep in garbage became my initial baseline of tolerable and helped me stay focused when quitting wasn't an option.

These days I can find myself frustrated to the point of a stress headache at work and days might pass before some part of my brain thinks are you earning minimum wage for being stuck neck deep in garbage?

There are many standards for quality of life and one doesn't have to justify every complaint against the worst case scenario. Yet perspective can help manage unhappiness when our circumstances are better than what we once expected. The system encourages candy ass standards and unreasonable expectations which can be used against us.

I have valid complaints about life today, but I am not neck deep in garbage, struggling to free myself. Thinking this doesn't fix the problems, but does keep them within reason.

It helps me recognize when I've let myself be overwhelmed or defeated by the mere presence of difficulty, rather than how difficult something is.