Perspective.

per·spec·tive

2. a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view. 

One thing my job does for me on a pretty regular basis (besides providing me with a steady paycheck) is a lot of perspective. And it always comes right when I am feeling quite less than with my life.

It is hard to explain how my job provides me with so much perspective when I can not really talk about specifics of my job… especially on the internet.

I come home from work on most days and go straight into the kitchen. I do not get time to sit down and unwind. I normally get just enough time to pour myself a glass of wine, or open a beer before breaking out the pots and pans to put together something that resembles a balanced meal. We sit down and eat dinner, have a few laughs and then I am cleaning up the kitchen. Usually after the kitchen is cleaned the dog needs a bath, or the garbage needs to go out or something needs to go in the laundry…

All the while, the rest of my family is relaxing. They’re on their devices; playing games, watching their youtube videso. They’ve been home for hours. They get to relax and unwind.

I know there are the days where they are doing SOMETHING around the house upon returning home. Some chore that needs to be completed. But even on those days, it is hard to walk in the door to everyone relaxing. And it’s even harder when I try and have a conversation and everyone is wrapped up in their screens.

Those days, though there be many of them, are tough. Especially because that is not the only things eating away at my headspace. I am worried about a ballooned electric bill because we have a pool, a hot tub and my father-in-law living in his camper in our backyard, all going at once. I am worried about staying within a very necessary budget I set for myself. I am counting the days until Thing 1’s guidance counselor emails me back regarding one of his classes. I am worrying about Thing 1’s birthday in two months… I worry a lot lately (for no real reason).

I often wonder why am I doing this? Everyone else in my house seems to be living so carefree. Why am I the only one feeling like a choatic mess all the time? Why am I the one always losing their shit?

But then I remember some of the lives I have dealt with that day; couples who have to exchange their kids in the police department lobby because being civil for five minutes is just not possible. The couples who if one half is three minutes late wants a report to take to family court. Family members who use their loved ones pedigree to try and get out of a ticket, or even an arrest. People who kill themselves because life got the best of them. Families who spend their days in family court. Wives who need pieces of paper to tell their husbands not to annoy or harass them. Those same pieces of paper often times require someone to vacate their homes that they are paying for. Great great family members who assault the elderly. Drug addict children who steal from their parents.  Children who are placed in state facilities because their parents are unable to care for them either by choice or by circumstance.

On the news recently there was a story about a husband who confessed to killing his pregnant wife and their two kids after reporting them missing and pleading for their return hours before.

I am forced to deal with the toughest times in people’s lives. And over the course of all the years of dealing with the very bad times in peoples lives, you get desensitized to it. It becomes just a part of life.

When you do the the kind of job I do, you learn to separate yourself from it because it can become too much too quickly.

But every once and awhile, when I get a really tough call. Or I actually remember to just step back from it all… I realize I do not have the kind of problems that the kind of people I talk to on a regular basis have. I have perspective. I am reminded that my life really is not that bad.

I have the health of myself and my family. My husband and I are both employed.  I do not go home fearing my husband. I am not worried that he will kill (or even harm) myself, or our children. I do not have to take family members to family court.

I often times just forget how forunate I am. And it takes something really bad happening to another family to remind me. If the worst thing I have to deal with in this life is everyone face down into a screen while I try and have a conversation… I will take it. I will take that all day long over some of the other, real life things, people have to deal with. The kind of things that send kids to therapy when they’re adults; that make them runaway and turn to drugs when they’re teenagers.

I will take this life of mine over and over again. Because I do know the grass is not always greener on the other side. And that the devil you know is better than the one you don’t. My pet peeves will always be my pet peeves and I am only human – I will always wish things were different….

Sometimes you just need something to happen to remind you of how good our small, seemingly imperfect lives really are. I know very well that there are people wishing for the kind of “problems” I have.

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