Every year, some time during November and generally before any “black Friday” sales or anything like that, I’ll take a day off and spend a small fortune buying gifts for my family. Since I’ve been able to drive, it’s been a bit of a tradition for me, as I have the freedom to actually go out and buy gifts. Every year, I look forward to this one day off of my choosing, and every year I both enjoy it and end up with a sore foot or something because I trip over or have done too much walking.
This year was no exception. I took a Monday off and wandered around a bit. I went to a bunch of different shops and ended up buying presents for the parents, for my brother, my sister, my grandparents and my sister’s fiancee, since he’s basically part of the family now. I definitely overspent this year, but I’m proud to say that I got some really, really nice gifts AND not all of them are here yet. I actually avoid buying things online for two reasons, the first being that shipping things to Cyprus is hit and miss (I’ve had stuff arrive weeks and months late) but I also just enjoy going out and doing shopping.
So yeah, I had a really nice day. I went to a bunch of different shops and I had a very relaxing day. I also did a bunch of Pokemon Go between shops and noticed a couple of new Pokestops – the local guy with an Ingress account has been working hard, clearly – and I did a lot of walking. Which in turn made me kinda have a bit of a low blood sugar thing but that’s fine.
Since I’ve been alone and not working though, I’ve had time to think. That’s a bad thing because I think about… sad things. I thought about recommending a shopping trip to other people, but most people can’t afford to take a day off and go and buy present for their family. Most people can’t really afford to take a day off in general. I thought about how great it would be if we had a four day work week, but most people don’t even have a five day work week and many, many people work way more hours than they should, not out of choice but because they need to keep a roof over their heads.
This line of thinking always drags me down horrible holes. Most people are worse off than I am, but I’m the one complaining about stupid things. Makes me feel like I’m a selfish person. After all, I’m better off than a large number of Americans who, according to a 2017 report, can’t afford a $400 emergency. And I’m better off in other ways as well, the first thing I did this morning was pay €7.12 for a month’s supply of insulin, needles and test strips. If I lived in the US, I’d probably be rationing insulin. As we speak, there’s always some horrible thing going on, whether it’s the fate of those poor protestors in Hong Kong, the permanent poor in African nations or the rise of fascism across the planet.
So really, I have things good. Why the fuck am I complaining? I shouldn’t complain, should I?
Well, no. Just because my life is reasonably good, it doesn’t mean that my problems don’t exist or are less real than other people’s problems. I’m allowed to be stressed, to worry about work, to be tired and unhappy. At the same time, I have to accept that bad things happen and sometimes there’s nothing I can do about it, and what I can do is just a drop in the bucket. After all, I’ve been trying to avoid buying things that were made in China, I’ve been boycotting Nestle products as much as possible and I try to save power, reuse, recycle and all that where I can.
The world can be an awful place, but I do my best to be a good person and apologize when I’m not being a good person. It’s the least I can do.
Blimey, that took a rather… dark turn. I’m sorry about that. Sometimes though, we all need a little reminder to just be a bit nicer to each other.