It doesn’t take long to realize you’re on your way back to “normal” when you find yourself complaining about first-world problems. The shower won’t get hot fast enough. The internet is downloading too slow (this one should really take a LOT longer to complain about). Your cell phone battery keeps dying. The line at Walmart is too slow. Taco Bell got your order wrong.
But maybe it’s not that YOU are complaining so much (at least not as much as you used to), but that you hear everyone else around you complaining. They probably have done it all along, but suddenly it’s like the volume got cranked up 100 times louder. Sometimes you can ignore it, but sometimes it’s really frustrating to listen to. It just feels so…wrong. How do people in North America NOT know how blessed they are? And yet, just as you start to feel good and self-righteous, you hear yourself complaining about traffic, and how you wish someone would turn down the air conditioner…and then you realize, you’re not too far from “them.” And it scares you. Yes, it’s good to be home, and it’s good to start feeling somewhat normal, but were all those life-changing lessons not really life-changing? Will they all just fade away with time?
Actually, those lessons can fade away, but they don’t have to. You always have a choice. Here are a few ideas to remind you of the lessons you’ve learned, so you can start figuring out how they fit into your current worldview: