You know how there are people who never, ever complain, no matter how hard life gets? I'm not one of those people. I complain about all kinds of things, big and small, and you know what? I think it's okay. I even think that complaining is healthy, to a certain extent. I mean, we all need to vent sometimes. And I don't mind when friends of mine feel the need to complain to me about their weird neighbors or their latest parenting challenges or spouses' annoying habits or what-have-you. I try not to be excessive and keep my perspective and be self-aware. I may not always succeed with those things, but I never claimed I was perfect and at least no one can accuse me of keeping it all bottled up inside, can they?
But sometimes when I get on a complaining jag I have to step back and remind myself that it could be much worse. I know I have a good life and I am grateful for it. Sometimes that doesn't help a whole lot, and instead makes me feel extra guilty for complaining in the first place. The effort it has taken to hold onto perspective in our current situation, though, has really made me reflect on how much worse this could be. For example, we never had much of a relationship with this neighbor, so it's not as though we lost anything more than the ability to speak cordially to each other (actually, I think I've always been cordial; the same can not be said of her.) I know people who have gone through divorce, the messy, ugly, heart-wrenching kind. I know people who have been through hell and back with family conflicts in which the anger goes much deeper and takes much longer to heal than what we are experiencing now.
(I had to remind myself of these very same things yesterday when I got pulled over for running a stop sign. Not a good start to an already precarious week, let me tell you.)
Thinking about all that hasn't made this situation any less sucky. The suckage abounds, I assure you. But at least we are able to take a deep breath and step back and remind ourselves that we can get through this. We can keep calm and carry on. Because it could be much worse...let's just hope it doesn't get to that point.