This is what we call a first world problem. It’s not even actually a problem as much as it is a situation. Actually, it’s more of an inconvenience than anything else.
Writing and working from home usually ends up being a seven-day a week job. As much as we want to take a day or two off, we often find ourselves researching a piece or doing some actual writing every single day.
It can be rewarding and it can be exhausting.
A few weeks ago I was working on the computer on a Saturday evening (that alone shows you how sad my social life is) and the Internet started crawling. Then it slowed down even more. Finally, it ground to a halt altogether. Awesome.
Putting away the work until a technician could come out and look at my service on Monday afternoon, I went to bed and woke up Sunday morning ready to finish researching my two pieces. Then I realized I couldn’t. Not from home anyway.
Did I really want to go to Starbucks or some other place to borrow Internet and work or should I just stay home and try to take a day off and relax?
I ended up opting for the latter but once I realized I had an iPad that didn’t need the Internet connection I was tempted to start working again but decided I would stand firm with a day off.
The one thing I should probably mention quickly is that I have Asperger’s Syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism, so socializing and doing things that involve others isn’t always the best experience for me. Still, I wanted to get out of the house and do something.
Deciding that my service dog was in a lazy phase of winter, I figured I should take him to the dog park so he could run around with other dogs and hopefully be exhausted and sleep the rest of the day.
After thirty minutes on a late Sunday morning at an empty dog park (probably because it was 43 degrees outside), we finally got tired and went home. Upon arriving back at my log cabin in the Ozarks I, like an idiot, went to my computer to see if somehow my Internet had magically come back up and started working again.
Neither my Rams nor my Raiders were on TV that day and the NFL games that were on were mediocre at best, so I went to my office, sat in my comfy reading chair and stared down at a stack of comic books and at two books I’m in the middle of reading.
Deciding on a few of the comic books, I started reading. Next thing I knew, I had finished seven comic books and was two chapters into a book on autism.
“So this is what we did before the Internet,” I thought as I took a break from reading. I tried remembering that far back in time but wasn’t able to come up with much.
After a quick bite to eat I went back to my chair and began reading yet again. That lasted the rest of the afternoon and most of the evening. In all, I ended up reading eleven chapters in two different books and fourteen comic books.
The best part of my Sunday without Internet is that I actually managed to survive. I didn’t go into withdrawals and don’t tell anyone, but I may have actually enjoyed my day.
Sometimes things like the Internet going out happen to us and we do what we can to make the best of it, reminding ourselves that these types of problems are indeed first world problems.
But we also need to remind ourselves that in order to have first world problems, one must actually live in the first world. And that is something that we should be thankful for. That we do live in a first world country with luxuries that many of our fellow humans don’t have.
The next time your Internet goes out, or your cable or something else that, when we look at it in the context of the big picture, doesn’t mean very much, remember that there are people worse off than us and that we can survive a day or two without our luxuries because there are many people in this world who have no clue what a first world problem even is.
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Photo credit: Photo courtesy Pixabay