A robust evergreen tree in my dense, vast forest of self-hatred-inducing First World Problems is getting a family of four ready to go downhill skiing for the first day of the season. Don't get me wrong: every day of this activity is like Dante's seventh circle of First World hell, but opening day is the worst.
No amount of advance preparation stems the tide of disarray, bad moods, and arguments. His helmet is too small. We still don't have their passes. Now we have to rent stuff. There's a huge line. His goggles don't fit and keep slipping off his too-small helmet and he's whining. Suddenly she forgot how to ski (or so she claims). We forgot poles. She's too hot. Everyone is fully geared up and now both kids have to pee, despite being asked 100 times before they were ensconced in 18 layers of winter gear if they had to use the bathroom.
All the while, I'm feeling sorry for myself, because that useless asshole known as my period showed up uninvited and three days early, and my September ACL surgery has side-lined me for the entire ski season anyway. So now I get to do the three-ring gear circus without the payout of sticking my kids in lessons while I ski all over the mountain alone, listening to music and pretending I'm a real life dirtbag 25 year-old ski bum for two hours instead of a frazzled mother of two in her late thirties with a busted ACL.
Sitting in the lodge writing this blog post, the gaping maw of my shame spiral widens ever further, as I tell myself (rightly) that none of this--but NONE of it--is actually a real problem worth being remotely annoyed about for even half a second.