The wallpaper on my cell phone is a photo I took of my niece when she was about six months old. She was strapped into her car seat, my sister was navigating Los Angelos traffic, and I was digitally capturing the sadness of an infant.
Perhaps not my finest moment as an auntie, but babies are resilient and she was fussing because she was tired, i.e., not hungry, not wet, not in pain. (Note: I assert this as truth having watched–and photographed–my own four children “suffer” through bouts of extreme sleepiness over many years.)
Every so often, when things in my immediacy seem to be nothing but frustration after annoyance chased by disappointment, I change out my cell phone’s home screen to the picture of my niece.
For me, it is the perfect reminder that no matter how awful I think life is going, it’s really not as bad as I’m making it out to be. In the same way that my niece was “fine,” all will be “fine” for me as well.
Moreover, seeing that photo puts into perspective the reality of not having all that I want, exactly when I want it. I will boldly presume that many on my list would match ones on your list–presuming you have a list.
Some of my “wants” can be objectively credited as “reasonable.” (Such as there has been a steady slowdown in clients which, of course, directly affects cash flow, and I have been recently deeply disturbed by how quickly my children have gone from babies into teens and tweens.)
Some of my “wants” are simple illustrations of so-called “first-world problems.” (Yes, I did complain recently about a touch of tendinitis that interfered with my yoga practice, and the snail-like download time for the fivethrityeight election forecast is making me a little nutty.)
Having my baby niece greet me every time I go to use my cell phone–whether it’s to call my spouse to ask that he pick up turmeric root or to play a quick and distracting game of “Classic Words Free”–serves as a dual reminder that my problems are not going to be my undoing and that in the bigger picture of life, are really not that “big.”
Eventually, my (shit)storm should blow over and I’ll put the photo of the dog back up in my cell phone. Until then, cry baby cry because it’s just not that bad.