A Life Of Luxury
I had cause recently to reflect on how easy my life is.
And I don’t mean compared to women centuries ago…although surely that is beyond question. Why, I remember watching episodes of “Wagon Train” as the settlers made their way out west – (I don’t think they ever got there, by the way.. I think they went around in big circles for like eight years) – and thinking, “Where do those women go to the bathroom?” Although around year seven, I was also thinking, “How in heck do those women handle their periods?”
Of course, I have it better than the women of olden times.
I mean I am doing better than even:
My life is so much easier than it used to be.
What caused me to reflect on my easy life was this: I was waiting in the car for my husband, who had run into the supermarket for eggs. And next door to the market is a laundromat. And a young woman came out with a basket heaping with clothes. She balanced it precariously on her hip as she struggled to open her car door.
Oh yeah. I’ve been there.
Going to the laundromat is unpleasant, boring, and sometimes even scary.
And not only did I do it when I was a young adult trying to make it on my own, I did it as a teenager.
When I was 15, my parents moved into a wonderful new house, and that was the moment that the washing machine decided to quit. My parents had to wait until their finances were a little more settled to replace the machine, so we had to use the laundromat. After supper at least once a week, my mother would drive me to the laundromat with baskets of dirty clothes, a bag of quarters, and my homework – and leave me there. She had other things to do – with a large family and a job. This was 1966: there was no entertainment in a laundromat – no TV; cell phones were on “Star Trek” only. If you were lucky at the laundromat, someone might have a static-y radio and taste that was not completely horrible. I did my homework and ran three washers at once, and then the dryers, and tried not to pay attention to the sometimes unique people who wandered in and out. A few hours later my mother would show up, and we’d load up the car and go home. How I hated it.
But you know… it wasn’t impossible. People still do that, as I saw the other day. I could do it again if I had to. But how sweet it is not to have to. I have my own washer and dryer. Down the hall. Appliances that get their own little room!
We’ve all got lots of reasons to be worried in 2017. We see and hear about them every day. I don’t need to remind anyone or frighten myself any more than I already am.
So I am concentrating this year on good things.
This week I am reminding myself of all the little luxuries I have – things that I know I could live without, and that many people do live without – that make life easier.
I remember, for example, being stuck in a traffic jam driving home from work in 1984. In a car with no air conditioning. In July. And this scenario repeated itself dozens of times that summer. For me and for lots of folks. Not moving in a stifling car is a bad way to unwind after work. It wasn’t torture though; I survived. And now we just click on the air and wait comfortably in traffic. And yet we complain.
And speaking of cars: How about being broken down by the side of the road at night? Hoping that someone who is not a serial killer will stop to help you. And having no way to tell anyone that you are stuck. Thank you, cell phones.
And more of the things that I know I could survive without, but that help make my life just a bit easier and sweeter:
Cable, DVR, Netflix
Disposable contact lenses
Power lawn mowers and snow throwers
Salad in a bag
Heated car seats