When I was finishing up my time at UW-Madison, I took a Spring Break trip to Paris and Toulouse.
On the trip, one of the sights I checked out was Cimetiere Pere Lachaise. If you’re not familiar, it’s the HUGE cemetery in Paris where tons of world-reknowned icons are buried – people like Oscar Wilde, Charlie Chaplin, Jim Morrison, the list is LONG!
I had been in Paris about a week, and had been buying ten packs of metro tickets. By the end of most days, I had a ton of stubs in my pocket. On the morning when we were going to Pere Lachaise, my hands were full because it was going to be a long day, so after I went through the turnstyle, I threw my ticket stub away.
We turned the corner, and there were the metro police! I was able to talk them out of giving my boyfriend (at the time) a ticket, but I was not as lucky. I was issued a ticket for $35 Euro, which was about $50, or about $390854904352 to a poor college student. So, I cried. I am sure some of it was the frustration of arguing in a second language, and just the stress of the whole thing.
Anyway, once we got to the cemetery, it was really beautiful. After walking around for a while, we came to a section where there were memorials for each of the concentration camps from World War Two. At one of them, there was a crowd of people. I stopped and talked to one, and asked what was going on.
It was a reunion of concentration camp survivors.
The survivor I spoke to talked about how he weighed about 60 pounds when he was released, and how he lost many friends, but was grateful to have survived. He said the other survivors (most of whom spoke German and not French like him, so they couldn’t communicate with me) were talking about their different memories of the camp.
I was nearly speechless, and felt VERY ridiculous.
Not one hour before, I was crying about $50, and then I meet someone who survived a concentration camp. HELLO, PERSPECTIVE, NICE TO SEE YOU!
I know that it has always driven me nuts when I’d be upset about something and someone would say “It could always be worse!” because that didn’t make me feel better in the moment, usually. Now, it definitely does!
Today was one of those days where nothing TERRIBLE happened, but a few terribly frustrating things did. And I just needed to remember that I am healthy, and blessed. Yes, my day could have gone more smoothly, but I didn’t have do go through a Holocaust!
I decided that since I am on my final day of round two of the 21 Day Fix Extreme and have to stick to strict eating, that I was going to REALLY enjoy my raspberries, because they taste like candy, and they are ALMOST wine – they just need to be squished and fermented! 😉
When was the last time you were given a big, fat dose of perspective?