Normal Troubles

The last 24 hours have been kind of a nightmare.  I was so tired last night that I went to bed early and fell sound asleep.  At midnight, I was awakened by our son announcing that the toilet was overflowing.  John and I went into the bathroom and were greeted by a LOT of water on the floor.  When I went downstairs to get supplies, I could see water dripping from the ceiling and noticed that the dining room light fixture was full of water.  After cleaning up the mess (and taking a shower), I was unable to fall back asleep for several hours.

This morning, I dragged myself sleepily into work and I just felt out of sorts and grouchy.  Nothing seemed to go right and I had some difficulties with my computer.  Then, I received a phone call from the garage where our van has been waiting to be looked at to see what is wrong with it.  The verdict – it needs a new transmission.  Great.  I was thinking that it was a bad day.

Then, I realized some good news about today.  The good news about the day is…the problems have nothing to do with low vision.  I have been having NORMAL problems that NORMAL people have to deal with.  It’s kind of a relief.  Instead of dealing with the “unique” problems of  adjusting to low vision, and worrying about vision loss, and getting shots in the eye, and wondering if I will need surgery, it feels strangely refreshing to be worrying about toilets and cleanup and car troubles and money.  It feels comfortingly normal and mundane.

Am I crazy to think that “normal” troubles are preferable to “unusual” ones?  Maybe, but I take a lot of comfort from knowing that there are lots of people in our same boat.  It’s not really an attitude of “misery loves company,” it’s more a sense that “we’re all in this together.”  Or maybe it’s because I have been through these troubles before and I know I can handle them.  I’ve cleaned up plenty of overflowing toilets and have even had to make tough choices about how much to spend on an aging car.  Familiar difficulties.  Comfortingly familiar.

And I know that, even with these minor problems, we are so blessed.  I received a call that the car is broken, but not a call that someone had been hurt in an accident.  The toilet overflowed, but our pipes did not burst.  I was grouchy, but I have a husband and kids who love me anyway.  My day at work was not smooth, but I have a job, a good job that I like.  I am blessed that our problems are so small and normal.  For today, I will be glad that the worries are about a car and not my eyesight.  For today, I will comfort myself with the normalcy of these difficulties.  For today, I will embrace these everyday problems.  For today, normal troubles are okay with me.


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