Club Thrifty Confessional: I Have First World Problems

Club Thrifty Confessional I Have First World Problems - picture of hands holding mug on table at lake

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I’ve been a little depressed lately.  Maybe you’ve noticed my lack of involvement with the blog over the last few weeks…or maybe not.  I’ve just been busy, stressed out, and completely preoccupied with life in general.  First of all, our house sold in thirteen days which was way faster than we had ever imagined.  Second of all, we have to find a new place to live within the next thirty days.  And, although we’ve found houses that we *like,* I’m not sure that we’re ready to pull the trigger on any of them.  So, we very well could be renting in the next few weeks which presents a whole new set of problems.

On top of all of that, we have to find new daycare for the kids which absolutely breaks our hearts.  I know that our kids will be fine.  People always say that “kids adapt easily” and “they’ll be fine once they get settled.”  But, here’s the thing: I know that our current daycare lady loves my children.  And, more than that, I know that they love her too.

Then, yesterday we found out that one set of our renters wants to break their lease early and move.  And, guess when that’s supposed to happen?  Around November 1st, the same day that we’re closing on our current home.  We have to be entirely moved out by November 2nd.  So, on top of everything that’s going on in our personal lives, we need to get our rental home cleaned, painted, and ready to rent again.  And, even if I hire these projects out, I still have to coordinate everything, pay people, and get new tenants.  If you own rental property, you know that this is no small feat.

I Have First World Problems

Despite the fact that my entire life is up in the air, there are plenty of things going right in my life.  First of all, my freelance writing career is going great.  And, despite the fact that Greg was off work for the summer, he’s been back at work for a few weeks now.  In fact, he gets his first paycheck this Friday and I’m looking forward to it.  Even better news is that we’re having all of Greg’s income direct deposited into savings because…well, we don’t need it.

I’m also thankful that we sold our house for almost asking price…and in thirteen days.  And, as far as daycare goes, I’m sure we’ll find someone that will take excellent care of our children, even though it may never be quite the same.

Basically, I’ve got first world problems.  Problems that other people would love to have.  And quite frankly, I’m a little embarrassed that I’ve complained so much recently.  In the scope of the world, my problems are meaningless, man-made circumstances that will be nothing but a blip on the radar a few years, or maybe even a few months, from now.

So, with all of that being said, I’m going to try to focus less on what’s going wrong and more on what’s going right.  No, everything isn’t perfect, but it isn’t as bad as it could be either.  We’re all happy.  We’re all healthy.  And, we’ve got the money to fix our problems and move on.  Yes, I’ve got problems.  First world problems.  Do you?

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  1. If you didn’t have problems then life would be too boring. You have a healthy family which is the most important thing in the world.

  2. If you could keep that perspective all the time you’d be doing even better. 🙂 It’s difficult to maintain joy and sanity during a busy season, but gratefulness for what you’re been blessed with is the best way I know to do it. Hope you guys can settle on the right house!

  3. I think most of us in the United States have first World problems as opposed to “actual” problems. We complain about traffic, not having enough of this or that, or just the fact that we are busy. In reality we are lucky to have some of the problems we have!

  4. Yeah, if you don’t have problems then that means you aren’t moving forward. I hear you with the stress though. Moved last summer and it was extremely stressful because my house didn’t have running water until about 5 minutes before leaving the rental. Things work out especially with a little hard work and keeping them in perspective which is something I am learning over and over again! Hang in there!

  5. I always feel better after I write about my problems so hopefully you will too. I hear you on the daycare though. That would stress me out too. It would break my heart to take my girls to a different sitter but it probably wouldn’t phase them much at all. Your kids are around the same age as mine so I bet they’ll enjoy going to a new daycare and meeting new friends. After a week or so of it you’ll feel a lot better.

    1. I hope so. We interviewed one lady that we really like so far.
      And, we were also worried about daycare costs since we’re moving to a more expensive area…BUT the lady we like is only $25 more per week than we’re already paying. I am so relieved.

  6. Good for you, Holly – you get it!!!!! The important thing is that you, Greg and the girls are all tucked in at night safely, together, healthy, with full tummies and warm beds. The rest is just “stuff”.

  7. It’s a lot, but try and remember that it’s only temporary and by Thanksgiving (Christmas at the latest), life will again normalize into its typical happy medium. In the meantime, is there anyway you can take a little time for yourself specifically to recharge? Can your parents or other family take the kids for a weekend? A morning or afternoon just for you, then the rest of the weekend GSD-ing with Greg could make a world of difference in the amount of progress you feel.

    1. We have a babysitter lined up for Saturday night! I think we’re going to go out for Thai food and see a movie or something.

  8. Love this post! Sorry you’ve been feeling stressed and overwhelmed but to be completely honest I had the same revelation recently! I was upset about a lot of things going on and then realized that I’m lucky to have these “problems” and not others. Hopefully things settle down soon!

  9. What a great sentiment. We all get stressed out from time to time. It’s just part of life. But the ability to step back and reflect on all of the good things we have, in addition to the fact that, just as you say, these stressful things will pass, is such a powerful thing. I absolutely have to do this from time to time myself, as the honest truth is that there’s not much if anything in my life that’s could cause any real catastrophe. It’s a nice place to be, and it’s important to recognize.

  10. Amber @ Steps to Save says:

    Oh, yes! We all have our own unique problems that try to plague us daily. I’ve learned that the proper perspective can make all the difference.

    Hope you have a wonderful day and that all goes well with your future move, finding renters and a new daycare. It will all work out the way it should. 🙂

  11. Problems are all relative, and it does sound like you’ve got a lot on your plate. If you end up renting, and your renters are gone, is that an opportunity to live in the rental house while you fix it up before you find your dream house? Good luck with everything.

    1. No, unfortunately that wouldn’t work.

      Greg can’t commute for work for much longer. He’s on call part of the time and he needs to be there quickly when someone dies after hours.

  12. Good post Holly! Like DC said, I think most of us in the States have first world problems and it can be easy to focus on what’s getting us down. I am guilty of it too at times and the key is to look at what is going right – which you’re doing and that really helps get your focus back and thankfully the inconveniences should be short lived and a blip. 🙂

  13. I feel you on the stress of moving. The tenant thing is such a PITA! I purposefully provide an incentive of lower or stable rent for the second year just so they don’t leave:

    Good luck! Congrats on selling the house!


    1. Well, this is their third year and if lowering the rent would work I would totally do it.
      But, she’s pregnant and they need more room so lowering the rent wouldn’t help.

  14. Yes, we do have first world problems and, like you did, I have to remind myself of what I do have instead of what I don’t. It’s always easy to say when you’re NOT going through it, though. When you’re in the middle of “stuff” – not so fun.

    Hope things smooth out soon! I find comfort in the return to baseline.

  15. All my problems are first world. I was upset because my new website design is not working like it’s supposed to, but really what difference does that make? I’m also upset because I might not be able to work at my government job tomorrow, but I never spend that money anyway, so what’s the big deal? Thanks for reminding me.

    1. Ha!

      I am always upset when my website isn’t working right…it makes me crazy!

  16. That’s a good way of looking at it…many of our problems are just that: First World Problems! I’m sure things will work out. If you don’t find a place, instead of renting an apartment, can you just live in the house your tenant is vacating?

    1. No, because it’s in the town we live in now.

      We need to move closer to Greg’s work because he’s on call part of the time. When someone dies at 2:00 a.m., they don’t want to wait an hour for him to get dressed and drive there.

  17. It’s all relative. If it’s causing angst and stress in your life it’s still a problem for you, there is no need to feel shameful or guilty. Moving can be stressful and you have a lot of changes coming. Sure, focus on the positives to make you feel better but it’s still okay to get angry when so much feels out of your control. I’m looking forward to the post about the house you eventually pick!

  18. I always use that “blip on the radar of life” expression too. It’s good you are putting things into perspective, but I also can totally understand that that is a lot to be dealing with as well. It’s OK to acknowledge you feelings because they are perfectly normal, as long as you don’t dwell on it for too long and complain all the time, which I seriously doubt you do. Right now I’ve been feeling a bit of depression too. Just general life and work stuff and feeling the malaise that things “aren’t going great,” but I have to take the time myself to think about all the things I do have, so thank for the reminder!

    1. Great. Maybe we can keep reminding each other. Ha!

  19. Problems are part of life and every place has its own problems. This is just a small season for you guys and everything will straighten up and get back to normal. At least you do not have to face developing world problems like putting a meal on the table for your family.

  20. I think we all stress at some point. I understand where your stress is coming from. Especially as you see everything pile up. I know everything will work out.

  21. Hey, everyone needs to vent every once in a while, don’t be so hard on yourself. It sounds like you definitely have a lot going on at once and I’m sure you’ll be relieved come mid-November when it’s all hopefully said and done. Keep your chin up and good luck!

  22. I hope everything works out fot you guys. Hire out help that you can! I understand the stress if daycare. I nannied for years and loved the kids so much, its tough but they will make new memories!

    1. I think we found someone who will work. We’re taking the kids to meet her Saturday morning!

  23. I’ve found it hard to write lately, which is frustrating. As the podcast grows quickly, I’m finding my desire to hit the keyboard wane. I know that comes and goes, so I’m just fighting through the block.

    On the topic of kids, I felt the same way when we pulled our kids out of awesome schools to move to this little town. Here’s how it ended: while I’d take the schools in Michigan over Texas schools any day, helping my kids learn to adapt to new situations was invaluable. Lots of kids in our town have already had huge problems adjusting to college life while my kids are flourishing. They’ve been through this before and can adjust on the fly.

  24. Everyone has a right to be overwhelmed. You can use Greg’s salary to let the rental sit for a month if it helps you destress. That is what money is for. My first world problems have been slowing down lately but I still have my fair share. Motorcycles that need to be fixed so we can sell them and extra income to increase to pay off my wife’s student loans faster. Hang in there!

    1. Yes, totally. The mortgage on the rental home is only like $700 so it isn’t a big deal if it site empty for a few months.

  25. Just because your problems don’t involve a major medical emergency or not having food on the table, doesn’t mean they’re not real and shouldn’t affect you . I think you have a healthy balance of recognizing that you’re going through a lot while still being grateful for what you have.

  26. “I’m going to try to focus less on what’s going wrong and more on what’s going right…” – that’s the spirit Holly 🙂

    No matter one’s situation, we all have problems relative to our own lives, and while yes, you have problems that others would love to have…they are still your problems and still have an impact on you and your family.

    Take care and all the best.


  27. I’m sorry that so many things are going on at once Holly. Things will get better! And I hope things calm down as well.

  28. This post serves as some nice perspective for me. “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” – John Lennon

    My 1st world problem is Costco was out of my favorite TP and now I’m stuck with what might as well be sand paper.

  29. Certainly first world problems, but doesn’t mean that they are less of a pain to deal with. 🙂 I know how hard it is to find great daycare but I have no doubt that you will find someone who will take excellent care of your girls. And while I know it’s not ideal to have to rent while you look for a home, it may be worth it if you’re not completely feeling those two homes you shared with us earlier. Renting for a couple of months might be worth it if it means finding the house that you LOVE.

  30. Kudos to you for the paradigm shift! However, don’t beat yourself up about getting down about the things going on in your life. Even though people in other situations might look at your situation and wonder why you are upset, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t stressful to you. Problems are relative and no one can ever really know what someone else is feeling.

  31. Problems are problems none-the-less, it just depends on the perspective that makes them different. Sorry things are all coming down the pipe at one time, but you will adapt, overcome, and move on.

  32. Oh I’m soooo horrible. Last night I was a complete drama queen and cting like my “life was ovvvver” because my DVR service went out on the main box(the mothership boss of the other boxes) and I lost the ability to DVR last night and my 120+ shows on it. I eventually got it going but my world feel apart in the meantime.

    1. Ha! Hey, that kind of stuff can seem like total crisis when you’re in the moment!

  33. Love this post! I’m right there with you, complaining about the problems that only wealthy Westerners could possibly see as problems.

    It really is all about perspective, which can be a double edged sword. We adapt, so even 1st world problems can seem big after we’re used to how good we have it.

    I wouldn’t beat yourself up. Stress is real and if you’re feeling it, there’s nothing to feel ashamed about. Comparing ourselves to the impoverished in Africa might give us well needed perspective, but it doesn’t paint the rental or move all your belongings across town.

    1. That is so true. At this point, I just need to deal with our situation and move forward!

  34. Thanks for reminding me of the insignificance of my own ‘problems’ as they are indeed ‘first world problems’. I’m often guilty of being a ‘worrier’ and no one is quite as adept at ‘making a mountain out of a mole hill’ as I am. So remembering that in the grand scheme of things my problems are:

    ‘meaningless, man-made circumstances that will be nothing but a blip on the radar a few years, or maybe even a few months, from now.’

    – that’s huge for me. Thanks for the perspective.

  35. There’s a lot of challenges and transitions on your plate, more so that it’s time sensitive stuff to deal with, so I can see how that can be overwhelming. Agreed that as long as everyone is healthy, happy, and financially stable, it’s all that ultimately matters. Hope the transitions wane soon for you and the family!

  36. Jake @ Ca$h Funny says:

    I think we all find ourselves in this situation from time to time. It’s easy to take things for granted and only focus on the “bad things” in our lives which aren’t really that bad at all. At least you’ve come to the realization that things really aren’t that bad and you’ll be fine in the long run. Good luck with everything.

  37. Tara @ Streets Ahead Living says:

    I just talked about this on my blog today too! I linked to a Louis C.K. video on people complaining about air travel and it’s so fitting with your post too. Sometimes we need a little perspective to realize we really do have it good in our lives! Thanks for the great read.

  38. There are two types of timing problems when selling one house and buying the other. Neither is any fun, and your situation creates plenty of short term stress and inconvenience.

    The opposite problem is far more vexing: buying the new house, and having the old one languish on the market.

    1. I know. I didn’t want that to happen at all! I’m glad we sold before we buy.

  39. Moving is a big deal if you are moving across town or to another city. Combine it with a new job and all the other changes. You definitely have a full plate! Just put everything on list and tackle one step at a time and you will be fine. Good luck.

  40. Everyone has problems and they are all valid. It’s a matter of perspective and it’s great you realize that, when so many don’t. I don’t think people having it worse than you, negates the validity of your feelings. Those situations are stressful and not fun. I hope things work out with the housing and childcare soon!

  41. Well, I’m living in a country that’s close to third world so I would love to have first world problems, but I don’t. Ha. It’s bad that all these “first world” annoyances appeared one after another, but as you said, in a few months from now they will be long forgotten and what matters the most – you and your family are healthy and happy, everything is fine.

  42. They are your problems, so they’re important. It’s true some of the timing is off, but it looks like you also had some luck. I’m sure you’ll do just great, we’re keeping fingers crossed for more good news 😉

  43. They might be “first world” problems, but they are still problems and they’re still bothering you. Yes most of us are fortunate to have to deal with so few “real” problems, but in the context of your world that doesn’t really make them feel any easier I would imagine. My current “first world” problem? The government shutdown is delaying my grandfather’s passport so I can’t plan the first ever family vacation we are supposed to take. Ugg.

  44. haha I just queued a similar post, as I have been a complaining machine lately too. i am sure you will find a nice place to live!

  45. Our current dilemma is whether we sell our perfectly nice half paid-off, affordable home and leave our wonderful neighbors and friends to move out to more acreage. First world dilemma for sure.

  46. I think most of us are guilty of this. I am in the middle of the “selling my house, buying a new condo” process and it’s incredibly stressful. I just keep telling myself that it will be over in a few more weeks and then we’ll be living in our fabulous new place and it will all be worth it and hopefully my friends and family that I’ve been busy griping to will still be talking to me!! ha ha

  47. I love it! Glad you can step back and realize these are just first world problems.

    Managing a small real estate empire can be challenging. I’d like to chat longer but I have to go reallocate my investment portfolio and transfer some more dividends to my checking account (more first world problems ha ha).

  48. That’s a great way to look at things! And with the circumstance working right for you plus your awesome perspective makes it all the more better. Congratulations for selling the house and the first salary for Greg! Good job!

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