This is First World Fridays #FWF (check out the first FWF here) where I share the frivolous stuff that I allow to occupy my mind, and I turn it into an expression of gratitude. Please do it the same – in the comments, Facebook, Twitter, privately within yourself. Tag it #FWF (yes, I’m asking you to tag your silent prayers) and let’s start a revolution!
#FWF: I recently dated a man in his late 40s who had just quit his banking job to trade independently and split time between his Brooklyn brownstone and farm outside Johannesburg. No kids, never married. The previous month he’d returned from an impromptu three-week biking trip through the Himalayas.
One of his greatest achievements — and most touching experiences, he said — was finishing the New York marathon and being greeted by his closest friends cheering him on. “That really meant so much to me to have their support,” he said.
I’m not much of an athlete. I respect that people find meaning in running until their nipples bleed and their toenails fall off, but that’s not for me.
What is for me is support after an especially arduous experience. Like, for example: EVERY EFFING DAY OF MY LIFE. I just came off a day that started like this: Kid wakes up scratching the heck out of her entire body, surly and miserable. While driving the other kid to school, over the sounds of his whines and cries for having to go and the other kids get to eat the chicken nuggets and why does he have to have a home lunch I hear the unmistakeable blub-blub-blub of a flat tire. It’s 400 degrees out and none of the five air conditioners in my orbit seem to keep pace with the thick, gritty heat bouncing off the filthy New York City cement. Later, over shrill screams from my frustrated, itchy daughter my mind turns to deadlines piling up, six unanswered voicemails in my phone, a dozen emails not yet returned, three phone meetings I must reschedule. Somehow a casual conversation with a friend over July 4 plans turned into a last-minute party that now involves 15 people at my apartment 24 HOURS FROM NOW. Did I mention I was already on edge following a weekend heartbreak?
My overwhelm was compounded by the fact that I did not get in my morning (3 — not 26 mile!) run.
So when the kids finally went to bed at 8 p.m. I yanked out my computer in an attempt to catch up on work — and fell asleep in the chair.
The end of my marathon was marked by hauling myself to bed without even washing my face. Where were my cheering fans? Boohoo.
- Reminder: My life isn’t T-ball league. You don’t deserve a trophy for showing up!
- Air conditioning
- Pediatricians who take last-minute appointments and are sweet and competent
- Pharmacies that sell lots of products that don’t do much but make me feel like a better mom when I administer them.
- That my kids are fine. More than fine.
- I have 15 people in my life who want to hang out with me and will bring me beer of much higher quality than I would ever buy for myself
- A babysitter is coming this morning so I can go for a run
- My marathons do not involve blood or losing body parts (usually)
- That I meet all kinds of interesting men who inspire perspective and heartbreak
- Extra time with my kid yesterday
- Roadside assistance
- Car warranties
- That I can skip work for a crazy effing day and my life doesn’t fall apart.
What is your #FirstWorldFriday? What are you grateful for? Please share in the comments!
Emma Johnson is a veteran money journalist, noted blogger, bestselling author and an host of the award-winning podcast, Like a Mother with Emma Johnson. A former Associated Press Financial Wire reporter and MSN Money columnist, Emma has written for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Glamour, Oprah.com, U.S. News, Parenting, USA Today and others. Her #1 bestseller, The Kickass Single Mom (Penguin), was named to the New York Post’s ‘Must Read” list.
Emma regularly comments on issues of modern families, gender equality, divorce, sex and motherhood for outlets like CNN, Headline News, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fox & Friends, CNBC, NPR, TIME, MONEY, O, The Oprah Magazine and The Doctors. She was named Parents magazine’s “Best of the Web,” “Top 15 Personal Finance Podcasts” by U.S. News, and a “Most Eligible New Yorker” by New York Observer.
A popular speaker, Emma presented at the United Nations Summit for Gender Equality. Read more about Emma here.