Gratitude Laced With Shame

This morning, per our usual Saturday morning routine, Jeff took the kids off to gymnastics while I was faced with cleaning this. Again. And it made me feel cranky. I often feel like a hamster on a wheel. Doing the same thing, over and over and over.

But, it is what it is, so I cranked the tunes and got to work. And, it wasn’t so bad. It never is. Eventually, it ended up like this:

I don’t know why…but, while I was cleaning, I started to think about everything I have. I went back and forth between gratitude…and shame. Gratitude that my biggest problem on a Saturday morning is that I have to clean the house again. And, shame that there is so much stuff in this house. Useless stuff we spent money on and now we spend time maintaining it and cleaning around it.

That led me to think about the thousands of refugees coming into Canada and how we should really find some more things to donate to those here in PEI. Then, I started thinking about the ones who haven’t made it to Canada or to another safe place. Then I was awash with both gratitude and shame again.

Gratitude, because, this morning MY kids are off with their dad to gymnastics and dance. Then maybe we’ll take them swimming with their cousins later. That’s their journey for this first Saturday of March Break. And, immense shame because while I bitch and moan because I have to clean the house…or I can’t find time to get my nails done, THIS is happening:


Kids are being passed through wire fences in an attempt to find safety. My kids cry because I say they can’t have a granola bar before supper. But this. My God. What can I do? Please someone, tell me what I can do to be a better person. Tell me what I can do to remember to be grateful. Tell me what I can do to help these people and all the others in the world that are unsafe, that don’t have enough. I want to help. I have too much. Much more than I need. 

While babies have to endure this:

And families:

Enough is enough. We joke about first world problems when we complain about the stupidest things…but it’s not funny. IT IS NOT FUNNY. We need to help. We need to stop taking our wealth for granted. 

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