What Would You Like to Be Your Biggest Problem?

Credit: Edward Lear

You know how our mothers can sometimes drive us crazy? Mine has been deceased for several years now, so she no longer has the opportunity. And far be it from me to admit I could drive my own son crazy, though I am sure there are enough ways that I do. He’s a smart man, though, in that he accepts me for who and what I am and doesn’t waste time trying to change me.
My mother had one habit I used to hate, though, that has actually worked to my advantage as an adult. It is one that puts things into perspective. As a teen, I hated it, because it got in the way of the drama that some teens feel they cannot live without. I would be kvetching about not having the outfit ready that I wanted to wear that day, or about dinner being too late, or one of a million other everyday problems that we cannot get through this life without. And my mother would say “I wish that was my biggest problem.”
Granted, our problems don’t have to be huge to matter; if something is an issue, it deserves attention. But every issue does not need to be all-consuming.
I pulled this phrase of my mother’s out a few years ago, when a good friend of mine was suffering from breast cancer that was likely to be terminal (as it sadly turned out to be). When we needed a little levity, she and I took my mother’s expression and turned it into a joke for when things looked darkest: What would you like to be your biggest problem? Not just a problem, but the biggest one you will have to deal with for a while.
Here are a few we came up with, and I am sure you could add plenty of your own:
– When I am choosing a new car, would I rather have the BMW or the Lexus?
– Chocolate ice cream or vanilla?
– If I stand under that tree, will a coconut fall on my head?
– I have too many true friends. How will I keep up with them all?
– Two great job offers came in on the same day. Which one to choose?
– Next vacation, would I rather go to Italy or France?
Okay, you get the idea. These problems are so trivial they are almost phony. But aren’t they fun to come up with? And couldn’t we all use a little more fun these days?