Yesterday was a cold, cold day. Minus eighteen degrees Celsius, to be exact. (Which would be 0.4 Farenheit, apparently.) Normally, I wouldn't voluntarily go out in this weather for a stroll with my kids. However. Yesterday was the day of the Ladybug Walk that Beege and I signed up for to raise money for organisations that help the homeless; and so, we walked.
We were bundled up in many layers of clothes, scarves, hats, tights, snow pants, and still it was cold. Despite that, we had a lot of fun. It's not all that often that I get to just hang out with Beege anymore, so it was nice to be able to talk and not have any interruptions. I have a really cool kid.
We talked about her upcoming speech, we talked about school in general, we discussed how much better her behaviour has been lately and why; she's decided that she doesn't like being yelled at anymore than I like yelling and that doing what she's supposed to is just easier than not.
We also talked about how lucky we were that at the end of our walk we would get to go into our nice warm house and drink some hot chocolate and warm up.
On the one hand, I kind of hate that there are spots that I could step through in my kitchen and there isn't a proper door on the bathroom, but on the other I know how lucky I am to have somewhere warm and (all things considered) comfortable to live. I don't have to worry about where I'm going to sleep tonight or what I'm going to eat. I am PRIVILEGED.
I sometimes get bogged down feeling depressed about the fact that I can complain so much about my situation while there are people out there with nothing, people who live in war zones, people who've lost a child because they couldn't afford medical care. I feel like such an asshole.
In the end, this thinking does no one any good at all and, really, it's incredibly self indulgent. I'm so privileged that I have the luxury of feeling bad about it? At the same time, is it a bad thing to want a nice life? To want that for my children? That is, after all, what I wish I could help everyone else have.
I think what I'll work on is helping other people in any way that I can; and teaching my children to do the same. I hope that somehow, I can manage to teach my girls that we are incredibly lucky and that we should share what we can with others, without making them feel the guilt.
As I've told other people who were having the same dilemma, there is no point in feeling guilty to have had the good fortune to be born when, where and to whom we were; but it is our responsibility to take that privilege and use it to do good.