On Wednesday of this week, it was predicted to reach 101 degrees where I live in Iowa. I flipped on the air conditioner as soon as I got up in the morning. It was actually the first time I'd decided to use it so far this summer. Because we have ceiling fans, I'd been getting away with using them and having the windows open and having a kind of competition with myself to see how long I could go before resorting to using the A/C. And, granted, I probably would have used it earlier if we hadn't been gone for a couple of weeks.
As I went about my morning, I realized something fairly quickly: the house was not cooling down. Not only was it not cooling down, but it was getting warmer. Uh oh. The air conditioner was not working (ironically, I think this is the 3rd summer in a row the a/c has not worked on the hottest day, and we're even in a different house than before).
I really wasn't too worried about myself being uncomfortable; I grew up in humid Connecticut without air conditioning in my house or in the schools I attended. Most of my friends did not have air conditioning either. To me, air conditioning is more of a luxury than a necessity (although when I lived in New Mexico I did consider it more of a necessity). I thought it would probably be worse for my husband and kids, but they seemed to take it in stride (I guess the "no whining" signs I have put up around the house have subconsciously worked on all of us).
I also realized that no air conditioning was probably a minor problem in the big scheme of things. We have friends and family members who have been or who are close to being evacuated due to the fire in Colorado Springs, and they may lose their homes (maybe they have already; I haven't heard an update). I think I'd rather have a home without A/C than have my home burn to the ground (I'm kind of attached to a lot of my "stuff").
Looking at it from that perspective made me able to take the heat that day in stride; it's just a minor inconvenience that will be remedied.
It's not always easy to change our perspective on things; we often are very focused on what we want or what inconveniences us or what is best or worst for us. Changing our perspective, though, can help us to see that we are not the center of the world and that many of the problems we face are minor compared to what other people are going through.
How about you? Have you had a time when you have had to change your perspective on something? Was it an easy or difficult process?