My current problems would probably comfortably fit into the hackneyed 'first world problems' category.
Problem 1: I can't fit my piano in my house and it has to be moved by end of Thursday or it is a homeless piano
Problem 2: someone smashed our garden gate and we need to replace it
Problem 3: my company is being taken over by a large corporate and I don't know what that will mean for my role
Problem 4: a beauty therapist had to postpone my leg wax and I feel like a wookie
Yep, pretty non-stellar as problems go. From a better perspective, they would look something like this:
Fact 1: I own a house - I have shelter over my head and I can afford to maintain it
Fact 2: I own a piano: a luxury!
Fact 3: I own a garden: also a luxury.
Fact 4: I am employed
Fact 5: I can afford to have someone else remove hair from my body for me. Definitely a luxury.
So why am I stressed?
In reality, a lot of things I see as problems are just inconveniences. They interfere with my routine, with what I want to do or be, but they're not lasting problems. They don't hold the potential to majorly, negatively impact my life, unless I choose to let them.
But knowing that something is not a big problem doesn't mean it doesn't feel like one, or that it doesn't affect us. Case in point: the piano. We could just sell it sharpish, get a smaller piano that would fit. But it's not so simple, because this is my piano. Well, ours. It's a black Steinway oversize upright, built in the 1890s, with marquetry flowers on the panels. It's beautiful, and it sounds beautiful.
We bought it at a time when we were living in a tiny flat, and the only reason we could say 'yes' to it was because Stan's grandpa kindly offered to have it in his home until we had our own place. It was the promise of music in the future, of picking up a loved but long-neglected old skill, and teaching our future children to play. And we've waited over three years to have it in our home, and now it looks like we can't.
Since I started learning aged 10 I've always been able to sit in front of a piano and play my cares away. This piano has played Christmas carols for family, and old familiar hymns when Grandpa was sick; he would always try to sing along.
So really, when I consider the piano problem, it's not about the stress of trying to figure out how to make it fit or the short time scale we have to work to. It's about the prospect of losing something that promised joy, and relief from stress, and creativity.
Yep, my problems are not really big problems. Some of them are trivial, and only made the list for comedy purposes. But some of them are scary, or painful, or sad. And they can feel like a roadblock, even if they're only really a hurdle or a traffic cone.