It wasn't actually all that bad; I'm just rationalizing the pity party I threw for myself this morning. Sitting here now, with the benefit of a good cry and a healthy dose of perspective under my belt, I can admit that it was actually a pretty wonderful day.
Perspective was easily attained today thanks to some volunteer writing and editing that I have been doing lately for Wells Bring Hope, a nonprofit that digs wells for villages in Niger. Just last night, I spent a couple of hours working on a blog about the ways in which a village is changed when they get a well. I wrote that 68% of Nigerians do not have access to clean water and that 88% lack access to effective sanitation. I wrote about how this lack of clean water and reliable sanitation has created a situation in which one in four Nigerian children dies before his or her fifth birthday and life expectancy is 53 years. I wrote about how 40% of Nigerians have trachoma, a bacterial infection that leads to blindness if left untreated. I wrote about how the burden of gathering water falls to women and girls who walk as many as six miles a day, risking physical and sexual assault and attacks by wild animals, in order to provide water to their families.
Finally I wrote about how, for $5,000, Wells Bring Hope can provide a village with a well that will completely transform the lives of the people who live there. Child mortality decreases by 65%, school attendance increases by 40%, and waterborne illnesses are virtually eliminated. All because of water. Water - something that I don't think twice about... until I have to go to the grocery store where I have to think about which of the 87 varieties I would like to purchase.
So today, I am grateful for water. Water that runs straight into my house. Water that I can, in fact, access instantly from three separate rooms in my apartment. Water that is hot when I want a shower and cold when I want a drink. Water that is clean and fresh and free of things that can kill me.
I'm also really grateful for the perspective that helped me to quit my bitching today and realize how * lucky I really am.
*I tried writing fucking just there, but my mom reads this and I don't want to alienate one of my five readers.