Monday, December 05, 2016

I'm ashamed

I'm ashamed.

I've been complaining that we can't get back to our second home in Argelès-sur-mer, France fast enough, even if it is my commitments in Geneva keeping us here.

We live in a beautiful studio in Geneva near good friends and family of choice. We have more than we need for comfort:
  • Washer/dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Wifi
  • TV
  • Electric tea kettle
  • Toaster
  • Microwave
  • Iron
When we go outside into the landscaped garden we can see the Jura. Go beyond the gate, we can see the Alps. In five minutes by foot we are at the lake. 

The Aga Khan and a Saudi Prince or two are in the neighborhood, although we've never met them. 

Add in excellent health insurance and a car that runs well even if it were a cat or dog it would have died long ago of old age. It is a pretty green. 

This is NOT suffering.

In ASM, we have all the appliances above except for the dryer. Our two-bedroom apartment is in a 400-year old building on what is considered the most beautiful street in the village. 

I am 75 steps from the movie theatre and can walk to everything I need. 

Our art work has been lovingly chosen. 

We can walk to the beach in 20 minutes.

The French mountains have a different beauty from the Swiss, but a beauty. My husband is in love with Canigou.

My friends are artists and writers and good people of multi nationalities. They have learned the secret of living well on many different levels.

This morning I woke under my comfy duvet. I flipped on the TV to a documentary of the homeless in the US by accident.

One in four was a veteran, the narrator said. They thought they were serving a country that cared. 

Many of the families had been caught in a jobless trap. As one man said, he lost his job, his wife lost both of hers and they tried and tried but weren't able to find anything. 

So many had done everything right. They weren't mentally ill or addicts.

Their problems are not when they can get to their second home. They worry about:
  • Washing clothes
  • Taking showers
  • Eating
  • Illness
  • Physical safety
  • Finding work (hard without a fixed address)
  • Not freezing to death in the winter 
  • Where to sleep
I felt ashamed of my almost sulkiness. And even if I still want to go south, start decorating for Christmas, I know that I could as easily be any of those homeless people if I hadn't had the luck to be in the right places at the right times. 

So today I will go to the dentist, pay some bills at the multimat (Switzerland did away with checks decades ago) grateful that I have the money to do those things.

I will eat half a chocolate out of our Advent calendar, leaving half for my husband who will be home tomorrow.

I've already had my nice long hot shower. 

I will write on my computer. 

I am not smug at my situation, I am grateful that I was one of the luckier ones. I feel ashamed that I didn't appreciate what I have more and that besides donations I can't change an uncaring society.

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