I had a vision for the art in my kitchen.

Walking down a Rishikesh street…

I know, first-world problems. I found these old issues of Gourmet magazine and wanted the covers framed to hang on the wall. My vision included the date in the top corner so that I could see covers from the 1990s and earlier.

Of course, when you don’t communicate a vision, and other people are involved, it has no chance of happening. My lovely decorator David had no idea how I wanted it so he took his usual creative flair and found beautiful frames and cropped the covers to fit in each frame.

The result is beautiful. But it’s not what I had envisioned.

Except that now, I feel like, how ridiculous to even care whether the date is there or not. Really. Is it so important? Of course it isn’t. I’ve gained perspective.

In this country, in the free world, in the land of plenty, we squabble over silly things – not getting the right appointment time or having to wait in line or not finding the item you want to purchase in a store. Who really cares?

Because in so many parts of the world, people are simply struggling to survive. To feed their kids. To feed themselves.

I know, a trip to the other side of the world, to a third world country like India, changes you. I heard that before I went and thought, how silly, how can I be changed simply by visiting how other people live?

Yes, it changes everything.

This is not the art I brought home from India, but close to it.

Yesterday I took a beautiful huge tapestry (something like 60×40) to Michael’s to get it framed to hang in my lovely new living room. It cost me $50 to purchase in India.

Guess how much the framing will cost? I can’t even speak it here. It’s embarrassing.

And I’m paying it nonetheless. Because I want it.

Because I WANT it.

Wow. We are so damn spoiled, aren’t we?

I never thought I lived such a frivolous and extravagant life but I’m beginning to think I might. The other day, my daughter said she wants servants like in Downton Abbey, the show I discovered during my travels and have been watching shamelessly since.

Um, sorry honey, no servants on the horizon.

But I see the temptation.

We are certainly comfortable in the lives we lead. And how lucky are we to be so? Every single day I offer my sincerest gratitude for all that I have and all that I am able to do for my children and those around me.

The gifts we buy, the items we “own,” the travels that take us to corners of the world. Lucky. Fortunate. Grateful, indeed.

Yes, India changed me. And I’m thinking it’s for the better.

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