There are two levels of problems, for “ordinary” middle-class people.
Level “A” is when they or their loved-ones are dying from cancer, Alzheimer or any other horrible, lethal, non-curable disease.
Level “B” are the normal problems of life: separation, rocky love-lives, no dinner ready, not enough money, no job security, bad day at work…
Basically, we are all bitching and bitching about level “B” problems, when we know that at any moment, we might get a phone call which will tell us about a level “A” problem, and then the world will burst in flames.
What do you do? What are you supposed to do then? How will you deal with your B problems?
“We should be happy for every minute that goes by”, I sternly told my sister at the eve of our departure, “that we are all healthy, and we know none of us is ill. At any moment, all of this may change.”
So, we are supposed to take comfort in this hard nugget of information: that none of us has a terminal disease yet, and swallow our destiny of long plane rides and distance and separation. OK. If that’s how it has to be, then fine. We’re happy.