The law doesn't care about my name or my hobbies. My interests are irrelevant. The law was written to accommodate 300 million people. That's 2,999,999 who aren't me. I try to remember.

Today I had to visit the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, and how can you have "Bureau" without "Bureaucracy"? Just need update my permanent address. They won't let us do it online. Have to go in person, with photo ID, and two bills in your name featuring the new address.

Done. Done and Done! Except one of the bills, a document capable of proving my residency, was in my wife's name instead of mine. Argh! Not good enough. Go back home. Curse the wasted time. Return to wait in line again. Sign documents (lots of documents). Get picture taken, smiling without showing teeth.

I even had to sign a document confirming I'd received copies of all the signed documents. *sigh*

Sitting through the ridiculous red tape, it's so easy to fume. Even to seethe. That time could be spent so much more productively on work or fun or inventing cotton candy ice cream.

But in actuality, these moments force me to slow down. To breathe deeply. To sit and let nothing occur for a few minutes feels so rare and refreshing these days.

And more than anything, it reminds me to be thankful. For we live in a country and a point in history where red tape headaches like this are rare. Most people throughout human history would've given their left leg for a life of mind numbing paperwork on a full belly.

What a gift to be alive, in a world where even inconvenience can remind us how lucky we are.