I’m a worrier. And I have an overactive imagination. It’s not a great combination. The last thing you want to ask me is, “What’s the worst case scenario?” or “What’s the worst that could happen?” Because I will answer. In exhaustive detail.
It might be in my genes, or it might be a little bit by choice. I’m starting to think it’s the latter.
I was traveling for work earlier this week when bam! It hit me. Or more accurately, bam! Another car hit my crappy rental car (and I’m sorry for saying crappy, but… it was crappy).
When it comes to car accidents, what happened to me would certainly be considered the best case scenario. I am fine (truly… I think my hairdo got flattened a tiny bit, but that’s really it), the other driver is fine. Neither car had a speck of damage.
And yet, long after the shock wore off, I found myself dwelling in what could have been.
What if one of us did get hurt? What if the cars had been damaged and needed costly repairs? What if I didn’t make my flight home? What if I hadn’t left 9 car lengths between me and the car ahead of me (safety first, my friends), and then I hit that car? And what if one of us were going somewhere really important, and we didn’t get there on time? And what if when I got out to inspect our cars, I slipped in all that snow because I was wearing ridiculous shoes (which I was) and broke one of my legs and also lost my phone at the same time and maybe got amnesia and therefore couldn’t remember any phone numbers, and then wasn’t able to get in touch with Nick to tell him that I had a broken leg, needed to get a new phone, had forgotten my entire life story, and was stranded in Detroit?
I’d like to say that falling into such a spiral of interesting, yet unproductive thoughts was a rare event. But it’s not. While I genuinely believe in the good, I often catch myself expecting the bad. The annoying. The frustrating. The ugly.
I think it would be easy to point to all the proof around us that things aren’t perfect. And there is so much we cannot control, and can’t choose. But just like I can choose between boots and sparkly flats, I can choose my outlook. I can choose my attitude (as challenging as that can be). Having choices is a grace. Having choices means we’re still empowered. It means that we’re still doing okay.
This is my long winded way of telling you that it’s time for me to start focusing on the best case scenario. The one where we all get home safely. The one where our ridiculous but beautiful shoes serve us well. The one where we treat each other kindly, even when our cars crash into one another. The one where I have an empty seat next to me on one flight, and a nice person sitting next to me on the next (And yes! That really happened!). No amnesia, no broken legs, no missed flights.
What a nice place to dwell.
Also On Tap for Today:
- 7 science-based reasons to use emoticons
- Unpacking (but only because I need my glasses and mascara and hairdryer and Kissing Frogs which I am thisclose to finishing)
- My new podcast obsession: On Being
What’s the best that could happen for you today?