Within a twelve hour period, all these things happened to me.
- I was at a stop light and was hit from behind.
- Found out both cars need tires and one needs breaks too.
- The morning was extra hectic because my wife had somewhere to be and was in the shower. Leaving me to battle the feisty kids and get them ready for school on my own.
- My dog threw up all over her bed and herself. Not just a little, I’m talking more vomit than I’ve ever seen come from a dog.
- My garage door broke. So I couldn’t drive my ‘hit from behind’ car into work.
- The toilet started leaking.
- We noticed ants in our kitchen. You have to remember it is January in Cleveland Ohio, I didn’t even know ants were around.
- Five light bulbs blew within a two hour period.
Any of these things alone would be simple to handle. Even looking back at that list now, it just doesn’t seem like a big deal for a twelve hour period of time. Actually though it was more like three hours, because out of that twelve I was sleeping for seven, getting ready for sleep (and then work) and showing for one, working out for one and helping the kids with a puzzle for one. Those were the calm times in the twelve hour span. But when they all happened together, in the order they did as fast as they did, my mind wanted to explode. I eventually fixed my garage door enough so it would open and close. I was just going to get a late start to the day.
This all happened on the Catholic feast day of St. Blaise. He is the Patron Saint of throat illness. It is said that St. Blaise, as a young man, healed a boy that came to him with a fish-bone stuck in his throat. That is how he became the Patron Saint of throat illness. Naturally, having gone through throat cancer, I wanted to go to mass that day and give thanks for having all that behind me, also to get my throat blessed again. So on my way to mass, which I was late for because of my trying morning, I felt a sense of calm come over me that continued to intensify during the mass.
After mass I was lucky enough that it continued throughout the rest of the day. But that morning and the evening before were something to behold. In the drive to work I started thinking about how I was reacting to all of this. I actually became thankful that these things happened. I remembered that one year ago I was a zombie on the couch hoping that my body could recover from the trauma of chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Everyone told me it would, but it sure didn’t feel like it. At that time, if these ‘inconvenient events’ happened, I wouldn’t have been able to react at all.
Point #1: I was alive and happy enough to react to these things happening to me. Hey!! That’s great. I survived cancer. What about all the people currently going through life altering events like we were last year. It made me think of the news story I saw about the streets of Mentor lined on both sides as a memorial to a fallen soldier. Not only was this hero a soldier, but a father, husband, family member and many other titles, I’m sure of it. OK, so a hit car and broken garage door isn’t that bad after all.
Point #2: Some of these “bad” events made me take a closer look at some things that needed attention anyway. Sure the cars need tires and breaks, but that will help keep us safe. The garage door may seem like an inconvenience to fix, but in these frigid temperatures, it’s better than having to get out of the car to open/close the garage door.
Point #3: Timing seems to be everything with these bad events. Good events too, there will be a time when the pendulum swings the other way and we will get a ton of good news from different sources. Most things are only as bad as you perceive them to be at the time. I stress “most”.
Tell me about something that happened to you recently that you considered “bad” or a major inconvenience and then after a few hours realized, it wasn’t as bad as first perceived.