I am thankful for: things that could have been worse

I woke up just in time to hear a doctor telling my parents how I was lucky my nose had shattered because otherwise the bone would have driven up into my brain and killed me.

It was hard to feel especially lucky at that moment. I had broadsided another driver who hadn’t looked to see I was approaching doing about 45. I’d been wearing my seatbelt but the seat itself came unbolted from the floor and added to the force that threw me into the steering wheel.

I was also 16 and driving someplace I wasn’t supposed to be while my mom was out of town. Kind of hard to deny I was going to see the boyfriend my parents hated when my mom’s car was smashed on the side of the road and my dad, the cop, came roaring up to the scene with lights flashing.

So how was I lucky?

  • First, like the doctor said, I could have died that day. Instead, I missed about a week of my senior year then picked up where I left off.
  • Second, having that experience as a new driver made me so much more cautious behind the wheel. I never take for granted the responsibility of operating a vehicle because I know its potential for damage.
  • To be a little vain, my plastic surgeon gave me a new nose that’s cuter than the one I had.
  • Finally, I think my crash helped give me the perspective that something that’s bad probably could have been worse.

My exfiance broke my heart by leaving me for another girl? At least he made that decision before we got married, letting me reassess my priorities and marry someone so much better.

My purse got stolen in New Orleans this spring? At least no one got hurt, just about everything in it was easily replaced and the security staff at the airport was so kind in helping me fly home without my driver’s license.

It’s not that I don’t get angry or hurt by life’s painful moments. But I try to reflect on what could have happened and be thankful that it wasn’t worse.

Here’s a related post I wrote for last year’s Month of Thanksgiving: Life’s messy and that’s OK.

Thus ends my second Month of Thanksgiving, blogging daily about the reasons I have to be grateful. I hope you’ve enjoyed my expressions of thanksgiving and maybe reflected a bit more about the blessings in your life.

And now we return to my blog’s usual mix of stories about evolution, revolution and living life intentionally …


Categories: health and well being, lifestyle

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

9 replies

  1. Colleen,
    Such great stories of thankfulness. They are gifts, so thanks for sharing.

    They remind me to be grateful myself:
    1. Matt and I are helping to care for his brother, Jay, who had a massive stroke here in Seattle last April. We’re lucky that we still have our health; we also have the means to help Jay and his family.
    2. We have good jobs at a time when a lot of people don’t.
    3. We have each other.


  2. Wabi sabi, Colleen. Wabi. Sabi.

    Rob, every time I pass River and Weber, I remember that….

  3. I loved the month of Thanksgiving and hope that you continue the tradition for many years to come.

  4. What an excellent series this month. Thanks so much for sharing. I can REALLY relate to this one about unauthorized car use at age 16. In my story, no one was hurt. But Dad’s Mercedes ended up wrapped around a tree.


  1. In sickness and in health « Newvine Growing — exploring evolution, revolution and living life intentionally
  2. 40 things I have learned at 40 « Newvine Growing — exploring evolution, revolution and living life intentionally
  3. New Orleans teaches me that Plan B might even be better | Newvine Growing -- exploring evolution, revolution and living life intentionally
  4. Beginning the process of returning to my natural hair color — and letting the gray come in | Newvine Growing
  5. You don’t want to walk around stinking, right? A guest post from Sara Hill Isacson | Newvine Growing

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