This past February, I was involved in a motor vehicle collision. I was leaving work circa 11:15 PM and a driver carelessly ran a stop sign. As I saw the vehicle approaching me at rapid speed, I quickly veered my civic over to the next lane, but it was too late. Then the next part: the oncoming vehicle hits my passenger side door, my tires screeched, the airbags deploy and my car swerves approximately 180 degrees, only to land perfectly on the opposing side of traffic. "OH. MY. CAR." Wow. Did that just happen? I needed a minute. Or two.
"Okay, it's fine, I'm fine, I'm perfectly fine. No blood as far as I can see. Everything is fine, K. Breathe and think. What I am supposed to next? Okay, call someone. Wait, where's my phone???" A kind samaritan approached the car and offered to call me so I could find it. Voila! The phone was found beside my center console and I was dialing 911. The police said it was a pretty significant accident. Awful tension headache and terrible neck pain followed shortly after. The real headache came on while trying to get my car back.
"NOOO, thats my baby! It's fine! Just the door! It started right back up in front of the police! How can that be? Sir, the ENGINE is INTACT! What do you mean there's a law about airbags?! What FRAME are you referring to?! I have a hook up that can fix that in no time! I do NOT have time for this! I want to speak to a supervisor!"
My vehicle was declared a total loss a few days after that. Want to hear the ironic part? The night of the accident, I was proudly telling my coworkers all about my game plan to drive old reliable, AKA "The Grey Ghost", until the end. I was thisclose too, considering the car was getting paid off the following month. I was going to use the extra money, put it in savings and still drive my babe around town. So much for that, huh?
My car was demolished as per "insurance standards". I'd have to to run around town in a rental, fork up some money for a new car and lastly, go into the shark tank to negotiate the purchase of a new one. Don't you hate that part? They always get me too; "A million dollars for that little thing?! What a steal! I'll take two of them, just in case!" While it was frustrating to speak to endless amounts of reps stating the events of that night time and again, I was fortunate enough to be able pace around the living room, huffing and puffing away at them, in one piece. Unfortunately, I have treated patients that underwent similar collision that did not have the same fortune as I, and THAT, was what I repeatedly told myself.
You see, positivity is a choice. A choice based on perspective. We're quick to remind others how great they have it and how bad things happen to good people too. We aren't so great at saying it to ourselves. After dealing with death and grief as an ER nurse, the best advice I can give is to count your blessings. A hard concept to grasp amidst unfortunate circumstances, but still attainable. It takes effort, no need to lie, but just like brushing you teeth, make it a habit! Wake up in the morning and look at the roof over your head, the food on the table, the people who surround you. Tell yourself that today WILL be a good day, and be sure to say it out loud. When something doesn't goes as planned, ask yourself if this is the worse thing that can happen. Remember that nothing lasts forever. Perspective and a positive outlook on life are shown to improve many things, among them your health and your relationships. No one wants to be around somebody who constantly brings the energy down. We all know that person who brings the whoooole room down with them and poisons others around to think negatively, criticize and complain. Don't be that person! It only shows how unhappy and ungrateful they are inside, and that's a sad way to live if you ask me!
Challenge yourself to turn a bad thing into a good one, no matter how difficult that may seem. Over time, the choice to stay positive will be a part of your routine, just like everything else you do. A Jedi mind-trick (if you will) to see the brighter side of life. After empathizing with those I've helped, I've concluded that most of the arguments that keep us perturbed in life are of very little value. It would be foolish to let them dim your light!! Remind yourself of the blessings that surround you. If you need a little help and life is rough right now, ask a close friend or your spouse to ask you daily for one thing you are grateful for, and help keep you accountable. You will see your spirits brighten in a short time!
Realistically, it's impossible to walk around with a smile on 24 hours a day. Some days our worlds really are falling apart and, when those days come around it's perfectly acceptable to fall down with them. Accept the mishaps, handle them with grace, and most importantly learn for the future.
Nowadays I'm driving my new 2015 Honda Accord around town! Woo hoo! Dual AC control, bluetooth, smooth manual transmission and tons of other cool features that I am still figuring out. Still, not a BMW or a Mercedes, but while I could be comparing my Honda to some of the other luxury cars around here, I won't! I refuse. Instead, I'll be thankful for a vehicle I can call my own and the ability to get around successfully, because that's all I really need. My cup is half full, just the way I like it.
I challenge you to have a good day no matter what comes your way, and if you have any tricks please share them down below!
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