Recently I was involved in a car accident. Thankfully, I was by myself and everyone was ok. Amidst all the chaos (and after making sure the other people involved were ok) I kept asking myself, “Why me? Why now?”
The day started off great. I had just made a (hopefully) positive step forward in my career. I saved a bunch of money getting my produce at Aldi’s. Now it was time to get the kids and bring them back home to see my husband’s parents who were visiting from Ireland. Instead of taking my usual way to daycare, I thought I would try a shortcut. And just like that, my day went from great to a total disaster. I was a whirlwind of emotions.
When I caught the first glimpse of my hubs walking into the emergency room, my stress level skyrocketed. I felt weighed down by the tremendous guilt of the burden I just put on our family. Things are usually pretty tight for us, even though we may not always show it. Now things were going to be even tighter. With only a year left on the car loan, we were counting down the days until that money was free and the minivan was really ours. We knew, however, that we would have to trade it in soon, but it would have been nice to be without a car payment.
Many tears later, on the way home from the hospital, my husband said to me, “I don’t know about all this karma stuff. Where’s our good karma?” I sighed, defeated, “Seriously.”
That question struck me. Where was our good karma? Where was MY good karma? I work hard. I take care of the kids. I always go the extra mile at work and with my family. I have many years of volunteer work behind me. I mean, I like to think we’re generally good people. We try to put so much good out in the universe and this is how we’re rewarded?! Where is my good karma?
I used to always joke that if I didn’t have bad luck, I’d have no luck at all. Maybe that outlook is my problem. As I spiraled deeper into the throes of my self-pity, I remembered my positivity challenge. Now, this doesn’t mean that I shut my feelings off and that everything was suddenly fine and dandy. Instead, I accepted my feelings, allowed myself to have some grief, and decided it was time to look at things differently. After all, life is all about perspective.
I wouldn’t be able to move on if I didn’t change the way I was looking at the problem. Instead of feeling bad or sorry, I asked myself, “What am I thankful for in this situation?” I quickly made a list:
- No one was seriously injured.
- I was the only one in my car, and the other cars involved also didn’t have any passengers.
- We were able to find a different car. Unfortunately, we had to downsize from a minivan to a compact suv – but, hey – I’m lucky we were even able to do that. I realize there are some people out there who don’t even have the opportunity to get a new car in this situation.
- Our car loan was covered, just shy of $12. We ended up lucky that our insurance totaled the car out at almost the same value as what was owed.
Even though this is clearly not an ideal situation, I’m going to use my most hated cliche and say, “it is what it is!” As my 3yo pointed out, “Accidents happen!” I need to stay focused and concentrate on the good around me. It’s so easy to get lost in the negativity. I have two kids who are like sponges right now. If I only project the negative and “why me?” attitude, that’s what they’re going to adopt as a norm for themselves. Instead, I want to teach them about putting love and positivity into the world. I want to show them that even though life can be tough, we need to focus on the good and keep moving forward – even if that means sometimes taking a couple steps back to regain our strength.