It Could Be Worse

Crash, boom, bang.  Oh crap!

I recently watched a friend of mine get into an accident.  Afterwards I got to hear the full story of what happened and the string of curses about it.  In this case, the accident was entirely his fault because he was being impatient in a parking garage.  The ironic part of the story was he managed to drive home through the freezing rain and snow without any problems. Oh, the vehicle is like a week old.  Yep, I understood my friend being upset.

I tried to make him feel better by pointing out it could be worse, which he asked how that could be.  I pointed out you could have also lost your job and have no savings for the deductible for your insurance.  While I’m not sure that really made him feel any better I often use the same tactic on myself.

When everything is going wrong I remind myself it could be worse, why?  Because when I compare my situation to people who really do have it bad I have to nearly laugh at myself for getting upset over my oven element breaking and having to replace it.  For example, I actually have some savings, I have a job, I have a house with positive equity, I don’t live in a temporary shelter, I’ve never lived through a massive natural disaster, my government is no where near defaulting on their national debt and I don’t live anywhere remotely near a war zone.

There is a very long list of people in the world who are rightly pissed off at the world and I really shouldn’t be one of them over the minor stuff in life.  Perhaps I’m just an optimist that refusing to get sucked into thinking the world is an awful place when it fact it is a damn good place overall.

So how do you deal with the minor crap that happens in life?  Do you think of how it could be worse or focus on what is going right?

6 thoughts on “It Could Be Worse”

  1. It is what is is. Shit happens. If no one got hurt, I fix what I can and carry on. I know in the grand scheme of things the financial set back would drive me insane if I let it, so I try to focus on the good in my life instead.

  2. Good reminder Tim. Here I was kind of dreading the holiday family drama later today (it’s Thanksgiving here). And you reminded me of the people I watched in the movie Argo yesterday. They feared for their lives during the hostage crisis in Iran. What they wouldn’t have given to trade places with me . . .

  3. That’s a great approach to things. Beleive me when I tell you my situation is awful right now …very awful. I won’t get into details but let’s just say due to some circumstances which were far beyond my control, I am left taking care of 5 kids on my own

    However I do have a permanent job, my health (above all), my kids’ health (also above all), and I don’t have credit card debt. I have some decent investments which should start to pay off in about 5 years. I own my own home and have a decent amount of equity in it.

    My co-workers cannot imagine how I manage to survive on my own. But then again, I know there are tons of people who have it a lot worse than me. A lot worse.

    I really have to be grateful for what I have right now and that things could be far different. I think its the greed of the world that always makes us want more when good enough just isn’t “good enough”.

    We always tend to compare ourselves to the upper echelon of people and put woe upon ourselves than to take a look at the bottom crust and consider ourselves fortunate.

    Because no matter which way you cut it, there IS INDEED always someone with a situation worse than yours.

  4. I try not to sweat the small stuff. But I have also realized over the years that having money can buy my way out of a lot of jams, including those which are self-inflicted. I have found that the crap which happens to me which I can’t buy my way out of ends up being the bigger problems.

    Still, being an early retiree has greatly lessened the crap I have to put with in the last 4 years. (Agree, Syd?)

  5. I know that we are very fortunate indeed. We had a little bit of a set back where an unexpected payout isn’t going to happen. Oddly enough before we expected it I was feeling very blessed and know that I have more in my life than I possibly need. Today I was feeling uncertain of our financial situation. How silly – nothing really has changed about our circumstances. Truthfully it doesn’t matter how much you have, you will always think you need more.

  6. Something I repeat to myself: “All of your “problems” are first world problems”. Also “in 10 years will this really matter?” I’ve been through a hell of a lot worse than anything I’ve faced in the last 10+ years and come out alive and stronger for it.

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