Look For The Positive

December 17, 2016 in Uncategorized

3 weeks ago, I had a car accident.   No other cars were involved though so I mostly just had an accident with myself.  This should come as no surprise to anyone. I’m a one woman show.  I don’t even need another car to have a car accident! I’m very good at playing all roles.  I can be both the victim and the perpetrator in my own life.  How about that?!  It’s a lot like shoveling gallons of ice cream down your throat and then complaining because you can’t fit in a chair.  You were the instigator of your own demise.  I could literally rob myself blind and still wonder who did it?!

Sometimes things happen.  You swerve to miss a dog or a deer.  Or whatever happens happens.  You end up running off the road into a guard rail and ditch.  Now you would have thought this only might have damaged my bumper but evidently not.  Like I said.  I DO IT UP RIGHT!!

For 3 weeks I have had this rental car that USAA gave me and the shop has been fixing my van.  Yesterday it was finally ready but when I arrived to get it, there were two lights on that had never been on before.  They were like, “Oh yeah that has nothing to do with the accident though. It’s not related”

Ok here’s the thing.  Those lights were NOT on before.  My car is older (2009) and I won’t lie it’s kind of a scattered mess on the inside because we are like house-car people.  We tend to leave a lot of stuff in there.  It’s not always as clean as it should be.  BUT one thing I always do is keep the maintenance on my car up.  ALWAYS.  I can’t afford not to.  I don’t need my car suddenly having something break or blow up because I didn’t maintain it.    In fact a mere 6 months ago I put about 800 dollars of work into the van not because anything was wrong but just because it was maintenance of things that could potentially go wrong.

I’m all about waving off things that could potentially go wrong.   I’m a worrier by nature.  That’s what we do.  Imagine what can go wrong and try to keep it from happening before it does.

It doesn’t usually work.  Enter trouble stage left.

So I pick up my car and they’re like…”Yeah so those lights aren’t related to the accident so that isn’t really our problem”.  And I’m like “hmmm….those lights weren’t on before?”…and they’re like….”Well that isn’t our issue” so I wonder what I’m going to do about that.  I should NOT have left with my car.  That I now know.  But I did.

I was like…”Well I’ll figure that out later”.   Words that should NEVER be said!! You should never figure out later what should be figured out now.   That’s like the time I weighed 259 pounds and decided I’d deal with it later.  Only when later got there I was 417 pounds and had a much bigger problem.   Later is what happens when you let go of today.  Oh how I am starting to really not like…LATER!

So I go to pick up my kids from school and while I’m sitting in the parking lot waiting—weird noises begin to emit from the hood and smoke starts coming out.  The noises actually sounded like drum rolls.  I even thought at first it was the band practicing after school.  Then I realized…those drum rolls are a little too close to my ears.

FABULOUS

Literally I start having a gigantic meltdown because I’m like….

OF COURSE THIS IS HAPPENING!!  WHY WOULDN’T THIS BE HAPPENING???  EVERYTHING BAD HAS TO HAPPEN TO ME!

Immediately I go straight into a nosedive of nonstop negative “life isn’t fair…crap always has to happen to me” statements.  It was a lot of fun.  You should be glad you missed it.   But really it’s been nonstop for me it seems like the last few years.  Maybe it’s actually nonstop for everyone and what I think is unusual is really just life.  I’m about to start thinking that.

So now what do I do? I waited for the kids to get out of school and we tried to call an Uber.  But guess what? My phone died. And that app with my account info is on that phone.  So I use my son’s phone to call a cab. And guess what? It’s BUSY.  They put me on hold for 10 minutes and then my son’s phone died.  Because why? BECAUSE THIS IS MY LIFE!!!!

And then we had to walk home.  It’s 2.5 miles.  It’s ONLY 2.5 miles.  But I haven’t been walking even that far outside in a long time.  I have, however, recently been walking 2-3 miles with the Leslie Sansone videos THANK GOD!!  So I made it.  And it was not that big of a deal.  Except of course when about 3/4 of a mile away from the house I VERY SUDDENLY had to pee.  And I do mean very suddenly.

This is a new thing with me.  I had this problem all the time when I was over 400 pounds.  Weak bladders are a normal occurence when you’re overweight.  But I haven’t had this issue anymore since I lost weight.  I’m not sure if I’m just getting old or if the weight gain is making this happen.  But I’ve reached this point lately where literally at 2:00 pm I might have no desire to pee whatsoever.  And at 2:01 I have to pee so bad that you better get out of my way and fast!  So there we are 3/4 of the way home taking a shortcut through a church parking lot that backs up to my neighborhod and suddenly I have to pee. I told the kids.  This is it. I’m going to pee right here because I won’t be able to control it.  And they’re …”Oh my gosh Mom!! You can’t pee in the church parking lot?!”

Would we get struck by lightning. I’m not sure.   Is “Thou Shalt Not Pee Here” the 13th commandment.  But I know how they feel.  It’s not like I relish in the idea of peeing myself in public.  Especially not in a random church parking lot.  But when the bladder lets you down..it lets you down.  Luckily I managed to pull it together and somehow we made it back.  But here we are still without my van!

I called USAA and they are towing it back to the same place.  These people swear up and down that what is happening now has no relation to the accident and nothing to do with it.  I am praying that it is not something horrid.  That my whole engine isn’t blown.  And that whatever is wrong WILL be covered by insurance.  I just paid my 500 deductible to get it out yesterday and doing that right before Christmas didn’t help.  The fact that they are trying to tell me that I will now also be paying out of pocket for whatever else is wrong is not making me feel less anxious.  Hopefully USAA will not agree.  The last thing I need is to pay my deductible and then still be told I have to pay for my own repairs that were supposedly not caused by the accident even though my van was perfectly fine right before it.

What does this have to do with weight loss??? Not a lot.  Except that anytime I get depressed or anxious, ice cream comes to mind.  Amazingly I have not pulled the trigger on that.  In fact I ended up walking 2 miles outside BY SHEER FORCE and it felt pretty darn good.  A few positive things can be taken from this.

I was ABLE to walk home. In the past if I could not get a cab and my phone was dead making me unable to call anyone for a ride…I still would not have been able to walk home.  Physically I could not have done it.  I’m not sure what I would have done.  Stayed in the car until I figured something out? I don’t know.  But it would not have been as easy as saying “Well we will just walk”.

But the truth is…I DO know what I would have done.  I would have to send my kids home on their own while I waited behind.   While I waited to be rescued.   Because I could not rescue myself.

It shouldn’t be that way.  Having to send them while I wait behind. And that is what would have happened.  They would have had to go home and call me a cab (requesting a VAN cab so I could fit) and then send it to the location I was at.  I would have waited alone in my car with my dead phone hoping everyone was ok but not knowing.

The fact that I can now say “Let’s Walk!”  so nonchalantly is really huge.  It’s another reason why this journey is so important.  Not because it allows me to buy cuter clothes.  But because it allows me to address spontaneous life issues  in a much easier way.  Something that could have turned into a much bigger problem was not because I was physically able to walk home.

I was able to get back into the exact same rental car because they hadn’t even closed out my ticket.  And it’s a small Nissan Sentra.  Again this is a car I could NOT have driven if not for the weight loss. I would had had to pay out of my pocket for the bigger car.   In past years when I needed a rental car I did have to do this.  Many years ago before I lost weight, my Suburban died.  And I mean DIED….as in total funeral.  I was unable to get a rental of ANY KIND for a week because they had none available big enough for me.  The fact that I can fit into any car (even if it’s a bit of a cram) is another thing that is so easy to push aside without thinking.  But it’s a very very big deal and another positive side effect to losing weight.

Life doesn’t always go the way we want it to.   For 3 weeks I was without my van.  I finally got it back and I thought the drama was over. Problem solved.  But a mere hour later it was smoking and broken down again.  I suppose that’s a lot like life.  Sometimes you think you’ve got a problem licked.  That you dealt with it.  It even SHOULD be licked.  I mean you waited. You were patient.  You did all the right things.  Even shelled out the cash! But here you are right back where you started.  And maybe even worse off.  I mean originally it was just a problem with the bumper.  Now my car is making horrible noises and smoke is rising.  We went from the frying pan into the fire.

Weight gain can be like that.  You go on a diet and you lose 20 pounds.  You think you’ve got it under control and then something happens.  You gain it all back plus you add 20 more.  Now instead of having a solved problem you’ve got one bigger than when you started.   Sometimes you wonder…why did I even try?!

Today I feel an odd mix of negatives and positives.  I’m completely worried about my van.  If I get told it’s toast I’m going to kind of lose it.  If they try to pin a huge dollar bill of repairs on me and say it has nothing to do with the accident when it clearly does—I might literally split personalities.  Well split the ones that are already split that is...and I have a big enough group in there already ya know?? They don’t need new friends!

But at the same time, I am using this opportunity to trust God and have faith that whatever comes my way He will help me through it.

For quite awhile now I’ve been letting life get me down.  I have not been actively putting my faith in God to help me through things.  I’ve instead been working overtime on the belief that I’m a punching bag for life and that whatever I touch turns to @!@%%#@   When something bad happens (which it seems to do a lot lately) I am not even surprised.  I’m like “Yep of course that happened!”  I’m beginning to actually expect it to happen.   In my mind, it really feels like this is now the way it’s just going to go.  And nothing I do will change that.

Whether that’s true or not, it doesn’t help me to believe it.  Maybe I’m right.  Maybe nothing will work out.  Maybe this is just the beginning of another long disaster in my life.  Maybe by next week I will have no vehicle at all and I’ll have to buy a bus pass.  Who knows.  But what I believe about life is really up to me.  It may not have any effect on the outcome.  But it will at least have an effect on how I’m feeling while I’m waiting around for the next bad thing to happen!! Maybe I can’t avoid it but at least I can try to have the in between time filled with hope instead of despair!  That is the theme of this season isn’t it?!

 I can take a difficult situation and make it worse by heaping negative thinking on top of it.  I can continue to voice all these thoughts about how forces are probably out to get me and it’s just a matter of time before they finally win OR I could start counting what is positive about even the most negative things.  I used to make a habit out of this but like all my GOOD habits….that one also seems to have fallen by the wayside.  Time to make an effort with that one again as well.  If I have to force myself to think positively for 30 seconds a day then that’s what I’ll do.

So here’s what is positive:

Sure my car broke down 5 seconds after they said it was fixed.  Sure it started making noise and smoking in the school parking lot BUT you know what? I was AT THE SCHOOL when it happened.  I could have been on the side of 1604 in traffic.  That happened to me with the Suburban once.  I could have been in the middle of literally no where.  That’s happened to me too!  But it didn’t.   The car waited until I was parked in the parking lot.  How kind of it…yes?

My phone died and I couldn’t call an uber.  Yellow cab put me on hold so long it was a no go.  But I walked 2.5 miles yesterday OUTSIDE! Something I could not find the motivation to do on my own.  Something I had started to believe that I couldn’t even do anymore.  And you know what? It wasn’t even that bad.  I’m not as out of shape as I thought I was.   And now when I wake up tomorrow, I can’t tell myself that 2.5 miles even outside with the crazy terrain is impossible.  Besides, I live in a suburban neighborhood not the jungle.   What terrain is my mind telling me is out there?!  When you’re stranded you can suddenly do all kinds of things you couldn’t do before!! I never would have done that because I have been content to stick with my videos  (and that is ok too) BUT yesterday I did it.  And a mere 3 weeks ago I couldn’t even peel my rear end off the chair.  So that’s progress.  I also walked those 2.5 miles with my kids.  They will have a story to tell for sure about the time Mom almost peed herself in the church parking lot . I’m not sure that is really a positive but it made them laugh so why not?

It didn’t rain while we were walking home.  It wasn’t super hot.   The weather was perfect.  SCORE!  All positives.  USAA answered the phone even though it was after 5 pm and they set me up in the same rental car right away and told me not to worry too much for now because things like this DO happen.  So that was good.  I have insurance! Another positive.  I could be dealing with all of this totally on my own completely.  At least that is not the case.

And if you want to really get down to the nitty gritty—I have a car.  Some people don’t.  The fact that I have a car that needs to be repaired (even if it is out of my own pocket) is in fact still a blessing.  Because some people don’t have a car at all.  Or a home.  Or a family of any kind.  So maybe it’s time to stop complaining so much, Holly!

I don’t know what the future will bring.  I only know what I need to bring to it.  And I want desperately to bring to it a mindset that says tomorrow CAN be an improvement over today.    Even the willingness to try and see it that way is in fact a blessing. And it’s one I want more of!!

Happy Saturday 🙂

PS.  I left writing this blog to go to Walgreens and get a lightbulb for my lamp.   Picked the lightbulbs off the shelf and one fell out the bottom and shattered immediately.  I find that ironic considering the theme of this post.  Sometimes you just have to laugh

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Jamie December 18, 2016 at 3:48 am

A few things you said in the post really stood out to me. First: “It’s not related…” Clearly it had some relation to the accident if the lights weren’t on before, but the dealership/insurance didn’t want to own responsibility for it. I think weight struggles can be like that. We have all of these problems in our lives, and like to think that this decision or that decision are not related to our weight problems (or stress or whatever our struggle), when clearly it is.

Second, I liked your comment that “later is what happens when you let go of today.” And third–I liked that you’re trying to redirect and celebrate your positives, even after what sounds like a pretty terrible day.

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Holly from 300 Pounds Down December 18, 2016 at 4:11 am

Thanks Jamie!! And you are so right. I live for analogies and I missed this one until you said it. We often deny many of our problems are due to our weight. SO TRUE!!! I must ponder this more….lol

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LHA December 18, 2016 at 11:36 am

Holly, I feel for you! Your sense of humor is helping to see you through what sounds like a pretty awful time. Being a single mother is not an easy job in itself and it’s just awful that all of these things are happening to you right at the holidays. I do agree that stressing the positives in your life can help, but I also know that sometimes you just get sick of telling yourself that things could be worse. At times I have made gratitude lists almost hourly to try to buck up my sinking spirits and, like you, I have plenty to be thankful for. But sometimes you just want things to be better for a while! Excellent news about being able to walk two and a half miles and that’s inspiring. One more thing I want to congratulate you for is making a new start on healthy eating in the time of year when it is the hardest. I think that really bodes well for the success of continuing the progress. If you can improve nutrition and exercise around the holidays you can do it any time! Good luck, and I am sure hoping for a better year for you and also continued success in 2017!

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Dee December 18, 2016 at 7:13 pm

Holly, get you with the walking! I can relate to every word, and before I lost some weight I would also have had to stay put and direct operations from the drivers’ seat, probably hoovering up chocolate to pass the time whilst I waited for help. It’s becoming more normal but like you I’ll never take it for granted. Good for you lady 🙂

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Jen December 19, 2016 at 2:02 am

Hi Holly-thanks for every word,especially the struggle to redirect your mind into something positive.It is a skill that can be built,that’s for sure,as I’ve built some capacity for that.Today,my coworker “caught” me bending over to get my candy bar from the vending machine.All 260 pounds of me..In the past,I would’ve cried from shame.The same kind of shame that used to keep me from even attempting to use that machine..now my addiction is shameless and I barely care about being caught..I need your hope that you offer.Thanks for sharing,Love Jen

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Margaret Wolfinbarger December 21, 2016 at 11:57 am

It sure feels like you and I live in the same world! I have two broken down cars at the moment and I’ve had several accidents lately. Woo hee! Not fun! But I am learning that God is there–even when things don’t go the way I want them to. He loves me. And he loves you too. And sometimes love doesn’t look or feel the way we want it to.

I find that the best weapon against despair is the Word. Yesterday I was breaking down and I kept reading. I downloaded a Bible app on my phone a while back and I listen to it when I’m walking. Yesterday it was the book of Romans. Psalms is fantastic to give voice to my agonies. All of that to say, that is my weapon against overeating and turning to food when I’m hurting. Food is a lie of the enemy who seeks to destroy us.

Don’t lose heart. Just keep swimming! Just keep Swimming! Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming! – Dori from Finding Nemo
Margaret Wolfinbarger recently posted..When Infirmity and Fear Wreck our PeaceMy Profile

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LN December 23, 2016 at 2:42 pm

Merry Christmas sweet Holly. Love you and your family. Keep inching along with God’s help.

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Michele December 26, 2016 at 8:40 pm

Holly I love your blog. Anytime I see there is a new post from you, I immediately read it. We all have days, weeks or even a year like you are experiencing right now. But for you to see the blessings in it and know that God will see you thru one way or another is what gives us all the fortitude to keep moving a head in life. Your blog is so inspiring and you convey thoughts and ideas so beautifully. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us.

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