Growing up…those were words I heard a lot. It is the Minnesotan’s way to minimize. Minimize successes but also minimize cold, death and winter and any other various things that go astray. In Minnesota, there is a lot of winter. They joke as do we here in Ontario that there are only two seasons, winter and road construction. It could be worse.
A friend of mine was in a situation the other day that made me stop and take a quick inventory of what is good in my life. Unexpected as it is in Texas, she hit a patch of ice that spun her round and round and she wound up missing a tree and hitting the ditch. A chilling experience for anyone. She described it as scarey but with it a feeling of exhilaration, a rush of adrenaline and gratefulness that she was fine and her daughter was fine and though she woke up the following morning to two flat tires on the vehicle so much else could have happened. It could have been worse.
She said that everything looked different to her, she had the opportunity to kiss her boyfriend one more time, hug her daughter and embrace life. She thought of so many things that she was thankful and grateful for. And in that moment that I read the description of how she felt, I understood the words I’ve heard all my life, “It could be worse.” in a much bigger way. In a way that could be very useful.
It is most likely true that when those words are said by Minnesotan’s that they are said in a kind of Eeyore-ish voice with Eeyore’s pessimistic optimism. That they are said with facetious undertones as though daring the Almighty to do it again. I have been in those situations where the Almighty has done it again and truly that is not a nice place to be.
Everyday, I find reasons to be thankful, for my life, for my children, my husband, even those people that rub me the wrong way. Every day I think, everyone and everything is my teacher. It might take me a few minutes to realize it sometimes but no matter what happens “It Could be Worse”.
©Adrienne McLeod 2011