A few months ago someone sent me a link with an attachment. I tried to click on it, but couldn’t get it to open. Barely 3 seconds later, I received about 194 bounce backs/OOOs and Please Do Not Reply emails.
It was a dreaded email virus that pinged every poor soul in my contact history. Yikes!
Did I freak out (a tiny bit)? Sure—especially when a barrage of panicked texts came through from my hypervigilant friends. But then I thought, big deal, and went back to writing an article. (FYI, while annoying, the virus turned out to be more hype than harm.)
But something else surprising happened. A few random people (to be honest, I’d kind of forgotten they existed!) replied, saying hello and that it was nice to see my name pop up in their inbox. Some even sent kind words about my success.
In the back of my mind, which never ceases to find the silver lining, I thought, I’m a lucky gal. I forgot how many nice people I know. How cool to be reminded of them all. I felt calm. And that’s a cool thing to feel when something goes wrong.
It made me think: What else could actually be going right in our lives that we miss because we’re so focused on what’s going wrong?
Here are a few examples to consider in your life.
1. Your pet/child/spouse is sick.
I don’t know about you, but my dog is always sick right before I go out of town. It’s like she’s psychic and wants to guilt me into staying home. The last time this happened I was en route to the vet and on the phone with a friend. I said, “I can’t believe this is happening hours before I board a flight, again.” She said, “Girl, Coco’s not always sick. You’re just always on a flight because your life is fun.”
Ha! I guess I had been traveling a lot in the last year. Plus, having the cutest yorkie in the world is nothing to complain about, is it? It’s a blessing having someone to care for.
2. Your flight is delayed.
Speaking of travel, you would not believe the guttural groans you hear at any airport when there’s an announcement along the lines of, “Ladies and gentleman, Flight 257 to Cancun is delayed by 40 minutes.” Heck, going to Cancun? That’s worth a small travel delay, surely. And if you get there safely? Well that’s all any traveler can ask for. And if it’s a mechanical checkup of some sort—yes, please delay us! And thank you! Pro tip: Tweet your airline. Sometimes they give you bonus travel points or airport spending $ for the inconvenience!
3. A dreary commute makes you late to work.
We all get that dreaded feeling when we see that delay sign on public transport or hit traffic on the road on the way to work. Before bemoaning your life, think: I’m lucky I have somewhere to be today. A meeting, an office, a conference. With a lot of people out of work and on the hunt for a job, you’re in a fortunate place.
4. Your spouse burns the rice. Or the cookies. Or sets off the fire alarm.
I’m guilty of this. All. The. Time. When my husband complains about the smoky apartment and searing alarm I say, “Be grateful I’m doing something in this bloody kitchen!” It’s a good thing to have someone to cook for you, no matter what. Right? Even if you are eating the crispiest (ahem) potatoes you’ve ever tasted, at least you’re noshing on them with someone you care about. And that’s what love largely is: sitting through dinners (good and bad) together.
5. Your blog/phone/laptop crashes.
Technical glitches and failures (even just being out of WiFi range) make us wanna pull our hair out. But guess what? They’re almost always fixed promptly and without harm.
When my blog gave an error message for a couple of hours during a launch, I was rocking back and forth like a crazy cat. All was resolved. No one was hurt. And hey, it goes to show how much my blog means to me! And I try to remind myself to value its operational efficiency the other 364 days of the year. Can you relax when technology fails you? You’ll be reconnected with all of your beloved friends and followers soon, I promise.
Only people who have a lot going for them (people and possessions they love, good health, a business, a job they adore, an partner who cooks… ) can lose! It’s actually a privilege because nothing bad can happen without there being something good in its place first.
What can you see differently right now? Please let me know in the comments below!
This article originally appeared in Greatist.com