Musings of an everyday woman . . .

Reflections on living and loving life . . .

1/2 Empty or 1/2 Full? April 14, 2009

One of my all-time favorite bloggers, Chile,  got me thinking with her “Half Empty or Half Full?” post.

I’ve always seen my glass as “half full,” I think, and a couple of recent events really convinced me of this.  I think I’m a pretty positive person, at least that what everyone tells me . . .

A couple of weeks ago, I was involved in a very minor head-on accident.  (Minor and head-on are oxymorons, don’t they?)  Anyway, an elderly woman hit me as we were both pulling out of driveways across from each other, onto a very busy state road.  I saw her coming into my lane and I braked and she was just crawling, so we really barely hit.  It was a beautiful, sunny day and I had just popped the top down on my convertible that my family had given me for Mother’s Day.  All I could think of was my little ‘stang would be crushed and my wonderful family’s feelings would be crushed, too.  I certainly didn’t want to be the first one to put a dent or ding in it.

I got out to see how the other woman was.  Neither of us was hurt, physically, thankfully.  We both just shook our heads, so sorry that it had happened.  I encouraged her to pull into our farm market driveway (that’s where it happened) and I called our local police, because that’s what you’re supposed to do.  Since it wasn’t an emergency, we must have waited 20 minutes or so.  In that time, we chatted and she said that she used to sell bread to my mother-in-law at our farm market and what respect she always had for farmers.  We then talked about organic gardening, insurance rates, and how she was afraid her rates might go up or she might lose her license.  She was really a very nice woman.

What really surpised me was that the damage to my little red ride was very minimal, perhaps  nonexistent.  How is that possible with a head-on collision?  When the cop finally arrived, he asked, “Where is the damage to your car?  Do you really want me to fill out a police report?”


Wow!  There really wasn’t any visible damage.  Then, the young cop (young enough to be my son) told me what a nice car I have . . .and if I ever got tired of driving it . . .

Back to the 1/2 full . . . I was a little “gun shy” the next few days when I was pulling out, always looking left, right, and straight ahead, a few extra times . . . and all I could feel was thankful.  I took this minor accident as a wake-up call.  It could have been a lot worse and I really should pay more attention to the job at hand when driving instead of thinking of all the things I have on my “to-do” list.

I felt so lucky that this woman and I were both fine, really no damage to our vehicles, and we both had another chance to be more careful next time.  Some people don’t get a second chance.

OK, there’s something else too, but this is really gross . . . I don’t think I’ll post a picture just yet.  I had to go through a very ugly procedure recently to take care of pre-cancerous cells on my forehead.  It was actually a chemotherapy cream that BURNS your skin–all layers—and then forms these VERY UGLY scabs that take forever to fall off before the new skin forms.  All I could think was THANK GOODNESS for bangs (which I had cut to hide the ugliness, because I felt like a leper!) . . . and now thank goodness for the new, baby-like skin which I have now. . . and that I have a second chance to take care of it, to be smart enough to wear sunscreen and cover up, so it won’t get worse!  (More on that later. . . as I do have pix, that my own kids are threatening to break out when they see me in the sun again!)

I was also concerned about scaring the children at school because I really did look like a leper.  My doctor said I should use it as a Science lesson, but I really didn’t want 8- and 9-year olds to think their teacher was dying or something, so I hid it the best I could.   A colleague suggested I should make up a good story to explain the scabs to the kids.  I really wasn’t into story telling until this happened . . .

8-yr-old girl, looking at me, kind of strange.  (I realized my bangs must have opened to reveal the crusty scabs on my forehead.)

Me:  “Oh, don’t let that distract you.  Just a little snowboarding accident.”

Girl:  “How OLD are you?”

Me:  “Old enough to know better.  I should have been skiing instead of snowboarding.  I’m a much better skiier!”

And that was that . . .

OK, so I’m pretty much a “half-full” kind of person, but what about you?



9 Responses to “1/2 Empty or 1/2 Full?”

  1. Chile Says:

    Love your stories! So glad to hear your accident was the best kind you could have.

    I tend towards half-empty and have to work at seeing the better side of things.

    Stay off the snowboards…

  2. Ruth Says:

    Chile~thanks so much for your comment! I will steer clear of snowboards!

    After living through (barely) the toughest kind of loss 9 years ago, I really do believe what doesn’t kill you makes your stronger. Real losses also help to put other things into perspective, because they seem pretty miniscule!

  3. Chile Says:

    I do think loss can make one stronger, but it can also make one more fearful, tentative, or anxious about the potential for future painful losses. It really depends on how the individual deals with the loss. I’ve had mixed results and I’ve watched the lives of loved ones (family and friends) change for the worse (at least emotionally) due to their fear of having such loss in their lives again. Sure, they survived it, but are they “stronger”? I’m not sure.

    See? Told ya I was half-empty! LOL

  4. I think you should post those forehead pictures. And I seem to remember that this is a “third” chance…

  5. Davis Says:

    I’m trying harder and harder to concentrate on being a good safe driver. Your story helps. Thanks.

  6. Chile~I agree with you. My own kids will tell you I’m more paranoid now, afraid or always thinking that the worst thing could happen. But I also think that makes me more appreciative of what we have in our lives every day . . . . see what I said. . . 1/2 full? Is it possible to be 1/2 full and 1/2 empty? I think so!

    Abbie~um, thanks, yes, third chance. See, our kids do keep us honest! I may just post those pix to shut you and your brothers up! With love . . . Mom

    Davis~Thanks. I’m concentrating more now on always being in the moment and being a more cautious driver. I think a lot of “accidents” are preventable or at least I hope so!

  7. Jena Says:

    I agree with Chile, that losses can sometimes make things harder to take. I am getting a lot better now but after Brian’s brother died I was really paranoid. I still only hope, I don’t just expect that we will actually get to do things like have children and grow old together. Sometimes I have bitter moments. For example, when he went away hunting for a week last fall I had pretty much prepared myself that something bad might happen and he might not come home. The plus side of this is that we have talked a lot about what we would do without each other (or at least what I would do) and we have really good life insurance for him that would allow us to keep the farm.

    Being a little nutty like this also makes me value every minute a whole lot more. I have days where I want to work really hard (at my job) and earn money to help reach our goals, but then other days I think enjoying every minute should mean not wasting my time at work.

    I know that’s not what your post was about but it looks like the conversation was heading that way. Nice to read your perspective and I’m glad you’re okay! Here’s to staying positive!

  8. Ruth Says:

    Jena, I SO agree with you because it’s not cut and dry. Loosing someone you love does make you paranoid (just ask my family) but I think it also makes you appreciate everything so much more. So, is it possible to be both paranoid and positive, because I think that what I’ve come to be?

    How sad that you have to think about those things (like the possibility of your hubby not coming back from his hunting trip), but I understand under the circumstances how you have come to think that way. You both must still be adjusting to the loss of his dear brother and although life doesn’t get better, it does go on. But once you’ve lost someone so close, you understand that that possibility is there; something that you would never even have considered before. It makes everything more tenuous, precious . . . and thus makes us paranoid about future loss. We’re both speaking from experience here, unfortunately.

    But, in reading your “Git ‘er Done” posts and about all your plans for your home and farm, along with the birth of new animals on your farm, I just know that you’re a positive person, too. I’m guessing your cup is more than half-full, just perhaps cautiously so! Thanks for sharing some deep thoughts!

    One thing I think I’ve learned is not to sweat the small stuff because we’ve been through such big losses. If it’s not death–or cancer–we can deal, so why not fill up the glass?

  9. Green Mamma Says:

    Ruth, this was a great post. I really needed to read this. I love it when random run-ins with strangers allow us to just slow down and reflect on what we’re doing. I am always rushing . . . I think it is my nature. But when I am really happy and the glass is half full, I am moving slower, observing my surroundings, laughing when my daughter laughs, and just feeling in tune with myself. I wonder, how, when we don’t have run-ins, do we get back in the groove? I am trying to do that now.

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