It didn’t happen

I drove a U-Haul truck the other day, the 26′ kind. Everything went fine. The backing, the driving at 65 mph. Even when I drove it around town, dropping stuff at a home and at a storage unit. And when I returned it to a different location than I was supposed to, there wasn’t a problem. The general manager himself was working, was gracious, provided a positive end to the process.

We had some schedule adjustments at work over the weekend, and I was concerned about what might happen, concerned for a colleague who might have to lose a lot of sleep. Everything went fine.

The moments of things that go horribly wrong are sometimes surrounded by acres of moments that don’t go horribly wrong.

Perhaps because of my work where we talk with every family that loses a loved one, where we show up as part of the care team for every trauma, every stroke, every heart attack, I have become good at expecting the things that do happen. Sometimes.

I could have more opportunity to become good at acknowledging the things that don’t happen. I could become highly skilled at noticing the catastrophe avoided or averted. And I could be grateful for those meadows of ordinary time, rather than being relieved that it didn’t happen this time (but surely will next time).

Sometimes, of course, people talk about being blessed when things go well, implying that we are not blessed (or perhaps even cursed) when things don’t go well. I’m not comfortable with that way of thinking.

But really, here, I’m talking about how often I, and perhaps you, spend significant time anticipating the things that don’t happen. It could be an invitation, if we let it, to learning how to attend to what we could help happen.