This morning as I opened my eyes, just as I was clearing my mind of sleep, the first clear thought popped into my head. You know that lazy feeling when the dream world is awakening to the day? When your mind is in a bit of limbo between those 2 worlds? That was when I thought of turning the 12 days of Christmas into the 12 days of grateful.
As I lay there crafting my ideas, more concretely around the multitude of things I am grateful for, I thought this was going to be so easy. I am on vacation in a wonderful area of the world. It is Christmas time. I have many family members here with me, what could be easier?
And so I went about my day. Normal stuff. Nice healthy breakfast in the sunshine, working out under a palm tree with my sister. Laying in the sun, reading a good book. Munching on Mexican specialties, sipping cool drinks.
Later in the afternoon the adults in our group headed into a nearby town to scout future dinner plans and stock up on provisions. With the suburban completely packed with groceries for 2 families we made our way back home, our domestic responsibilities taken care of.
In a blink of an eye, what was a textbook day in the sun turned into something else. It kind of happened in slow motion, but it was all over so quickly. A small truck drove straight into us and the driver was out of the vehicle and falling to the ground. The police were all around us. Details were being explained, phone calls were being made. The driver was whisked away in an ambulance. We spent some time in a Mexican Police station, waiting for the only officer in town who spoke English to assist us.
A taxi helped us hand bomb all the groceries into his van. We finally took the drive home, this time we walked on shaky legs. After all we had been through the taxi didn’t have working seatbelts and drove very strangely with apparently horrible mechanics in the steering column causing it to weave around the road a bit. But we were all a little gun shy.
On the first day of grateful, the list goes on and on for what went well, despite what also didn’t go so well. It is in times like this that is helps to count your blessings and savour everything as the gift, which it is. So to start out what I am grateful for, today:
- My husband, who is a wonderful man in so many ways, but today was a shinning star. He was calm, he very clearly explained everything and handled all the necessary details. He also did a great job defensively driving to ensure the accident was not any worse.
- My sister and brother-in-law who thought so quickly of what needed to be done and jumped to it. I sat for a long time in my seat, with my seatbelt on, in shock. I just couldn’t think of what to do, so I stayed put.
- All our kids – for not being with us. While we may be sore tomorrow from the impact, our tense muscles will easily relax an recover. This is something I hope the next generation does not have to experience, although that is probably niave.
- Our health. Not everyone can be in an accident, even a minor one like this, and walk away so easily. This is another friendly reminder to continually work at staying strong. Particularly as the years of age keep trying to work against us!
- That this accident was not any worse. Many times people cannot get past the “bad thing” when it happens. It always pays to remember it can always be worse.
- The Police station was only 2 buildings away. The driver who got out of the truck and fell to the ground was clearly injured and got the quickest attention possible.
- I have the ability to be enjoying a vacation in a sun destination with my family, half of our group has not done this before.
I’m fairly certain the rest of the days will be less “eventful”. I’m kind of praying for that actually. It would be easy to stay put for the rest of this vacation and not drive back into the town of the accident. But, we don’t experience all the good in life, if we hide away being over cautious and safe. It is a dance and balancing act between these two sides of danger, or risk and the thrill of exploring new territory and seeing new places. It is with this spirit that we will head out again and find even more to be grateful for as we enjoy these days.