I have been told that using the word “but” is a verbal eraser. When you discuss something with others you should avoid that word. At least that is what I have been taught. Here I am using it in a title and will use it just because. I think in this case it is okay to say “but”. Not just okay, important.
This winter, as in winters past, there has been a lot of public discourse on the use of winter tires. That same discussion has happened, again, in our house. My wife is a staunch believer in winter tires. She is a staunch believer in taking extra precautions in any and all winter driving. She has even suggested that she may get her tires studded. As for me? I haven’t bought into the whole winter tire thing. Yet. Knock on wood.
This last weekend as we ventured out on the highways and byways of Manitoba the snow began to fall. And as happens there was snow drifting across the road and some was accumulating on the sides of the asphalt. Normal winter driving. However, my wife being a worry wart about all things winter driving, was quite nervous. I tried. I really did. Drove somewhat slower than I usually drive. Was careful when meeting oncoming traffic. Didn’t pass people even when they were driving much slower than necessary. Just really thought I was being considerate, in fact more considerate than the people driving to slow. Just saying.
As luck would have it I ventured to far to the right and slipped off the pavement. No harm done other than the heart attack my wife was having. Also heard some strange noise coming out of her mouth. I suspect she was saying bad words about me. I asked what the problem was and she replied that she had been afraid of that, hitting the shoulder that is. So in all my wisdom I said “it happened but nothing happened”. I thought about that and repeated it and also suggested what a brilliant quote that was. I think she is still questioning that.
The more I thought about it the more I realized how important that quote is for life in general. How often have I, and do I, worry and ruminate about future events. Concerned over how things will turn out. Lose sleep thinking about all the worst things that will come of whatever it is that I am worrying about. And it seems that the more stress I have the more I worry and stew. Based on many conversations with others that in itself is normal.
But, there is that verbal eraser again, most times when I rethink an event that has happened and I was concerned about I realize that nothing happened. I survived and things turned out better than expected. It happened but nothing happened. Reminded again of a story told about Winston Churchill. A friend of his, lying on his death bed, said that he had had a lot of trouble in life, most of which never happened. There is a lesson here. But, that word again, a difficult one to learn.
So here I am virtually without winter tires on my car. Is it sheer stubbornness? Is it a matter of swallowing some pride? How dearly will I have to pay for not only avoiding winter tires but actually talking about it? Here is hoping that my next post does not involve a story of an accident that could have been avoided simply by investing in winter tires. I know enough that my wife normally gets the last word, and usually the last laugh as well. And for now I can say “but nothing happened”. Make it a good one.
“but, but, but, that is all folks”