Once upon a morning, I was happily breezing along and contentedly riding my scooter when all of a sudden — disaster struck!

My phone somersaulted out of its makeshift phone holder.

In that split-second, I said a prayer to the mighty phone gods before quickly picking up the phone with bated breath…

A cracked shiny new phone.
My gorgeous shiny new phone — Cracked.

My heart sank to the floor.

And right on que, my regretful mind quickly lodged on to its usual “If-onlys”…

The “if only” downward irrationalization spiral.

Only this time, I mindfully shut the thoughts off.

I took a deep, calm breath and looked at my phone. I took note of all the cracks splattered across the shiny, reflective surface, then flipped the phone over — the front glass was spotless.

I heaved huge sigh of relief.

You know what, I told myself, I can continue pointlessly feeling bad about this thing that I cannot change, or…

I’ll consciously decide to see this as glass half unbroken.

This right here is a nice little reminder that sometimes shit happens, but there’s always a better way of looking at things, and it could always be worse.

On Small Mistakes

There was a time in my life when I would have easily beaten myself up for days over a small infraction. I still remember when I would agonize over something as trivial as answering “True” to a question that was “False”.

For the latter, regret might have come from this irrational thought that I could just as easily have gotten the correct answer — if only I had picked the right one! (There was a 50–50 chance for goodness sake.)

But of course, there was no way I could have gotten the correct answer.

I answered with the best decision I could have made at that time, given the information I had then. If I had the information I had now, then of course I would have answered differently. Thinking that I even could have gotten the ‘right’ answer is just ‘false’.

I submitted the exam paper and what’s done is done. It does not make sense to beat myself up over something that I could not have known any better at the time.

I have lost count of the times my mom have said, in all sorts of ways of wisdom, that there’s “no use crying over spilled milk”… and I think I am finally starting to realize how the sooner I let that spilled milk go, the sooner I can get on and buy new milk!

This way of thinking, consciously deciding to more easily let go of smaller things, is actually good mental training towards resilience when something more substantial happens.

And for all these unfortunate circumstances you may encounter in your life, big or small, the basic coping formula remains the same — The sooner you get up, the sooner you can continue to ride on.

On Second Chances

And the thing with riding scooters, in this pedestrian walk called life, is that figuratively speaking, for better or for worse, life is not just this linear straight line. It’s filled with twists, U-turns, highways, bridges, and second chances.

Life is filled with twists, U-turns, highways, bridges, and second chances.

Mark my words, that phone that dropped now, will in some way, shape, or form will surely drop again… And when that time comes, I’d be damned if I let history repeat itself!

“The worst failure is not failure itself but the failure to learn from failure.” — William T. Co

And so, to make sure this incident never happens again, I went straight to the electronics store and —

1. Bought a heavy duty case.

2. Bought a proper phone holder.

And so, as I continue to ride on towards the sunset, I am ever so slightly comforted with the fact that even if this may not be the last time my phone falls flat on the ground — there’s now one less version of this mistake I’ll be worried about. 😉