248 Days ’til 40: When Stupid Decisions Become Smart Ones

18 Jun

I chose this photo for this topic because it reminds me of Forrest Gump and how his accidental, naive, and even stupid decisions always managed to work out for his gain.  I LOVE that movie…. even though some parts are very sad.

My post yesterday mentioned how thankful I am for second chances…… and I wrote about an accident I had that nearly cost me my life – yet, I left out a small, but very significant part of the story that occurred nine months earlier……..

In fall of 1996 I was having a LOT of car troubles.  I had an old Ford Aerostar station wagon that I had inherited from my parents.  I did not mind driving it because it held TONS of my college friends, which was very convenient for us all.  I was really struggling, however, because the car was at a point where it was in the shop more than it was out of the shop and I felt that I was dealing with constant streams of repairs – it was endless and highly inconvenient.  Finally, by November, I had enough.  I began to look for a new car.  A few friend were kind enough to join me as I visited various car lots looking for the car I wanted to purchase…. nothing really struck my fancy.

Then a friend of mine and I went to the Nissan lot and I fell IN LOVE with the pathfinder.  THIS was the car I HAD to have.  I LOVED it.  I lived in a place with lots of mountains and plenty of opportunities to go off-roading – I wanted a car that had 4-wheel drive – it would be FUN.  A car is a toy, right???

I did not have the finances necessary to purchase that car, but somehow I talked my grandmother (RIP) into loaning me the down payment and co-signing on the loan.  I was a student finishing up graduate school and had my first full-time job and really had no business buying a new car when I was not financially able to qualify on my own.  I should have looked for a used Honda, etc.  While I loved the car, I did realize very shortly after the purchase that it was not a wise choice to make – it was over my budget, extravagant, unnecessary.  I enjoyed it, but I had been caught up with my wants, instead of my needs.  I felt VERY guilty and embarrassed that I had succumbed to the traps of our consumer society.

Nine months later, when I was rear-ended by that one-ton truck at 55mph, suddenly the extravagance was no longer extravagant… it was a life saver.  When I was hit by that one-ton truck the back-end of the Pathfinder bucked under and I came about one inch from hitting the car in front of me.  Had I been in a smaller, more economic vehicle, I would have been crushed like an accordion between the one-ton truck and the car in front of me.  That ridiculous purchase saved my life.

After the accident I never again felt guilty for that purchase.  The expensive car payments saved my life.  It was worth it.  Perhaps, just perhaps, my strong pull to purchase that SUV had less to do with my own consumer desires and more to do with divine intervention.  I am sure I am not the only person with such an experience.

Today, 248 days ’til 40, I am so thankful that I made a ridiculous, irresponsible (fiscally) purchase that ultimately saved my life (by the way, today I drive a humble Honda accord that is over 10 years old!)



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33 responses to “248 Days ’til 40: When Stupid Decisions Become Smart Ones

  1. narf77

    June 18, 2012 at 00:58

    A really poignat reminder that something that might at the time seem like a “bad choice” can often save our lives. Who knows how our present day actions impact on our futures and I am with you on the divine intervention that has been proved over and over and over again in my life alone. Cheers for another insightful and enlightening though provoking post…who needs therapy when we can come here! 😉

    • 400daystil40

      June 18, 2012 at 22:20

      Yes, so very true…… thanks for the compliment! I guess only I need therapy???? 😉

  2. walkwiththerabbi

    June 18, 2012 at 01:04

    All of the seeming inconveniences in life, are really firewalls between us and disaster- it just takes time to recognize them as such. I really enjoy your writings my sister.

  3. jensine

    June 18, 2012 at 01:16

    sometimes even when it’s stupd it is so right … it’s not thehead but the heart that decides

  4. viveka

    June 18, 2012 at 03:06

    I think we, especially us women, often feel guilty for something we have bought something expensive or something we have spent money – I don’t think many men feel guilt over a new car or a suit. For them is just something they have the right to buy and own. We are so good on guilt-trips …

    • 400daystil40

      June 18, 2012 at 22:18

      I am pretty good at spending money too… I go in phases of lots of guilt or no guilt at all.

  5. buckwheatsrisk

    June 18, 2012 at 03:58

    Wow! That was definitely divine intervention!! So powerful!

    • 400daystil40

      June 18, 2012 at 22:17

      I agree 🙂

      • buckwheatsrisk

        June 18, 2012 at 22:28

        i’m so glad you’re alive and fairly well!

        side note: I have started a FB site for bloggers. I wanted to invite you if you wish…it is under the name Zoe Go. I thought I would try and build a little bit of a blogging community there too so we can build traffic on our sites…:)

        • 400daystil40

          June 18, 2012 at 22:46

          Thanks, I will look it up!!! 🙂

          • buckwheatsrisk

            June 18, 2012 at 23:52

            if you have trouble let me know..quite a few have and i don’t know why??

  6. Lucianus Mauricius

    June 18, 2012 at 04:11

    It’s interesting how a person’s decision can make, change or break that person’s life forever. Thank you for sharing both stories.

  7. craftythriftydecoratingwifemom

    June 18, 2012 at 04:43

    God was definitely watching over you in your accident. He works in mysterious ways!

  8. Kristy K. James

    June 18, 2012 at 06:34

    Amazing how the things we do affect us, isn’t it? I’m 99% sure I’d have been killed…or very severely injured if I hadn’t gotten distracted at a red light. If I’d pulled out as soon as it turned green, the driver who ran his red light would have hit my door instead of my fender. Glad you were attracted by an SUV instead of a small, economical car. 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      June 18, 2012 at 22:15

      Wow, what a scary story you tell! It is amazing how the little things can save our lives!

  9. sahbinahvioletflynn

    June 18, 2012 at 15:59

    Serendipity, divine intervention…it’s always those instances that we can’t seem to rationalize (like a ridiculous purchase) that are the ones that have an important impact on our lives. Even though you just know in your gut sometimes (we don’t always listen to that). I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts, so I am greatful too for your second chance!

    • 400daystil40

      June 18, 2012 at 22:14

      Me too and yes, we cannot rationalize those moments!

  10. livingvoraciously

    June 18, 2012 at 18:46

    Hi there I have nominated you for the “One lovely blog award”

    • 400daystil40

      June 18, 2012 at 22:14

      Thank you so much!!! This is really kind of you! 😉

      • livingvoraciously

        June 19, 2012 at 07:45

        I really enjoy your blog and how you are taking your readers along on the journey with you 🙂

  11. viveka

    June 18, 2012 at 20:33

    It’s only us women that feels guilty for buying an expensive car or coat – men just see as necessary and buys it and enjoys it. Good for you – and lucky that you did.

    • 400daystil40

      June 18, 2012 at 22:13

      I know some women who do not feel this guilt and some men who do!!!

  12. appletonavenue

    June 18, 2012 at 21:14

    Things have a way of balancing out. Ying and Yang of life, I guess.

  13. Spider42

    June 19, 2012 at 11:51

    Divine intervention or not, I say don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.
    What happens and we should be grateful for moments that run in our favour and hope/pray (whichever you like) for the bad ones to be not so bad or to pass sooner rather than later. Because in the end it’s all moments and as much as we love to debate destiny and all that – not a single person on earth can predict how things are going to turn out beyond the obvious, and even then there is never a 100% guarantee.
    Made a mistake? Live and learn.
    If you don’t do that and don’t appreciate the lesson/experience… then you have a problem… or you will someday.

    • 400daystil40

      June 19, 2012 at 11:54

      Very true! I learn much more from my mistakes than I do from my successes!


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