Worst Case Scenarios

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My hidden superpower is coming up with worst case scenarios. For any given situation, I’m pretty adept at imagining the most catastrophic outcome. Thousands of times a day in my mind’s eye, I see myself tripping, or having something dropped on me; getting into a car accident; being mugged; ending up with a black eye or broken limb; being publicly humiliated. (Funny, but the time I actually did fall on my face, I wasn’t thinking about a worst cast scenario at all–I was just walking my dog.)

This morning, my son, who is headed to college in a few weeks, needed to go to the campus to get a correction made on some paperwork. It required him to bring in his social security card and his drivers license. We agreed on a wake-up time, I checked how traffic would look that time of morning, and we went to sleep. Even in sleep, my mind took over and provided me with a horrifying alternative outcome:

My Dream:

We wake up to realize we overslept. Then we see that it’s snowing. My car won’t start, so we just barely catch a rickety bus out of town. The bus driver, running behind schedule, speeds up to make up for time, and the bus nearly tips over going around a curve in the slushy snow. Finally, we trudge our way to the college admissions office only to discover my son forgot his social security card at home. We catch the rickety/scary bus back home, retrieve the SS card, and just as we’re about to leave, our dog escapes. Wait–actually it’s two dogs, one I’ve ever seen before. (Have I forgotten that we’re petsitting?) Now it’s raining. We have to round up the two wet dogs and clean them up. Once that’s done, we remember our original mission: the paperwork! This time, thankfully, my car starts. Just as the sun is setting, we get to the admissions office and successfully finish our errand. *whew*


  • We wake up. On time.
  • The sun is out. My son plays some Beatles’ tunes and we sing in the car.
  • The woman working at the admissions desk is friendly, warm, and helpful.
  • My son borrows a pen to fill out a form.
  • We get the paperwork corrected.
  • Done by 9:30 a.m.

The scenarios in my head rarely turn out to be anything like reality. I don’t know why my brain does that. I’m having a delightfully non-eventful day today. I’ve hung out some laundry to dry in the sun, I made a nice lunch with my daughter, and now I’m writing in my favorite spot with a cold drink beside me. I’m going to take a break from worst case scenarios for a little while–at least, as long as I’m awake. I hope you do the same.


3 thoughts on “Worst Case Scenarios

  1. Fawn September 14, 2019 / 5:40 pm

    Well, when my youngest son went for his driver’s license, it took three trips to get there with all the proper paperwork. Although no rickety buses or dogs were involved, due to DMV wait times and travel to and fro…it took 6 hours. And amusingly, except for about a 6 month period when he was in high school, he has not driven since.


    • unwanting September 14, 2019 / 5:43 pm

      Ugh! Going to the DMV is always an adventure! And how perfect to go through all that, then not drive often. 🙄


  2. Gary A Wilson September 18, 2019 / 10:02 am

    I’m thinking there is an almost out of control mind between your ears Carol. I bet you do puzzles, because your grey matter is stuck in the mode of looking for problems to solve. Do you work outside your home? You would be in my top-hire list for a risk management position. You see those possibilities that could turn success into chaos. So many people never ever think to notice such things and you do it without even trying. In your place, I’d be tempted to sign up to help protect a project that has to succeed.

    In my years of growing up, I was better at causing the chaos. It can be a tough job, but when you have the gift it’s hard not to just keep on sharing.

    So i have a story and a test for you. Read this short story and tell me if you saw the ending before I revealed it. I’ll bet you see it right off. Blessings



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