Good Thing, Bad Thing

When I graduated from PT school, I had a massive school loan to pay back and no job.

That was a Bad Thing.

But, on one of my clinical rotations, the Director of Physical Therapy at Brackenridge Hospital in Austin, Tx offered me a job.

Good Thing.

I arrived in Austin with $300. My first months’ rent was $250.  I didn’t have a car and I had to work three weeks to get a paycheck.

Bad Thing.

With my first check in hand, I went to a local car dealer and bought a truck. A small, used truck. I couldn’t afford air conditioning but the car salesman assured me that it “never gets that hot down here”.


My life, as I imagine yours has too, has been peppered with things that, at first,  might be considered “bad”. But in nearly every case, the next thing that evolves out of the Bad Thing was a Good Thing.

Another example –  I spent four years re-learning to play the trumpet (I played in high school and part of college) . I was eager to play in a band and do something memorable in music . In 2015, I formed my own band. We played a lot of gigs, were a decent if not good band for 18 months. I was honored to play, solo, at my father’s burial service and a month later at a close friend’s memorial service.

Memories I will cherish forever.

Good Things.

Then, my bass player and keyboard player left the band (at the same time) and I discovered I had spent the prior four years re-learning the trumpet incorrectly and had to start all over from the beginning… as if I had not played at all.

You can probably see how that scenario is a bad thing.

I spent the first 18 months of re-learning the trumpet, time #2, incorrectly. In other words, I made no progress. Another Bad Thing. But then I met a tremendous teacher based out of Melbourne, Australia.

I also learned what it means to be patient.

See the Bad Thing / Good Thing there?

Now, I won’t say that every time something bad happens, something good appears. Actually, the Good Thing appears because you’re working your way out of the Bad Thing. I’ve had a couple of bad things happen in a row before but if you keep working and stay alert, stay curious, you’ll find something, a bread crumb on the Good Thing path.

I use the phrase “stay alert” or “stay curious” rather than “stay positive”. Maybe it’s the same thing but to me being alert or curious, looking for the next Good Thing is different than thinking positive. One is action oriented (stay alert) and one is more passive (stay positive).

If you look closely at your life, you might notice this Good Thing / Bad Thing phenomenon. It’s not an easy thing to go through because when a Bad Thing happens, the Good Thing doesn’t just pop up and present itself. And sometimes the Bad Thing can last a long time or at least it feels that way.

Stay alert, stay curious….Good Things are on the horizon.

That’s all I have for now.

Thanks for reading.



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