The Next Right Thing

“The next right thing” happens to be one of my very favorite little AA slogans. I think it’s an AA slogan,  I hear it a lot. Anyway, it is comforting, you know? It keeps me grounded when I choose to listen and take it to heart… all I can do is the next thing, take the next step, do the footwork and let go of the results.

Right. The truth is that I have often parroted those words, because I GET what they mean,  but I really haven’t FELT what they mean too often. But I have  been catapulted into acceptance now, and doing the next right thing has become very real to me. Every day in every way.

I was in a car accident on Saturday. I have a Prius, a car I dearly love that we bought over 7 years ago. When Tom died I actually paid it off, so I have not had a car payment in 7 years, which has been great, obviously. On Saturday I was hit by a big old Ford van, delivering flowers to an event. I am not getting into fault or anything here…I am still pretty stymied by the whole thing, but the upshot is that my car is totaled. Well, I haven’t got the official word, but a 2005 car with 90 something thousand miles on it is probably better off totaled.  I wasn’t hurt and am so grateful. I have sore ribs and did get checked out,  but besides being achy and , as I said still stymied and foggy, I am fine.


Of course, this is happening while I am in talks with a realtor about selling my house, which is huge. And now the car…huge. It’s another kind of letting go, isn’t it? Tom drove that car. I will have a new car he never drove, just like I’ll have a new apartment he never lived in, and maybe even be in a new state eventually, cutting ties with my background as well.

My life these days is about letting go. And this is where doing the next right thing comes in. You can argue all day with me that I have no choices here, that life is whirling ahead and I am being dragged along behind (ASIDE: a friend just got a wonderful new tattoo..”let go or be dragged”…I cannot express how much I love that sentiment), but the truth is I do have a choice; I have many choices. I can sit in my fears and procrastinate about what I am going to do, all weepy and scared and stupified. I can drink and really hide from this shit.  I can say fuck it and jump on  a plane and head for Paris, to live out my life as an expat (ASIDE….delightful thought!). I can soldier up and move ahead, day by day, doing the next right thing as it shows itself.

The good news I have chosen the last option, though the others all look good to me. But those others are old me and I am new me and I do things differently now.

(Here’s another ASIDE : Sunday night was Oscar night.  I have watched the Oscars as long as I can remember. This year I had dinner and worked on a fear inventory with my sponsor and a sweet friend and then went to my yoga class. WHO AM I??????)

So my realtor is coming over on Friday afternoon to help me decide what I need to do before putting the house on the market. And I have to talk with her about the price I need for the house…big girl issues, handled by me, the big girl. And I have to get the place picked up a bit before she comes. And I have to do this amidst the uncertainty of the whole car issue.

I have already been to my credit union and am pre-approved for a car loan if that needs to be my next step.

I have done a little looking on-line at cars. I am pretty much settled on a new Mercedes, but the BMW looks awfully good.

(ASIDE:..bullshit!! duh! ) I would actually love another Prius but I guess we’ll see. I do have a rental car that has convinced me that I do not want a Hyundai.

I am taking today to do my taxes which I have been putting off but at least will give me a sense of actually accomplishing something in the center of all this uncertainty.

All of these things are the next right thing to do. One foot in front of the other, at attention, hut two-three-four…soldiering on.

It’s amazing how, until we are really in it, we don’t understand it. It’s also amazing how, until we are really in it, and I mean working on ourselves, doing what we are supposed to, making better choices, we find ourselves on a path that we don’t even realize we are on.  I do not think it’s a coincidence that I have been meditating 10 minutes a day since the 12th of February, and the shit hitting the fan now. I am better prepared and more open to the fact that randomness happens, I don’t have to take this shit personally, and by doing the next right thing all will work out in some semblance of reasonableness. I don’t know that, I have learned that.


There is nothing profound here at the end….this is what I am dealing with today. It always seems to be something, but today I do see the way moving forward is the only possible way to go. It’s interesting that I was caught in the center of an intersection at a red light when I was hit. I couldn’t go back, I could only go forward. So I guess sometimes going forward can knock you on your ass a bit too. But there is still no real choice, and trusting that things will be ok is much better than wishing away what has already happened.

Moving ahead, one step, one right thing…guess it’s going to be an adventure!

(And just apropos to the ASIDES:…I love shows that have actors break the 4th wall, and just finished watching a wonderful netflix show streaming free….House Of Cards. Kevin Spacey’s asides to the viewers are worth the price of admission alone. Highly recommended if anyone is looking for a guilty pleasure, or TV marathon.)




Add yours →

  1. I’m so glad you’re ok! I love your blog and I love this post, especially since the shit hit the fan for me today at work and at 30+ days of sobriety, I don’t yet have the real tools to deal with it. The next right thing for me was going for a 3 mile run after work which serves as my meditation of sorts and at least enabled me to clear my head. Maybe off to a meeting later too. I say go with the Beemer…or better yet, a convertible! 🙂

  2. Oh Michele, I hadn’t read this post when I wrote my last one, and didn’t realize how very close our timing is on this moving thing. We probably will talk to the realtor next week, so we’ll be walking hand in hand through the morass.

    SO glad you weren’t badly hurt in the accident. I’ve had several accidents in my years of city driving, and totaled three cars, which isn’t actually hard to do if you drive older cars–it’s not like they were steaming wrecks, just banged up. Fortunately I wasn’t. But it’s scary and incredibly inconvenient, and I congratulate you for taking it with such equanimity.

    The next right thing is a fine organizing principle. I’ll be making good use of it. Thank you!

  3. runningonsober March 3, 2013 — 2:51 am

    Ooh ooh, get the BMW! Angelina would drive a BMW! Hahahaha!

    I’ll check out the Spacey show, I love him.

    Hope you’re feeling ok after your car accident. So sorry to hear that.

    Lots of things going on for you… Just go with the flow–ever read Illusions by Richard Bach?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: