Amy Rees Anderson

“It Could Always Be Worse”


Okay so you are probably wondering what kind of depressing title that is for today’s tweet, but before you think that let me tell you the backstory of it so you can understand that this phrase has become a powerful reminder in my life that has helped me to put things in my life into perspective each day, and how I think it could do the same for all of you…

As many of you know I have a little brother who is serving in the Air Force in Afghanistan. He is a Doctor. His wife Katie lives in Idaho but because she has two small boys and is pregnant with her next baby she has been staying at my house so we can help her out with my brother gone. Katie is one of the most positive people I have ever met. She is always in a good mood. She is always happy. She always has a kind word to share with anyone at any time. I rarely, if ever, hear her complain. Without going into to many details I will tell you that Katie has been through many trials in her life. When she and my brother got married and decided to start a family she got pregnant and then had a miscarriage. Then she got pregnant again and she went to full term with a darling baby girl that she delivered stillborn. Going to the funeral for her little girl was one of the most heartbreaking things to experience. Katie then got pregnant again and once again she had a miscarriage. I couldn’t believe that after all of this that she simply didn’t just give up and say enough. Many would have given up far before she did, but not Katie. She stayed positive and they tried again and this time they were blessed with a healthy baby boy. She went on to have yet another miscarriage and then another healthy boy. Now she is almost to term with another little boy that will be born while my brother is still in Afghanistan. When she heard my brother was being deployed and she realized that he wouldn’t be around for her pregnancy and the birth she didn’t once complain or gripe about it. She once again kept her positive attitude and stayed cheerful and pushed forward. I honestly have wondered how she does it? How does she stay positive no matter what trials come into her life? How does she stay so cheerful? And then one day I finally figured it out: Katie and I were working in our garage and something broke. I was complaining about it and Katie simply smiled and said “It could always be worse.” She didn’t say it in a mean way or a way to put me down for my being discouraged about it. She said it in her cute little happy tone that interjects joy into the world around her. She was simply reminding me that while what had broken was unfortunate, things could certainly be worse. All at once it hit me. Here is a mom who knows the pain of burying her beautiful little girl – yes, Katie was painfully aware that it could always be worse, and suddenly I was humbled beyond belief and I felt silly for having been so caught up in my whining about something that in the big scheme of things wasn’t really a big deal at all.

Katie has had to remind me many times during her visit with me that “It could always be worse” and each time she kind little reminder snaps me back into the reality that life should be kept in perspective. Complaints should be kept in perspective. Our appreciation for all that is good in our world should be viewed with that perspective. Because the truth is that it really can always be worse, even when it may seem at its darkest points…it could still get much worse. And so we cannot take anything for granted. We need to be grateful for everything in our life that is a blessing and all of us have many.

Tonight Katie shared with me the photo of her friend’s husband who is also serving in Afghanistan. Just recently he stepped on an IED pressure plate and it blew his feet off and the bottom part of his legs. As Katie showed me the photo she reminded me…”see, it can always be worse”…and so it can.

How lucky am I to have someone like Katie in my life to remind me of the beauty in the world around us and the blessings that we have to be grateful for. We all need friends like Katie in our lives. This week’s challenge is to remember that “It could always be worse” so let’s be grateful for all that is good in our lives.

One last note- I finally have a twitter account set up so that I can post a link to my daily blogs in a twitter feed with the link to the public blog. Now that the twitter account is live I will work this week to get the blog set up on a public site so you can all access the blog from home – my username is @amyreesanderson so if you search that on twitter you can link to me.




  • Anonymous says:

    Love this tweet! Thank you for sharing this story. Your sister-in-law is a strong woman, much like you, and I hope that one day I can have her attitude. This story will definately help. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Thank you for this tweet. I really needed this in my life right now. I need to keep thinking, it could be worse.

  • Mary says:

    That is the best way to think of it; love it and it was much needed for me as well because you can complain about what is happening and forget what you do have or you can say, “it could be worse“ and be happy that it is only what it is. Positive thinking is so contagious!

  • Megan says:

    Loved this tweet!! Made me realize that I need to be more grateful for what I have and not dwell on the bad parts of life. And I agree with Mary positive thinking is contagious!!!

  • Cindy says:

    I myself have had 7 miscarriages in a row from 1983 until 1988. I never gave up then on my eighth pregnancy I had a beautiful miracle little girl. I never did try to have any more children; which was a blessing because I ended up getting a divorce when my daughter was 6. She is my blessing from above. I am so blessed to have her in my life.

  • Stephan says:

    I lost my son in November of 2010 to a rare form of brain stem cancer that offers a 0% chance of survival. With it being rare the main support system for families dealing with this cancer is found online. Every few weeks a new name of a child diagnosed pops up. Anyway, a few days after my son passed away I learned of a family in Michigan that had an 8 year old son that had been battling for a couple of months. This boy had two younger siblings and his mother was pregnant with her fourth child. Unexpectedly the boys father passed away in his sleep one night. No matter what you are going through, there is always somebody that has it a little worse. I love the way you closed this message – BE GRATEFUL FOR ALL THE BLESSLINGS IN YOUR LIFE! I would add that you don`t live with any regrets and always let people know how you feel, especially the ones you care about.

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