A couple of months before the accident, my spouse and I bought our first house and all of our belongings from Europe arrived in excellent condition, except for our couch which is a story for another time. Our house and settling in in one city was supposed to set the stage for us to accomplish some amazing things. Well, that was the idea, before the car accident happened.

Backyard View

Backyard View of Colorado Springs

The accident changed everything and it took us weeks to discover the extent of my injuries. We also did not understand, for the next three years, the only position I would get any relief from my pain would be to stand on my right foot while lifting the weight off my left foot. I spent much of my time for more than three years counting everything. I did this as a coping mechanism much like prisoners count days gone by.

I would count everything like the number of steps it would take to get to the sink for a glass of water, then how many paces it would take to get to the bathroom, my bed or to the car. I would track how many hours have ticked away in the day and how many are left to go before I try to go to sleep. I would count the number of days or hours or minutes until my next doctor’s appointment or to the physical therapy appointment.

Counting everything became a way of life for me and it would divert me from another line of thinking which was not healthy.  I was consumed by trying to figure out how to reduce my pain. After months and years of failed attempts and many doctors’ appointments behind me, sometimes I thought, the only option I that could help was amputation. I was willing to brutally cut my own leg off if it would help with the pain, but my only obstacle was figuring out how to accomplish cutting my leg off at the hip without our bleeding to death. I never designed a plan that wouldn’t kill me.

As it turns out, it was a good thing I couldn’t figure out how to remove a leg safely and I never came close to attempting to amputate because I finally found a hip surgeon who was willing to operate on me when the probability of success was very low and his risk for liability was high. He took the risk and his talent and abilities helped reduce my pain and gave me the chance to have more quality of life.


Phillips-ism: I choose to live every day like a survivor with things to do and places to go.

Survivors tend to have this incredible capability to see the world from a different perspective. Many people tell me I do too and I would agree.  I spent more than three years celebrating every time I made it from my bed to the couch without passing out from pain, that isn’t something most people celebrate on a daily basis. I celebrated the day I could turn around in the shower like I just won the best gift life could give me and I will never forget it.

This recovery experience gave me the opportunity to learn and practice celebrating the smallest of wins as a survival technique. Over time, the repetitive practice of looking for anything to make my long days bearable has engrained a unique life perspective into me.  It developed into a habit of looking for and collecting the good stuff, every day.

Many followers and now readers are asking me to teach them how to get better at seeing the positive side of life.


I regularly share my Phillips-isms and perspective on life via Youtube at http://bit.ly/2tfgMyJ.

In the meantime, tell me your mirco-successes and your strategy to collect life’s good stuff in the comment section below. 😊


What micro-successes can you celebrate today?

What is your strategy to collect the good stuff every day?

(Click the comments link above and leave your reply. I would love to hear it.)