Do you ever think about all the infestimally small, seemingly unimportant steps that led to where you are today? Not just your life, but you being here at all?

I was just in the common lab equipment room, and a guy from the lab down the hall asked me how things were going. I don’t know him well enough to really unload everything, so I just said “Okay” and asked him how he was. “About the same” was the answer.

“Could be better, could be worse, huh?”

“Yeah, it can always be worse. Always.”

That’s a good attitude to cultivate. Even when things are bad, they can always be worse. It’s not really pessimissim, per se, but more of a “thankful for what you have that is going right” attitutde.

When you need something to be going right, think of this: All the randomness in the universe has come together to produce you. That is one amazing coincidence, don’t you think?

Sometimes, things happen that make me take a step back and be thankful that all those random events managed to work themselves out to bring me here.

In my life, it’s things like this:

I hated our move to Iowa. Absolutely hated it. I loved Arizona, Tucson, our house, my friends, the weather, the mountains, the monsoons, everything. Iowa had humidity, and snow, and cold, and ice, and people who I didn’t know. But if I’d never moved to Iowa, I’d never have met John.

I went to a small town private liberal arts college in Iowa, mostly because the boy I was dating at the time was going to the University of Iowa, and I didn’t want to be far from him or my family. Our relationship ended about the time high school did, but I went to that college anyway. It was totally the wrong place for me–I loved the classes, the faculty, the nearness to home, but the student mentality was not something I fit into. However, had I not gone there, my fledgling relationship with John would never have grown.

Things like that. The decisions you make that seem inconsequential. Or that you make for one reason, but end up causing all sorts of other ripples in your life.

And every once in awhile, things boggle my mind. All the steps that had to happen before I was even here to let me get here. Earth and life and all, but also small things. Both sides of my family had to immigrate from Czechoslovakia. Both grandpas and one grandma had to survive WWII. My parents had to both decide to attend the college they did. That sort of thing.

And then today, a new monkey wrench was thrown in.

I have a widget called “This Day in History”, and one of the notes for today is:

Frederick Grant Banting, Canadian physician who discovered insulin, born 1891.

So all the events necessary to lead to Frederick Grant Banting made my life possible as well.

During his freshman year of college, my dad was diagnosed with severe Type I Diabetes. He nearly died. He’s lucky he’s here, let alone as healthy as he is. If FGB hadn’t discovered insulin, my dad wouldn’t be here. I wouldn’t be here.

My dad’s diabetes terrified me for a long time. I felt like I got a lot of traits from him, and I think I was afraid I would get diabetes, too. I didn’t like watching him prick his finger or give himself injections.

And then, 5 years ago, I was diagosed as being insulin-resistant, which qualifies me as pre-diabetic. Wake-up call if there ever was one. I’ve lost weight, changed my eating habits, and done all I can to try not to go from pre-diabetic to diabetic. I’ve got it pretty much under control, but who knows what the future holds.

Anyways, it just makes me thankful that not only did all the events that allowed my family and me to be here occurred, but that all the events that contributed to the tangled web of people who we’re connected with to be here, too.

How’s that for highly philosophical at noon on a Wednesday?