“What do you do when life throws your a curve ball? Something happens other than what you hoped for. Everything gets shaken up a bit. You have an opportunity to go with the changes or try to fight to keep the old way from slipping away. What do you do? You can react or respond to whatever is happening.
It was New Year’s Eve and I was to dinner party with dear friends. I purchased a nice bottle of wine and some expensive cheese to bring. I was looking forward to the evening with fine people. I prepared, got ready and went out the door. The evening cold, in the 20s. F
I got about 2 blocks from the house and noticed the car ride a bit strange. I stopped, got out, but since it was dark I couldn’t see behind the headlights. I felt the passenger side front tire and it was pretty pancaked. I had a flat. Luckily, there is a service station another couple blocks.
Sometimes Things Don’t Go As Planned
If I can get there without slicing up the tire, great. I can purchase a can of ‘fix a flat’ hope that works and fill the tire with air and be on my way. I get there and park near the air pump. I go in to borrow a tire gauge and get the can of tire foam. These station doesn’t sell anything like that, I am told. WOW! Well okay, I actually have one in my car.
BUT it is too cold to use. I try but nothing will come out. So I go for the air. Nope, the pins don’t line up and the air won’t go in. My hands at this point are becoming numb. A guy, in a truck, pulls up, asks me what’s wrong. Turns out he overheard me while in the station trying to secure a warm can of ‘fix a flat’. He throws a spot on.
He tries to put air in the tire too. Nope, it is not going in. My hands hurt. He says, ‘why not leave it here. It is open 24 hours. I’ll give you a lift home.’ I move the car, grab the wine, but drop it, it shatters. Grab the cheese and go in to return the gage. Turns out I can keep the car there but not where I parked it. So I move it.
Do You React Or Respond
I get in Kevin’s truck. I asked his name, told him mine, we shook hands. ‘Do you like cheese?’ I asked the odd ball question. ‘Here is some nice cheese’. And I put it on his console. He drove me home. I said thanks and Happy New Year. Entered the house. Called my daughter, wished her a nice evening and hunkered down.
New Years Day, I have a date with a tow truck. Hopefully, I can get the tire fixed or replaced. I could have called a tow truck, put on spare and traveled on, but really didn’t want to spend time waiting in a gas station. I could have. Home was more comfortable. I called my friends, told my host the news, apologized, and enjoyed some time alone.
What IS is. What to do about it? I was pleased none of this ruffled my feathers. Years back, I would not have been so even about it. I would have reacted poorly. Now, this time, it was different. More how I would hope it to be. Still, I did nothing special other than accept what was going on. I simply responded to what was happening.
Do You Like Cheese
I was quickly able to realize this is what IS. There is no reason to fight it or be dismayed. No reason to curse or swear or get upset because things went differently than anticipated. Maybe something good will come of this I can’t yet see. Who knows? Maybe maybe not.
My practice of surrender on the roadway seems to be paying off. You can find it within this blog in other posts of mine. I have mentioned it before. BUT in a nutshell here it is:
I have a theory that the best modern day opportunity to learn surrender and ‘going with the flow’ is in traffic. If anything presses our buttons it is getting stuck, a’hole drivers going to fast or riding our ass. Stupid slow drivers who can’t move fast enough or turn and get out of our way. Yup, traffic is a great place to let it all go.
Some may be tempted to think, ‘well that NYE thingee really is all that big of deal’ and no it wasn’t. Rehearse and practice acceptance with little things, and you can inch your way up to bigger things. Practice letting go and accepting what is in traffic, and in everyday life. Ultimately you build a habit of learning to respond.
Life Is Ultimately What You Make It
Fewer things will get us. We freak out less. We increase our batting average but we may never be perfect. OR maybe we will, who knows. It is pretty much going to be up to what we believe it will be like. Our expectations shape our reality. Life seems to be about learning and evolving. We learn to evolve to let go and enjoy more!
So, I watched some TV, read a little. I was going to open a bottle of wine and pour a glass but I didn’t. Soon, I fell asleep, just nodded off. New Year’s Eve came and went. I must have needed the rest. I woke at 2:39 am and realized I had yet to write my blog. Well, this is it. Happy New Year Everyone!!!
If you can’t change it don’t fight it. Accept it. There is something else available for you when you allow for it. I had a pleasant, uneventful evening at home. The year changed over and now wonderful new opportunities exist. They always exist! Opportunity is there when you need it. As are good samaritan’s, frequently. Thanks Kevin!” Rex Sikes
It is a new day! Celebrate!
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Horizons photo used with permission of Phil Koch.
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