Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Never a Dull Moment!

There's never a dull moment! Last Friday was our big tree planting party, as you know. My first order of business was to pick up my 13-year-old niece, Katlin. She lives about 45 minutes away. My plan was to stop half-way there at Costco to pick up a nice ham dinner for her family since they just had a baby.

When the kids and I came out of Costco, the car wouldn't start. It was the battery. Why does that always happen as such a surprise!? You never know when those darn things are going to quit!

My first thoughts were panic -- "OMG! I'm only half-way to Katlin's. I've got to get her and get back to Arlington Heights to buy all of the food for the party tonight! I've got two kids in this stranded car. It's getting hot in here. I have cold food I just bought -- I don't want it to go bad. OMG! I'm hosting a party tonight! I have no time to be stuck here at Costco!"

I called Paul, who was downtown Chicago at work, and we talked about the options. As we were talking, we remembered Costco sells batteries. So, all I had to do was go into Costco, get a battery and find someone to install it for me.

I called my mom, who just happens to live in the town we were stuck in, and she said her significant other just happened to be working in town that day and might be able to swing by and put the new battery in for me!

Gee! Turns out I got stuck in a great place! Within one hour I had a new battery and was back on my way! We ran an hour behind our "schedule" for the day, but that experience gave us many gifts! Here are a few of them:

  • The opportunity to keep a positive attitude and realize this was not the end of the world.
  • The opportunity to keep my cool and show the kids calmness in what some would perceive as a crisis.
  • The opportunity to teach the kids that sometimes life does not go as planned, but it will still work out anyway.
  • The opportunity for my mom's significant other to help his daughter-in-law and grandchildren -- he was happy to do so ... and how funny for this to happen just after I moved back to Illinois near my family -- it helped me realize they really are here for me!
  • The simple amazement of how life works -- that truly was a great place for my battery to die that day!
In the end, the party went off without a hitch, and we all had a great time! 

I share this story because I believe we all have the ability to make life what we want it to be. We have a choice for how we look at our experiences -- big and small. Are they the worst thing that could have happened, or are they a gift in some way?

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