On a trip to see our daughter in Branson, our car totally died south of Kansas City. Though my cell was low on minutes and charge, we were able to contact AAA and eventually we were once more on our way-in a vehicle we rented for the weekend. On the way back, we ended up purchasing a car so we could get home. Six months later when our daughter’s car needed to be replaced, we bought a different car and gave the one we’d purchased in Missouri to her.
Move forward a year when we headed to Kansas to celebrate my sister’s birthday. We had a wonderful time. On the way home, we stopped to visit our grandchildren to give them the things we’d bought on the trip. We didn’t stay long. We wanted to get back on the road, envisioning unpacking and relaxing at home.
As we headed home on the Interstate, the engine light came on. Keith tried to coax the car to the next exit, but no. The car died, irrevocably, beside the highway with cars zipping by us so closely I worried about Keith opening his door.
A motorist with a Wisconsin license plate stopped to help Keith, but the hood of the car wouldn’t open. Eventually they gave up. Another Good Samaritan also stopped, but by then I’d pulled out my cell phone and my AAA card. I am very grateful for Victor from AAA who came out and rescued us and our car.
Three cars in less than a year and a half. Frustrated? You bet! We certainly didn’t need the drain on our resources. And the cars’ problem was just one of the frustrations in our lives. Why did this have to happen? Of course anger or complaining changes nothing and only makes a bad situation worse. I decided not to go there. Instead I realized the outcome had a great deal to do with how I dealt with the problem.
First, I needed to recognize I couldn’t change what happened. Two, my attitude about the situation was my choice. Three, ranting, raving and complaining did no long-term good and only made everyone feel worse without solving anything. Four, sometimes a circumstance is just a circumstance and no one’s fault.
Five, and finally, I needed to be grateful. After all, the car didn’t die until we were 35 miles from home, Good Samaritans did stop and try to help, AAA responded quickly and we were able to stop safely.
We’re in a different car now and I do not know what the future holds, but I do know from going through this that attitude makes all the difference. These five steps aren’t a new revelation, but common sense that each of us can use when confronted with a distressing situation to help us maintain balance, a good attitude-and a more positive outcome.