Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Practicing gratitude, or a flat tire on a Monday morning

Yeah, that happened. And on a Monday morning, no less. Prime time for a whining baby fit or some serious "catastrophizing" (as my best friend would call it) on the side of the road. And then something happened. It occurred to me how much better it made me feel to sink into the gratitude of my blowout not causing an accident. Of the fact that I had just dropped my boys of safely at day camp.

After apologizing to the kind stranger who was so sweet about me parking my giant car in her driveway (thank you, kind stranger) & calling AAA to come change my tire (thank you, AAA) I decided to ride the wave of gratitude while waiting on the repair guy to show up. If a little gratitude made me feel somewhat better, what would a lot of gratitude feel like? Who says moderation is key? Pfffft. Someone who has never tried this out.

After grabbing a notebook out of the car I found a shady spot to sit while waiting for AAA & I started writing:

1. The blowout didn't cause an accident. Nobody was hurt.

2. The boys were safely playing at day camp, with not a care in the world. Just how I like it.

3. It happened in the morning, before it gets too hot. The afternoon temperature in Arkansas this time of year is approximately 4,000 degrees. Fine, 95 -100, but it feels like 4,000.

4. I was able to safely pull the car off of a busy street & into the circle drive of possibly the nicest lady in America. Or at least on Mississippi Avenue in Little Rock. I didn't even block anyone in.

(At this point in the morning, I am beginning to wonder if one can actually get high on gratitude, which leads me to the concern that maybe it is hotter than I mentioned in #3 and maybe I've had a sun stroke.) No matter. Back to the list before I start coming down:

5. I have AAA, which is roadside assistance and a terribly responsible thing to have. After standing in the shade & watching someone changing my flat tire in the blazing heat, AAA is something that I will never be without.

6. This wasn't a work day that included any big meetings or travelling to a city a couple of hours away, so if I had to suddenly miss work this was the day to do it.

7. It happened just a few miles from the mechanic I use, so I could drive there on the spare tire.

8. I had a new magazine in the car so I had something to do while I waited. Something besides get high on gratitude, I mean make a list.

9. I had also fixed myself a giant glass of ice water just before leaving the house, instead of the big travel cup of hot coffee that I often take.

So by the time the tire was changed & I went to work, thanks to the gratitude list,  I was in a better mood than I was when I left the house. Which probably had my coworkers wondering what I was really doing between 7:30 and 9:00 a.m. Flat tire indeed...

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