I was having a wonderful long July weekend. A three-day weekend with lots of sleep-in days (or perhaps afternoon naps) and NOOOOOOO plans. Selfish time!! Don’t get me wrong. I love socializing, but I also love time to myself and doing things (or not). Anyway, I was starting off my long weekend, happily driving around to different stores and lolly-gagging (Oh yeah…love the old-time words). Suddenly I saw a strange pictorial image. Hmmm. When my car attempts to communicate with me, I know there is an issue. After Googling the picture I discovered it meant “check engine”. F*** or SH**!!! There were many 4-letter words I came up with. I did the mature thing and booked an appointment with my car dealership in order to remedy the situation. The cost of this was swirling through my head and then I realized how lucky I was. I found the silver lining in my predicament. I hope you can share my newfound old-lady wisdom and incorporate it into your daily life.
I had a “Total Recall” moment (no Arnold Schwarzenegger but still life-changing) where I remembered when Wiseguy and I had only one vehicle. I remembered waking up at 2 am to drive Wiseguy to work. I then drove home to our apartment and slept for a few hours to get up later to go to the same workplace. Yes, we had one vehicle. We sacrificed and made due with what we had. Walking through the underground parking at 2:30 am is quite scary…unless you are tired. To be honest, being tired you don’t care who rides the elevator with you. Probably a very good thing. We did what had to be done in order to make a living.
Fast forward through life trials and tribulations. We started off in a one-bedroom apartment with no furniture. Seriously, no furniture. Our first purchase was a splurge on a bed. Other than that, we were blessed to have a hotel banquet round table for 4 people and a motel tv donated by Wiseguy’s parents (truly, from his mom). We had the best day ever when my mother-in-law took us shopping at Sears to get a couch. We were moving up in the world! Befriending a Native (American/Canadian) Indian at work, we scooped up a pullout couch and a swivel chair. Yes, we were lucky. Furniture for the kids to actually be able to sit on! For their beds, the poor darlings were relegated to tri-fold mattresses. Just sponge covered with fabric. I bought twin sheets (just the top one) in different colours so they could identify with one. They slept on the floor in the living room. It was all we had and we made it work. It wasn’t easy, but there was a lot of love and we tried to make it as special as possible.
Clothing…well, we loved Value Village. We found a way to clothe everyone with the wee little budget that we had to work with. To be honest, Value Village (comparable to Goodwill or Salvation Army) had good quality items. Some items still had the original store tags on them. Am I embarrassed? NO! Everything we did was out of love. We loved life. We loved our children. Belongings were not what were about. We were about quality time and making memories.
So, here is a petit view of my perspective on our new world order. We are used to looking at the world in a negative way and yet there are many things that are so positive. So, I will now give you a mini-training lesson on finding the positive in the negative. Here we go…
- My car shows the check engine light.
NORMAL REACTION: (BLEEEEEEEEP)….SON OF A (BLEEEEEEEEP)
NEW REACTION: I am so lucky. I have a vehicle that tells me when something is wrong. I am not stranded on the side of the road. Oh, even better, it’s summer. I am not stuck on the side of the road in the middle of a Canadian winter. Best yet…I am grateful that I have a vehicle. I am grateful that I can afford to pay for the repair. Life is good.
- It’s 38 degrees (Cdn) and over 100 degrees (US)
NORMAL REACTION: It’s too hot! I can’t believe how hot it is. It’s unbearable.
NEW REACTION: I am so lucky to experience beautiful, warm weather after the cold winter. I am also super grateful for the air conditioning that I can afford to have in my home.
- I just got my hydro bill
NORMAL REACTION: Seriously how much am I paying???
NEW REACTION: I may not be pleased with my bill, but I am lucky to be able to pay my bills and have my house temperature cool so that I can sleep comfortably at night.
SUMMARY: I hope your life is as great as mine. It’s full of love and hugs (yes I’m a hugaholic). And if not, I hope you find your way to that promised land. You may think the things you own will make you happy, but as you get older you will find that less is more. Not sure who mentioned that previously, but they were right. Smile and think about how lucky you are.
Lastly, when the check engine light pops up, be happy. It might cut into your savings, but it saved your life. It let you be around longer for those who love you. Thank you “check engine” symbol. It’s a reminder that everything in life in short. Joie to vivre…Joy of life!