Sunday, May 16, 2010

It's All In How You Look At It...

Earlier this week, I was having a really bad day. It seemed like no matter what I did, things were just going wrong and it was going to be a horrible day. I could sense my attitude slipping, and that's never a good sign for anyone.

Then I took a deep breath and reminded myself of what I tell Mister Man whenever something goes wrong. Hey, things go wrong sometimes. Don't let it ruin your whole day.

Because of the huge rains that caused flooding, "everyone" was traveling on the main road we take to get to school, which meant our usual 16-18 minute ride took over thirty-five minutes, and everyone was late for school. But we made it there safely.

As I got close to Little Miss's preschool to drop her off (fifteen minutes late due to the traffic above), the street was flooded, and I was not about to risk stalling out in the middle of the road. Her school is in a neighborhood filled with twisty streets that go all over, making it easy to get lost. But I turned around and found my way through.

When I finally arrived there, the power was out in her school. The teachers met us there with flashlights, and the basement had flooded in several places (again). But they were still holding school, and Little Miss thought it was a great adventure to have school in the dark. My plans for the remainder of the day didn't have to be cancelled - and power was restored less than an hour and a half later.

When I finally arrived home, the person I was meeting at my house had already arrived... because I was running late. But she totally understood and it worked out just fine.

I was heading to a location I hadn't been before but was pretty sure I knew. The GPS in my phone (btw Google Maps, I'm talking about you - in the short time I've been using you, I have reported lots and lots of errors. You are not engendering my confidence!) had me turn somewhere that surprised me, so I assumed we were going to a different section of the town. Nope, we were going exactly where I thought we were going, except that I had to turn off the main road and go through back streets that added another seven or so minutes to the trip. That made me late - along with the person who was following me, who hates to be late, making me feel guilty. But we weren't the last ones to arrive, and we didn't miss anything.

Running out of my house to get to the event, I'd forgotten to bring the requested jacket. But the nice people kindly lent me a jacket, and I was nice and toasty in the cold areas.

When I returned to my car, the dummy light that had turned on first thing in the morning scared me. It had started with 38 miles remaining, which was plenty to get me through my locations - although I would have stopped for gas anywhere earlier in the morning had I not been running behind because of the stupid traffic that threw my whole morning off - but due to the traffic wasting gas idling and the GPS taking me in the wrong direction, the range on my car was down to three miles. Then two before I left the parking lot.

I knew where the closest gas station was, and it was more than two miles away. I started planning who I could call to help me. I watched the range tick down to one. I was being as gentle as I could with the accelerator trying to conserve what gas I had remaining. And then it showed zero, and I was nowhere near the gas station. My heart was pounding, and the refrain of please please please kept repeating in my head. Please, just let me get to this turn so I won't be on a main road. Please let me get to this next street where I'll at least be able to walk on sidewalks to the gas station. Please just let me coast into this parking lot so my car is somewhere safe.

The most appalling part for me is that I am a fanatic about keeping my tank over a quarter full, and I generally keep it over a half tank. Unfortunately, I've been so swamped with a number of things going on in my life that my routine has been off and I didn't made it to a gas station.

Somehow - somehow - I made it to the gas station without running out of gas, and my tank was quickly filled.

That was the point where I realized that it truly was all about my attitude, and as "badly" as things had gone so far that day, it had all worked out. It was all ok. And there was a silver lining everywhere.

And from there, it all turned around. Now if only I can keep that attitude in the right place, my life will be much less stressful - even though nothing else changes.


Lucy May 17, 2010 at 1:13 AM  

I can really be a "glass half empty" gal. This post was a good reminder that it's all in how we look at things!

P.S. Glad you didn't run out of gas. I HATE that feeling of praying you'll make it to the gas station.

Karen May 17, 2010 at 7:02 AM  

Way to look at the bright side! I hate when I have weeks like that - I'm glad you were able to find the positive.

Pat May 17, 2010 at 8:59 AM  

Oh what a great post, Michelle, and a reminder to all of us that no matter what happens to us, it's not the end of the world. Extremely frustrating, but not the end of the world...and attitude is everything. There's a great article by Chuck Swindoll, I think, about this very thing...attitude is everything.

WeaselMomma May 17, 2010 at 9:33 AM  

Perspective is everything and we all need that reminder once in a while.

Donald May 17, 2010 at 3:05 PM  

Some days you just want to trade in the Horse Whip for a cattle prod.

MaBunny May 18, 2010 at 9:18 PM  

I've had those days too Michelle. Hope your week goes better! Good luck with all the flooding

Michelle May 19, 2010 at 9:58 PM  

Lucy - I've never been awywhere near that close to running out of gas before, and I HATED it, too.

Karen - Weeks? Ha! That was a single day.

Pat - Absolutely. And not beign the end of the world is what I keep repeating to Mister Man. How is he supposed to believe it if I don't though?

WeaselMomma - Yep. Me more often than not sometimes ;)

Don - Ummm yeah. And no one's ever willing to make that trade, are they?

Marcy - It got better. And the floodwaters went away. Thankfully no real damage anywhere that I know of!

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