Tuesday, July 15, 2008

In the key of A Flat.

I believe one of the least favorable things about being an adult is car trouble. Every time an issue comes up, whether something needs fixing or just maintenance, I feel a little bit like I have been dealt an injustice, and that when I got excited about growing up, this was Not what I'd signed up for. And I have had quite a bit of experience in this department from the time I've had my license until today. I've had a transmission blow out in the middle of the freeway in the rain in Fresno, had something explode in the engine (I now forget what) and bring me to a stop an hour outside of my hometown, I've been in a car that flipped over in a freeway accident, and then you have your run-of-the-mill breakdowns around town. And then, last week, my car overheated. Found out why, and got that taken care of.

And then today, a flat tire. Sweet.

However. This led me to think about one of the best things for me about being (or becoming) an adult.

You learn how to handle crap. The capable hands of experience take hold and guide you through, pointing you the way around the obstacles, which over time begin to look like just minor speed bumps. This experience will whisper to you, "It's going to be fine. You will figure this out. There will be people to help. Soon it will be over and you will not be worse for the wear."

This morning as I chatted with a co-worker in the parking lot her eyes caught something and she pointed. My gaze followed her finger to see one of my back tires so flat that there was no chance I'd be able to drive it even the shortest distance for a quick replacement. It had been fine that morning, and a couple hours later, it was useless. I saw it, but felt no dismay, and was even almost amused. My immediate thought was, "This situation could easily be worse," followed by "There are several ways I can resolve this, and I'll get started right away." A few minutes later it occurred to me that I hadn't gotted bummed or annoyed at the injustice, inconvenience, and expense of it all, as I have in similar and of course worse situations in the past. I was matter-of-factly working on a solution, and though it made my busy day even busier and more expensive, there was hardly a blip on my stress radar because of it.

Becoming an adult has snuck up on me. And even though I don't always relish this fact, I'm seeing increasingly that the bad things about it are far outweighed by the good and the great.


Patricia said...

I was surprised to find my eyes getting misty when I read this. It was the part where you wrote how when a hurdle like car trouble is suddenly in front of you, experience whispers to you that
it's going to be fine...you'll figure it out, people are there to help, and it will soon be over. That's so gratifying to me as your mom. It's a really good feeling to know that my "child" is not only competent in resolving those challenges we all face, but that you have an attitude of confidence in yourself to deal with it, the sense of interdependence that you're not alone - others are there to help you through - and the ability to see beyond the trouble....you WILL get past this. A parent wants to know that her kids have learned key life skills, and that the kids are going to be OK, even thrive, in their lives, because mom/dad is far away and someday won't be there anymore. Of course I already know that you are living life awesomely as an adult, but reading your description of how you found yourself responding to the flat tire affirms and reassures me of how capable and positive you are. What a good feeling. :-]

*corinne said...

thanks mom. you did a god job raising us.