Tuesday, December 02, 2014


[click in title for full post] 

Today's Think Kit blog prompt: 

What did you change your mind about this year? Was it a big deal – the way you feel about an issue? Or something small – maybe you learned to like Brussels sprouts? What was the moment or series of moments that changed how you felt? How did your friends or family react? Have you uttered the phrase, "I'll never change my mind!" since then?

I've never thought of myself as a rigid person. I can go with the flow in both my work and social life. In fact I've never understood folks that can't make adjustments along the way. 

Of course I get disappointed if things don't go as I envisioned them, especially if  it is something that I've planned, but all and all, life is great. 

With all of my travel this year, I discovered that my flexibility had a lot to do with the fact that I know how to handle almost anything that is thrown at me in my day-to-day life. 

Someone cut themselves at work? Apply pressure. 
Copier jammed? Follow the paper path. 
Student need help with utilities? Contact the social worker. 
Someone have too much to drink at my waitressing gig? Call a cab. 
Need volunteers for an event? Post it on facebook. 
Traffic jam on the way home? Go around the block. 
Someone collapse? Give CPR. 
Toothache? Call the dentist. 
Low on money? Pick up a shift. 
Flight cancelled because of weather? Reroute. 
Possum in the house? Borrow a cage and trap it. 

After living in the same house for 17 years and working at my main job for 9.5 and working at one part-time job for 25 and the other for 13, it is hard to knock me for a loop.

I have a sign on my wall that says, Don't Let Logistics Get in the Way of a Good Idea, and I truly believe it. I've spent the last several years in a cocky haze of thinking that nothing will rattle my cage. 

I've got this. 


The thing that make me break down in a sobbing heap?  
A stupid flat tyre (it feels better when you spell it the Irish way). 

Mom and I traveled from Indianapolis to Ballangarry, Ireland via Heathrow and a harrowing drive from the Shannon Airport. I don't like to drive on a good day, let alone in an SUV on the other side of the road in the dark with absolutely no idea where we were going. The GPS system can't help if there is no road name or address. 

Mom and I finally arrived at the rental cottage in the driving sleet in one of the coldest winters in Irish history.  After getting a fire started and warming our toes and putting some soup in our bellies, we slept well. I woke up energized and ready to explore the community and look for long-lost cousins. 

Then I looked out the window over the sink to see a flat tyre on the rental car. 

I looked at the rental agreement to see who to call. Spelled out in bold print was the advisory that tyres were not covered for damage. You were on your own for replacing the damn tyre. Great. 

I didn't know what to do or who to call. After a good cry, I bundled up and knocked on the door of a neighboring cottage. They couldn't hear me because of the rain so I wound up knocking on their window, interrupting a mom breast feeding her newborn. 

She invited my dripping self in, called a tyre service and soon a truck arrived. I had a new tyre within the hour. 

While the whole incident doesn't even qualify as dramatic, it snapped something in me. 
Asking for help and not feeling like you know all of the answers in disheartening. And hard. 

I am much more empathetic with folks who need a hand with what I might consider a minor problem. I am much quicker to ask for a hand, rather than waiting and making myself and others crazy. 

So let me know if I can help in anyway. And I'm sure I'll be asking you for help soon. 


Granny Annie said...

Is it our Irish ancestry that makes it difficult to ask for help? I will go to great lengths to avoid doing so. At least now I know to call the rental place if I get a flat. Thanks!

Kassie said...

Always being the fixer and then suddenly finding yourself in need of "fix-it" is very difficult. And I completely believe that a good snotting cry is required to get that life lesson down pat.
PS I like "tyre" a lot

nora leona said...

Annie - I left out a critical part of the story! Tyres were not covered by the rental company. I added a paragraph. Thanks!

Gette J said...

Had a flat in the first two hours of our trip to Scotland. This was after not sleeping at all and being bullied into purchasing extra insurance at the rental counter. I was frazzled, learning left handed shifting and driving on the fly, and I got too close to the edge and hit the retaining wall and a pothole. Luckily the tyre (!) was the only damage, but we had no mobile service and were stymied by the anti-theft lock on the hub. We figured it out, got on our way, and had it changed over the next day, all at the expense of the *&#(&*%^ extra insurance they made us buy, so I guess it all worked out. At the time, I was too exhausted to snot cry, though, and my gut wanted to empty itself but couldn't quite work it up. I just freaked out quietly, which freaked out my family, and we headed for the Drover's Inn, where I swear if I hadn't 40 more miles to drive, I'd have emptied a bottle of Scotland's finest and taken a power nap.