This morning I walked with my son the two blocks to where the car was parked in order to drive him to school. (No school buses here, sigh.) When we got to Valencia Street, on which Kayne and I both remembered leaving the car last night, we couldn’t find it. We walked back and forth along the sidewalk, looking for our car. I said, “We parked it here last night, right?” He said, “Yep.” I said, “You don’t see it, do you?” He said, “Nope.”
I put my hand to my head and said, “Not again!” You see, our decade-old Honda has been stolen twice in the past nine months. Apparently it’s easy to break into and it is a good car for parts. (I know, I know … we need to get a steering wheel lock!)
Kayne and I looked at each other and started walking toward the bus stop in order to get him to school. My mind was whirring with all the inconveniences this was going to cause. I was making mental inventory of all the things I’d left in the car that were now gone for good. (I know, I know … never leave valuables in the car!)
Before we got too far to the bus, I thought to call Kayne’s dad, Bob, who was with us when we parked the car last night. “Hey Bob.” “Hi.” “Uh, Kayne and I are on Valencia Street and the car is not. It’s gone. Again.” Bob paused and said, “We didn’t park the car on Valencia. It’s on the side-street perpendicular. Try Duncan Street.”
Wheeeeee! There it is. The car wasn’t stolen. We don’t have to take the bus. I don’t have to worry about my stuff being gone. There won’t be the inconvenience of calling the insurance company and getting a rental car and filing yet another police report. Yay. We’re just getting into the car and driving to school.
All the way to school, I kept bursting with moments of joy, “The car wasn’t stolen!” “Hey, Kayne … we’re in the car going to school and not on the (oh-so-slow) bus!” “Yippee, no one took our car!”
What complete joy to feel full of gratitude for something I have taken for granted the last however-many-dozens of times I’ve stepped into it.
It makes me remember that I can also consciously be grateful for the hundreds and hundreds of other things I take for granted:
Yay, I can walk. Yay, Kayne is healthy. Yay, fresh water comes out of the faucet. Yay, I can call my mom. Yay, the computer is working. Yay, my head doesn’t hurt. Yay, the apartment didn’t burn down. Yay, there was no earthquake today. Yay, my favorite hat didn’t get ruined in the rain. Yay, all of my friends are fine today. Yay, I can breathe this air. Yay, the fridge works and all the food is not spoiled. Yay, I can see. Yay, the color purple exists. Yay, I’m not in the hospital. Yay, the apartment has heat.
It can be so easy to wish that certain things didn’t happen or to want things that I don’t have. But wow, how good it feels to simply focus on things that are working in my life. What a celebration it is to wish for what I have.
I’d love to hear from you about this. Can you (quick!) send me three things you wish you had, that you DO have?
(Disclaimer: that yellow car is not my car. However, a photo of a beige Honda probably wouldn’t have been very inspiring. This is my favorite car photo ever and I felt like seeing it again!)