So last night I spent three-plus frustrating hours gathering all the necessary documents and signatures and jumping through all the government hoops to get our passports ready for renewal. We’ve known for a while that we needed to get this done but, like all unsavory online tasks, I’d been putting it off, until my husband learned that he had 6 weeks to get a new passport for some corporate hoops he has to jump through.
Hoops, hoops, everywhere hoops.
We got our passport photos taken in two batches and I powered (or was that glowered?) through the forms.
This morning, I waved two teenagers off to school, checked on a third sick in bed, said good-bye to my husband heading off to Vancouver for business and prepared my to-do list (and my self) for the day.
I’ve been attempting to live my life without rushing (see the Extreme Self-Care Absolute No List) so, consequently, several to-do items later, at the crack of 10:00, I jumped in my van . . .
and drove half a block and turned around to scrounge up some change for the downtown parking meters.
(If this menopausal brain fog keeps up, there will soon be permanent u-turn grooves in the pavement on my street.)
Of course, I had to gas up before I could leave town because I had forgotten to do it the last time I was out running errands. My GPS, Sophie, told me the address of the office I had to find among Red Deer’s lovely, downtown, one-way streets did not exist so I tossed her into the passenger seat and started driving.
Determined to quell the irritation threatening to rise up in me, I put on a soothing CD, locked in the cruise control at 110 and was not rushing down the highway when I heard (or felt) a ‘click’ and watched the needle on my speedometer move steadily down from 110 to 100 to 80 and so on until I was definitely not rushing to a stop at the side of the highway.
I put on my flashers, made my AMA call and settled in to wait, determined not to get cranky about this very important and now-aborted trip to the city.
It ocurred to me that, even though things were not going well, I could create sanctuary right where I was.
It was a beautiful, sunny, autumn day. I slid over to the passenger seat, opened the door and tucked into the delicious quinoa salad I had packed in case my wait in the passport line extended into the lunch hour. Then I pulled out my book and read for awhile, rocking gently in the draft of passing semis.
When my brain started interfering with all the reasons why this was such a p**s off, I started looking for all the things for which I could be grateful. I came up with quite a list that has taken me right through to the end of this delightful day:
* Unlike the time I was driving in Calgary, my van had not burst into flames while I was nearing a busy interchange.
* I was only in Innisfail, not all the way to Red Deer.
* I had an AMA membership and a cell phone so I could call for help from the sanctuary of my quinoa-salad-and-book-laden vehicle.
*The fully functioning passenger door provided a modicum of protection and privacy when I could no longer ignore the call of nature.
* I carry a box of kleenex in my van.
* This had not happened on the way to the much-anticipated, three day retreat my friend had gifted me with in Canmore next week.
*Nor had it happened in a raging blizzard.
* It happened on a flat section of the highway with a lot of space to pull over onto the grass away from the very-much-rushing traffic.
* I could return the change not used for the parking to my son’s savings jar and tear up my IOU note.
* The tatooed, Zee Zee Top-bearded tow truck driver was a perfect gentleman who “darlin’d” me all the way back to Didsbury.
* I learned that there are Tow Truck Reality shows and the companies that get the TV contracts get millions of dollars of skookum equipment that they don’t even use on the shows because that would not be dramatic enough.
* I was delivered safely to my much-trusted mechanic, Rick Wannamaker at Dick’s Auto Service, who I knew would do everything he could to resuscitate my van.
* My husband has a good job that will help pay the $132.30 bill for the tow that was well over the 5 km that an AMA Basic Membership covers.
* I have a home to come home to.
* And it’s only a ten minute walk from my Automobile Angel’s shop.
*There were no catastrophes awaiting me when I walked through the door. In fact, my sick child was on the mend.
*I tossed my to-do list and puttered in my back yard, reviving my too-long-neglected flowers for one last autumn ‘hurrah’ and harvesting my tomatoes and peppers for a supper-time feast.
*I enjoyed a cup of tea and a decadent slice (or two) of caramel shortcake, grabbed pen and paper and retreated to the writing sanctuary I had created for myself in mid-August and never took the time to use and proceeded to write this blog post the old fashioned way.
* I enjoyed a delicious supper and much hilarity with my sons and our exchange student.
* A phone call from Rick confirmed that my $4000 van could be resuscitated for a mere $3000 (to replace the transmission) and a subsequent phone conversation with my husband contained the words, “Well, sweetie, start thinking about what kind of vehicle you’d like.”
* Fortunately, my friend, Louann, knows exactly what kind of vehicle I should get and her husband is the best deal finder on the planet so . . .
all things considered . . .
it was a good day.