This morning I was driving home after a morning spent running errands when I got the bright idea to stop by our neighborhood bakery and deli. It makes delicious bread that my grandchildren love, and I wanted to replenish my supply. (I always keep a couple of loaves in my freezer.) The parking lot wasn’t very full, so I figured it would be a quick stop and I’d be home in plenty of time to meet my husband for lunch and then tackle my afternoon chores.
Once inside the shop, I decided to also order a sandwich for my husband and I to share. We both love their sandwiches and I’m always a fan of any food I don’t actually have to prepare. Everything was going great until I got back in my car and tried to start it. The key word in that sentence is “tried” because, despite repeated efforts, the car refused to start.
I muttered a few things I shouldn’t have, called my husband to let him know why I wouldn’t be home, and then called the number on my AAA roadside assistance card. After a long and complicated process involving an automated answering machine, time on hold waiting for the next available operator, and repeatedly spelling the address of my location, I was informed that an assistant would be arriving in an hour or two.
If only I hadn’t stopped at the bakery, I thought. If I’d been home when my car battery died, I could get all sorts of things done while I was waiting for help to arrive. Instead I was stuck in a now-crowded parking lot, hungry and thirsty, and far from confident that the operator had given the roadside assistant the right address. This seemed like just one more thing that had gone wrong in a week where nothing seemed to go right, and a good time for a pity party.
I sat down at a recently-vacated outdoor table to wait. My husband, who had arrived with his own key in the hope that it might start the car (it didn’t) joined me and we decided to go ahead and eat our sandwich while it was still good. It was actually kind of nice sitting in the warm Spring sun, eating and watching the cars drive by. Then the owner of the bakery, who had come out earlier to check that we were okay, brought us out some water and extra napkins, along with an offer for anything else we might need while we waited. We ended up chatting with the people at the table next to us, and what had started out as a major inconvenience turned into a very pleasant lunch experience.
Which, of course, just goes to show how important it is to be willing to let go of our own agendas and expectations from time to time and be prepared to not only accept what happens instead, but to be willing to see the good in a situation we weren’t expecting and didn’t want. The roadside assistant showed up shortly after we were done eating, my car has a new battery, and I (thankfully) have a much better attitude today…..