Gaining Perspective From Inconvenience
I want to follow up to my post from last week The Price You Pay to Drive, because first of all... I got the car running again. After sitting in the garage for exactly one week, Humpty Dumpty was put back together again and rolling down the road. Not only that, but last Friday I managed to also fix our dryer for less than $20. After talking with a local appliance repair shop, they diagnosed it over the phone, I took the old thermal fuse (apparently a common problem with dryers not running) in to be tested which confirmed the issue, replaced the teeny tiny 2" part, said a quick prayer as I plugged in the dryer, and it fired right up. Hallelujah!
So the week that shall forever be known as the week of "inconvenience" in our house, was culminated with both major inconveniences being restored, our first world problems solved, and a satisfying bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
It was an amazing week of perspective for us as a family, but specifically for me in particular. So I wanted to share the insights I've learned through this week of inconvenience.
My first reaction when things aren't going my way is "why now, and why me?" It's an instant surprise pity party, and I'm pretty darn good at throwing them if I dare say so myself...
And in the midst of that I typically talk myself into a few "end of the world" type scenarios which end with us living in a van down by the river.
But, after snapping out of that and working through the problem the inconvenience just gets annoying. I just want the situation to be over and done with so I can get back to whatever it was I was doing before.
The perspective came mid-week last week as the three of us (Kelsey, Rooney, and I) were piling into the minivan to begin our carpooling for the day.
Half joking, I mentioned what a blessing it was that we all got to commute together. And it was really a blessing. I miss out on those 10 minutes of commuting everyday, and the conversations Rooney and Kelsey have, and the songs they sing on the ride to the Church.
It's also pretty rare that I get to pick Rooney up from daycare, and I got to do that a few times last week as well. It truly was a blessing to see my wife in her element at work and watch her be a mother for a few extra minutes everyday.
Along with the new perspective of the situation I realized that we were learning how to communicate more effectively. With two cars, there typically wasn't need to talk through our plan for the day or what errands each of us were needing to run. And as we talked through it all, it helped get us on the same page, and be present in each other's lives.
Not to mention it gave me a deeper appreciation for all my wife does for the family. When we don't talk about it, sometimes it just seems like groceries magically appear in our cupboards, but when we have to talk about where we need to go and who needs the minivan for the day, we were forced to prioritize our days in a different way.
When our dryer was on the fritz, we had a load of wet clothes that needed to be dried. Wouldn't it have been convenient if we knew the dryer was going to stop working before we threw a load in the washer?
Anyway, as I envisioned us spending the evening at a laundry mat, Kelsey had the idea to ask our neighbors if we could use their dryer. It was a humbling experience, and I was really proud of Kelsey's ability to think outside the box on that one. I have a hard time asking for help sometimes (ok a lot of times).
I also mustered up the courage to ask the same neighbor's husband to take a look at my car situation to see if I was missing something. He's always fixing his own cars, and I figured he would be able to confirm if I was on the right track.
My dad was also a big help, taking my phone calls and questions as I asked for guidance on what to do, and how to fix the problem with the car.
And after lamenting our situation to a friend, I was offered the keys to a spare car that they didn't need last week. I was super grateful for the offer, but I thought we could make it through the week with just one vehicle. However, it was super nice to have a back-up plan in case the situation was prolonged any further.
Obviously we made it through the week, but let me tell you... I learned a lot from the situation. And as I was replacing parts, fighting wires, and trying to find time to make it all work I was also praying a lot. Praying for God to teach me something from it. This challenge has reminded me to praise God in the storms, and be grateful for what we have in all circumstances.
But seriously... I was doing a happy dance Friday night when both the car and dryer were fixed.
What insights are you learning from the challenges you're facing?