Some days, nothing goes the way we plan. Some days, our plans are completely derailed and we want to throw our hands up in the air and give up. Sometimes those days stretch into weeks and months. We can't see any light, not even a glimmer. We waiver, we weaken, and we surrender.
The way we surrender, though, determines our outcome. Do we surrender and give up completely or do we surrender our illusion of control and let go?
It's not been an easy few months, and I would, if I believed in luck, say we've been short on it. But I don't believe in luck, and despite or because of the law of large numbers and all those other cognitive biases I know because I teach them, I greet unexpected events as opportunities and gifts, the chance to grow, to bend, to let our pent up emotions sometimes.
So when we were forced off the road this afternoon by an oncoming vehicle and the drop off was enough to shake us up, bend the rim and cut the tire, leaving us a quarter mile from home, I could have let it ruin what had been a lovely lunch with the girlies, a favorite friend and the cutest one-year-old I know, followed by the girlies spending their birthday money on Legos.
Instead I called Rick and he drove down to change the tire. While we waited, a nearby neighbor came out with his jack, ready to help.
The rim and tire are shot, and Honda wants nearly a grand to replace the rim and tire. Not money we have right now, so Rick called around. We'll order an after market rim and new tire from Pepboys for a fifth the cost when we get paid, and they'll order the rim. So, my car is parked for at least ten days.
Some of the most important lessons I've learned my daughters taught me. They were un phased by the experience and started building their Legos as soon as we got home. Because neither Rick nor I complained, they took it in stride, a minor detour from their planned day, but no big deal.
And it's really not. Not in the scheme of things.
Not as we live our lives in this ever increasingly shrinking world where we are connected to friends all over the world through the magic of the internet. Not when we have the opportunity to bear witness to the devastation so many people experience.
We talk about our problems, some of us recognizing it's a first world problem and feeling a slight guilt when we know that third world problems are so much worse. They always have been and always will be, so let that vague embarrassed guilt go.
Today was like any other day. It had its highs and its lows, its wow moments and its heart aching moments.
I choose to surrender and open myself up to life in all its painful majesty, to accept the cost of admission, which is unbelievably high but undoubtedly worth it.