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5 Quick lessons from a flat car battery

I chuckled to myself this morning, as I yelled at the kids to come downstairs so we could head on out to school and I, to the office. I had my plan well laid out for this morning; get to work circa 8:15am and use the first 45 minutes in to plan my content for an event I’m working on, prep for my meetings and be ready for what will be a 12-hour day at the office. Yes, this was after a 14-hour day one having wrapped up the night before. Carrying my laptop case, purse and cup of ginger tea to my car, I gave the last standard announcement that graces each morning – “Guys, lip balm on your lips please, don’t forget to put lotion on your legs and carry your lunch!” Into my seat I buckled, turning on the ignition – to a “clink, clink, clink” sound. Dashboard lights came on, then off. Something’s wrong with my car.

Growing up and juggling a bunch of deliverables a day with a million different personalities has perhaps conditioned me to become more adaptive. I had a long day of super important meetings I need to be in for first thing in the morning, but now wasn’t the time to panic and get into a tizzy! With this description of the morning that was, allow me to share a few tidbits I have learned from having to adjust when things take an abrupt turn towards an unintended direction:

1. Breathe and take a second to think. In that moment, there were two key priorities. Getting help with my car and getting the kids to school on time. Gates opened in 10 minutes and I need to be at the office in an hour latest. And so I called Hubs who bless Him, being the earliest of eagles had already left for the office an hour before. He dropped what he was doing to head back home while I called a taxi service (which are super safe here) to take the kids to school. Taxi was here in 5 minutes, off the kids went and as I sat waiting for help, I got to typing this blog.

2. Communicate your position. Next step was alerting my boss that I had a situation and was going to be late. Never wait till the last minute to communicate your position if there are people waiting on your arrival to get things started. His response was pleasant and he asked if there was anything I needed for him to do while I sorted myself out. There’s a good bit of pressure already taken off my shoulders with a few short lines via text. Communicate people! Opening your mouth or dialing a number does preempt potential issues. 

3. Carry on with what you had planned before the change in direction. I mentioned that I had plans to use 45 minutes to plan my content and prep for my meetings. That is exactly what I did. The only thing that was different this morning beyond the lightweight drama of my car misbehaving, was that I was now doing my day’s planning from my home office. The day must go on, and the car will get fixed, but all wheels needed to keep moving no matter my location.

4. Always have a stash of emergency cash in the house. In an age where we are so comfortable swiping plastic, there are some situations that may arise that require you to have cash in hand in the house. I needed to put the kids in a cab and so I just went to my little stash and got the kids the money they would need to pay for the cab. A plumbing, cooling or generator issue may arise and you have to turn to some random flier to get someone to come out and fix the problem ASAP. Having to leave the house for the ATM becomes an added waste of time, so get your ready on by keeping some emergency money in the house at all times. Trust me – you’ll need it.

5. Keep the positive vibes going. Humans have the tendency to prophesy doom when things all of a sudden take a turn for something unexpected. No, the devil isn’t after you! The sink’s just leaking. No, your life isn’t fraught with disaster; you just got a flat tyre. This could have happened to your neighbor. When annoying moments like this happen, remember that they are a part of life. If not us, then it will be someone else. What’s important is that you take the event for what it is, find solutions and keep things moving. Tomorrow will be a new day, with new stuff that will come with it!

Life offers with it so many opportunities to learn. The question is whether we turn its moments into chances to take in a thing or two or murmur and complain. The cop-out is the latter – complaining. But no one wants to be that Israelite wandering in their desert for 40 years when their solution is down the road! When stumbling blocks appear, take a second to think and regroup!

Cheers to soaring high today!


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