Saturday, December 29, 2012

On Bad Luck

Today was one of those days where before lunch time even came, I wished I could change back into my pajamas, jump back into bed, go to sleep, and magically wake up in time to start today over.

Today was the last day of my Christmas vacation. I spent the past week at my parents' home visiting my family. That's fun, but after a while, I start to miss my normal routine and my bed. When I woke up this morning, I was ready to pack my car and make the one-and-a-half hour drive back home.

I have to listen to music while I do my getting-ready-for-the-day routine. I recently realized that if I put my iPod in a mug on the counter in the bathroom, the mug acts as a speaker and it keeps my iPod from getting wet. At my apartment, I pretty much always just leave the mug in the bathroom and when I'm getting ready, my phone and iPod are in the mug. Well, when I went home this week, I saw no need to stop this habit, so I borrowed a mug from my mom's kitchen and just left it in the bathroom. This morning, I went into the bathroom, plopped my phone and iPod in the mug, turned on my straightener, and went to eat breakfast. I came back about fifteen minutes later to find that someone had previously put water in the mug and there was about an inch and a half of water that my phone and iPod were just soaking in. No way. I took my phone apart and dried it as best I could. You can't really take apart an iPod, though. I put both in a bag of rice and hoped for the best.

I have a very special car. It was a gift from my favorite uncle who passed away last year. It's an older car, so it has it's problems, but it gets me where I need to go. Unfortunately, it leaks oil really bad. So far, I've just been having a mechanic top it off every few weeks. But I recently decided I could learn to do it myself. This morning, in preparation to drive home, I put more oil in my engine. I was pretty proud of myself for doing it all by myself.

My mom offered to pay to put gas in my car before I left, so we headed to the gas station. When we got back, my little sister came up to me with the lid to the oil tank in my engine. "You forgot to put this back on." Oh no. I ran back to my car and opened the hood to find oil everywhere--all over the engine and all over the underside of the hood. The oil tank was empty. Luckily, I had more oil, so I just put it in, but I was so shaken up and flustered that I put in too much. I went inside and got my mom and told her what happened. Then, I just cried. It seemed I couldn't get anything right.

Mom called a mechanic that was a few blocks away and asked what to do. He said just to bring the car over and he'd fix it for free. He took out the extra oil and washed out my engine. I just cried.

I made it back home just fine. I was bored out of my mind driving with no music. My phone is working just fine, as far as I can tell, but the iPod is finished.

I've decided to look at these unfortunate events as learning opportunities. In the future, I'll know not to forget to put the lid on the oil tank. And I'll be more careful with my electronic devices. But here's the thing about making mistakes: Just because we make mistakes doesn't mean we can't get anything right. I've had to remind myself a lot lately that I'm human, and because I'm human, I'm not perfect and I'm not going to become perfect in this life. That doesn't mean I have low expectations for myself; it just means I'm flexible with my goals and aspirations. Some days I fall short, and that's perfectly normal.

I had thought while driving today. Remember that part when I told my mom about the car and then I started crying? Well, this is nothing against my mother, but her response was "Don't cry." I know what she meant by that was "Everything is going to be ok. It will work out." But I think in our culture we often look down on crying. I disagree. Crying is freeing. It helps the body to let out all that emotion that builds up inside. After a good cry, I always feel a little better.