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What do dead chipmunks, pool hoses and flat tires have in common?

Friday nights are Tae Kwon do for Shawn, his dojo is 30 minutes from my house, I am generally hella tired by that time and I have to rally to get there. Last night I had a little energy, I was planning on deep cleaning the house and packing for vacation when I got home. I figured there would be few distractions so I could get everything done, the plan was to grab a coffee on my way home from his class and get to accomplishing. Class was great, it always is, kids are smiling and I love chatting with the other parents there and this particular dojo has some magic within the walls (why I drive 30 minutes each way). We wrapped up for the night and said our goodbyes. Shawn and I hopped in the car and the tire pressure indicator light came on as I started to drive.

I didn't hit any potholes or anything and it was 80 degrees outside so there was no reason for an indicator light to come on. We went straight to a gas station so I could put some air in the tire (another thing I had never done) . I looked at the tire and it was hissing and flattening as I stood there. No point in adding air, she was a goner. Shawn was scared but managing his panic, He called Allora to come and get us. Here I was a damsel in distress in 2022, I was used to calling my husband to help in these scenarios now I had the opportunity to figure it out myself. I am generally pretty good at figuring out what I need to do (I am gonna need to remember that for next time). I called Geico and they said they would dispatch someone within the hour to come and change the flat. Okay I thought, it was a beautiful night, we were safe, Shawn was calm and Allora was on her way, we were okay. I was grateful this happened in Goshen and not when we were enroute on vacation (we were leaving the next day). What are the odds though this had never happened to me. I added it to the string of challenges I had noticed happening in my world since my divorce.

Two weeks ago the pool hose sprung a leak (at night when everything was closed) resulting in my own private geyser. In the last month I found a dead bird in my yard and a dead frog and dead chipmunk in my pool, all of which I had to not panic and remove, the pool filter wasnt working, the pool heater wasnt working and I broke the pool timer. I handled all of these, although they were new I figured them all out and with each task I felt less scared and a little more confident. It’s safe to say my days of acrylic nails and manicured hands are completely over. The day I changed the pool hose by myself I felt like I won an award. I told anyone who would listen including the cashier at shoprite. Each time something happened with the pool I would reach out to my ex and ask for help but eventually I figured all of it out by myself. When he tried to help me change the filter he kept saying that there was something wrong with it and that it leaked, okay I thought, as we were screwing the top in place I noticed grooves where the nuts and bolts were meant to go and he had one in the wrong direction, hence the leak, I figured it out, I stopped the leak. I was able to remove each of the dead animals from my yard. I called someone to help with the heater, we determined that it was never turned on at the breaker box, that was $200 well spent. Each of these situations were happening in succession. It was like the pool and the house knew that I was the new human in charge and I needed to earn my stripes. The pool was my teacher, clearly I was meant to find some confidence in the process of caring for and owning this friggin thing. My trips to the pool store have become so frequent that they now laugh when they see me coming through the door. On my last trip, I walked in and declared “someone has some explaining to do, none of this shit ever happened when my husband had ownership of it” we were all laughing because clearly the last month had been a comedy of errors with this damn pool.

I am always telling my clients to open the aperture so that they can see the bigger picture and visualize a clearer path to get where they are going. When I open the aperture in any situation the obstacles and negativity almost fall away. Since taking ownership of my house I had constantly been opening the aperture wider and wider. I was scared and I could easily get overwhelmed unless I looked at the big picture. So I finally have the pool figured out and I know how to navigate most of the challenges. I am guessing the universe decided that I needed more confidence in other avenues hence the flat tire scenario that I now found myself in. The universe wanted to present me with challenges to build my confidence. In essence it was all a gift, all of these opportunities. I was sailing in uncharted territory for me and I was gonna have to learn to do all the things I was scared of doing.

I looked at Shawn and he was nervous, he was anxious, he was asking questions but he wasn't having a panic attack. Lately Shawn has had Panic over even the smallest things and here he was in a situation that felt out of control yet he was okay. I decided to walk inside the Dunkin Donuts attached to the gas station where we were residing and get a coffee since I still had to pack and clean that night and I was gonna be there awhile. As I was walking back toward the car with my coffee Allora was pulling in. She was happy, laughing and making jokes. I could tell that she was proud of herself for navigating her little honda civic to Goshen. I gave her a hug and put my purse and coffee in the car and closed the door and the car locked.

What the fuck, how did my car lock? I didn't lock it. This had never happened before. My phone was also locked in the car which was how geico was supposed to contact me to alert me of the arrival of the technician. Holy fuck, a new level of stress, I now had a secondary problem. I could see it was absolutely the universe. I had to learn I was safe and capable.

Shawn still was not panicking so that was a win. Allora thought to call the local police. They said they would dispatch someone to come unlock my car, whew, good call Allora. I was really proud of how well she can handle herself in these situations, I more resemble Edith Bunker just kinda stammering and stuttering and walking in circles. Her light mood spilled over onto her brother. She was dancing in the parking lot, making jokes and saving the day. Eventually the officer arrived and unlocked my car. I quickly reached for my phone, as suspected, I missed the call from the technician and sure enough when I didn't answer he sent his repair person back home, shit! In the meantime this officer started sizing up the situation and began changing my tire for me. I was astounded by his kindness. The kids were getting tired as we reached the 2 hour mark of this debacle, they were sitting in Allora’s car trying to make light of it all. Just as the officer had my car jacked up and pulled the tire off, the jack gave out and my car fell to the ground and rolled backwards a little toward where the kids were parked. He directed the kids to move their car back, they were scared. I was getting nervous. He worked on getting that jack back under the car for nearly a half hour. (note to self, I need to learn how to change a tire). Eventually he got that spare on for me. I thanked him profusely and pulled out of the gas station and led the caravan back home.

As I was driving I found so much wonderfulness in the situation. Allora drove without panic, Shawn didn't panic, we were safe, we figured it all out together, nobody yelled at anyone else, there was no fighting, we just bonded a little closer and I don't know about them but for me I felt safer. I was starting to believe that no matter what happens. Pool hose, dead animals, flat tires, divorce, and broken hearts, we would all be okay and I released a little more fear.

*wonderfulness- the point at where joy, gratitude, fabulousness and wonder intersect.

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