Guilderland, NY -As we wind our way through the twists and turns of life that present us with negative situations that we avoid or change, we sometimes experience minor negative events that have to be dealt with. These types of events are not typically caused by anything more than bad luck or our own errors, such as car troubles or botching a repair. Bad things happen to all of us and we have to cope with the situation.
As we reached downtown Syracuse to see my son Emre’s final senior project which entailed flying a homemade aircraft around the Carrier Dome, our family van suffered a catastrophic transmission failure. First feelings: worry and panic. Next realization: we have to make this all happen, and first we must get to the arena where Emre is already making the final adjustments to his plane. So while jogging to the arena, I prepare my mental list of actions and bounce them off family as they do the same. We knew we had to rent a car, we knew we had to get our van towed to a dealer and we knew we would have to be back here in Guilderland without our van. As we watched the flights we were able to calm down and really dig into what we thought was going to be a very expensive operation. After what must have felt like an eternity on the phone my wife got Nissan to send a free tow truck and agree to pay for a new transmission due to a warrantee extension. It took almost a month to get the car back during which time there were many problems to handle and friends to rely on, but in the end we have the van back, and in the end we made it all happen because there is always a way.
It is a big year for us with two graduations and a wedding so we are hosting a few parties. There were a few rows of damaged siding that needed replacement and I had been putting it off mostly due to fear that it was too difficult. Now it had to happen. After researching online I found the education I needed and the vinyl siding in a local home improvement store. I bought it, returned home, unloaded, removed the old siding, laid one old piece on top of the new piece to cut a match and promptly realized that I had made the bad mistake of buying the wrong width. Rain was on the way so I had to make it happen, and the mental flow of solutions started rolling by first presenting the default, though less than awesome solution: put the old ones back up and hang a banner of sorts over them for the parties. After searching around a bit I found the right width siding and ordered it online to pick up in store, but it was in Herkimer. That’s okay, I said to myself, I have to make it happen. In Herkimer, oh no, it’s the wrong color. Did I seriously just make that mistake with my clouded mind, driving all the way here in the van that for goodness sake I hope doesn’t fail again, just to see the wrong color then literally run to the display to see they did not even have the right color? Have to make it happen. Widen the search circle online, double check the width and color, drive on to Rome. Rome is where I found success in the right size and color and a late victory lunch of a snack and water because that’s what was right there. It was a very tasty treat as the afternoon waned quickly. I missed a party but completed the install with the help of friends that wandered over because I wasn’t at the party, because I had to first make it happen. All my fault and error, but still had to happen.
Lessons: You can make it happen when you have to, things are better when friends help and as my neighbor used to say when I was growing up “measure twice, cut once.”