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Lessons on Attitude from a Car

I could barely see through the fogged windshield, which made avoiding the trucks heading south on the A1 even more tricky…

My wife and I weren’t talking (on account of my mood) and both my boys were singing in the back seats blissfully unaware of any tension in the car. This should have been a moment of great celebration – I’d successfully navigated the perils of second-hand car purchasing and we were now proud members of a (mostly) reliable car. But, instead of celebrating the moment, I’d decided to focus on the fan’s apparent inability to de-fog the windshield and get really, really upset about it. My bad attitude had stolen the moment of celebration for everyone.

Two days later, in the same car, with the realisation that there wasn’t actually much wrong with the fans (apparently it was grease from a cleaning product) and determined not to be a moody Dad that everyone is scared to be happy around, I surprised my wife with a trip to our favourite beach. Even my eldest son managed to keep the trip to himself and me and the car were fast redeeming ourselves. With no grease on the windscreen, our 12-year-old ‘new’ car ran like a dream. This all left me to focus on fish and chips, getting sand between my toes (yes, it’s February), laughing as hard as I can and generally making memories out of things that actually matter and the kind of husband and Dad I want to be.

Driving home, with the boys not falling asleep in the way I’d hoped, I decided that I needed more days celebrating the good stuff and and less getting moody about stuff that doesn’t actually matter. More time focusing on the people and the time in the car and less focusing on the fog on my windscreen.

Little did I know that my renewed positive attitude would be put under pressure by the car again the very next day – Faith’s actual birthday. On our way to have another day of festivities, the car refused to start. It did mean that our plans were postponed. It did mean that I had to cycle a few miles in the rain to collect a birthday cake. But, it was a good opportunity to celebrate the warranty on the car, and the RAC, and that it just needed a new battery and that I have friends who have cars, who come round to jump start my car, and that I have a wife who didn’t mind spending two hours of her birthday talking to and waiting on car mechanics.

In less than a week of owning this ‘new’ car it’s teaching me a lot about attitude and celebration… though if I’m being honest I’m hoping it decides I’ve had enough lessons for a a year or two. 

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