This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those soon to retire find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in life after retirement. Her public lecture on this subject is titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement.” Her memoir, available by clicking here Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class. Click here for her website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com
Now, on to my blog:
We’ve just come through a grueling, national election. I won’t even attempt to grapple with people’s feelings if their chosen side didn’t win. Some are taking it in stride while others are out demonstrating. They are angry, down, refusing to accept it, and unable to move on. That can be extrapolated to everyday life.
How do you handle it when things don’t go right? If you’re like me, it bums you out. You try to reason with yourself, but somehow the rest of the day just sucks. I experienced two events within the past year, both involving my car, that are illustrations:
My Example 1:
The first time I ventured into “the city” near my new home in the suburbs, I got involved in rush hour traffic and was forced onto a toll bridge not even knowing it was a bridge. Where I had lived all my life before my recent move, we didn’t have toll roads or bridges.
I didn’t know where I was nor how to get off. I cruised along in the outer lane, ignoring the booths several lanes to the left with all the cars lined up which I noticed out of the corner of my eye. After all, my lane was doing fine. Three miles later, I was able to turn around and return without incident.
That night, my son explained to me what had happened. I was on a bridge driving solo in the car pool lane and hadn’t paid the toll. I could expect a ticket in the mail. Bummer!
“I’ll go to court and fight it.”
“Yeah, sure, Mom.”
We did a little role playing:
Me: “Your honor, I’m new to this area and I didn’t know I was on a bridge and that I was supposed to pay.”
My son as the judge: “Ignorance of the law is no excuse, madam.”
Me: “Have some mercy, your honor. I’m just a sweet, little old lady (I become sweet and old in situations like this.)”
My son as the judge: “Just pay the fine and learn a lesson. NEXT.”
My Example 2:
Earlier this year, I hit, or should I say tapped, the car, or should I say pickup truck, in front of me while coming to a stop at a red light. Who knows how or why I did it? All I know is that I felt a thud and looked up to see myself flush with the vehicle ahead.
The driver and his passenger both got out and walked toward me. I got out to meet them. I knew it was going to go badly when the driver wagged his finger at me as though I was a wayward child.
My car had just two small chipped areas in the paint on the front bumper about three feet apart. His back bumper was twisted upward in the middle with my paint transfer far to each side of that area. He, of course, insisted the damage had not been there before, and that my car bumper must have forced each side of his bumper to move toward the center. Did I mention that my bumper is plastic and his is metal?
The driver appeared to be approximately late-fifties and in good condition. His well-built, muscular passenger appeared to be in his twenties. Their pickup truck had one of those tool boxes stretching across the truck bed from one side to the other. I concluded that they performed labor of some sort and were in good physical condition. I was not hurt, and they were talking and walking around with gusto which suggested to me that they, too, were not hurt. Silly me!
Jumping forward, my insurance company bought their stories that their vehicle bumper damage was caused by my car, and that both the driver and passenger were injured. Over my protestations, they paid the two men a total of $11,000 for their injuries and paid for the damaged bumper on their truck. It was cheaper to pay the nuisance value of the claim than to fight it in court. That is how insurance companies function. The fallout to me is that I lost my good driver discount.
Ah, yes, you win some and you lose some. The above are just two small examples of the latter. When things like that happen, the only salvation is to focus on the former. Thank God, we do win some. Let’s be grateful for that. They could all be losers, you know.
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