Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Keeping perspective and giving thanks

We told you last summer when Grant witnessed someone break the driver's side window of a car parked in front of our old apartment and steal the owner's GPS. Well, alas, this morning it was our car he found with a window bashed in and the GPS stolen.


It's been a real pain of day taking care of it, especially since that GPS would be really handy tomorrow when we head out of town for the holiday (and super-duper especially because I'm picking Grant up at a commuter train station outside the city that I've never been to before). When he first told me, I almost started crying because I was afraid that it would be super expensive and that we wouldn't be able to go see any of our family for Thanksgiving, again.

This is one case (there are countless many) where my flair for the dramatic totally made more of the situation than was there. Don't get me wrong, it was still a pain--but as I've never had this problem I had no idea that there are auto glass shops all over the place who do nothing but replace windows and windshields all day long. I found a place a mile and a half away, I was in and out in less than 40 minutes, they vacuumed out all the glass from our car and the whole thing cost me less than $65, which is a fraction of what I thought it'd be. And replacing the GPS didn't exactly break the bank, either--we even decided to use the opportunity to upgrade to the slightly-more-expensive brand that gets better reviews (so have fun with our GPS that literally takes 5 minutes to boot up every time, sucker).

I'm frustrated with the person who broke into our car for several reasons--the angst it caused, the morning it killed, the cash it cost. The criminal also damaged the window frame, which irritates me because, dude, if you've committed yourself to do the crime, just smash the glass and do it, don't try to be some stealth ninja about it. And, the item he/she took wasn't really worth that much, so I really feel this was completely unnecessary. The same model was $89 at Wal-Mart and come on--$89 is not hard to come by. I know that some people really think it is, but I would almost bet my first-born that if this person didn't eat out, smoke, drink soda or drink alcohol for a month he/she would have way more than an extra $89 and would also be healthier, skinnier and smell better. And since he/she didn't have to steal my GPS to get one, he/she would also have a better self-esteem and moral standing.

But I've also felt very foolish for my reactions when I think about this situation and I'm trying so hard to keep perspective. Okay. Taking care of the whole thing--cleaning the glass, (a brave if not-very-successful attempt at) putting up plastic in the window space, making calls to get quotes, traveling to the shop and waiting for the service--was finished before noon. It took less than another hour to go to Wal-Mart and get a new GPS.

I also feel foolish when I consider how very blessed we are, even when we're hit with something unfortunate like this. First, we found out about it first thing in the morning on a day I wasn't even going to use the car and did have enough notice to take care of it before we left town so it didn't throw a wrench into any plans I had except cut into my extra-curricular reading and Facebook time. Second, because we're fortunate enough for me to stay at home, nobody had to call into work or wait until a day off to take care of it, I ate breakfast, got the baby ready and left. Third, the expenses are totally covered in our monthly Misc budget (which almost always ends up mostly being unexpected car and medical bills), we're not even going to have to make our money stretch to cover it, or wait for the next payday, or dip into savings to take care of it. And finally, even after blogging about the whole thing, I still have plenty of time to get my workout in AND prepare our contributions to the Thanksgiving feast in St. Louis, which is all I really wanted to get done today, anyway.

I'm not at a level where I can be grateful that this person hit our car instead of someone else's--but if something like this was going to happen, I genuinely am grateful that it was something that we could handle so easily. This same trial would have been much more difficult for any number of other families. It also could have been a lot worse for us. What if I had flaked out and left my purse in the car? What if the car itself had been stolen? I could go on.

I'm also grateful for the good long look it's made me take at our lives this morning, which even in the face of pretty mild adversity (more like inconvenient nuisance, really) is awesome. We have SO much--our incredibly happy marriage, our happy, beautiful, almost-100%-healthy little girl, we have so many people looking forward to seeing us this weekend, we're healthy, we're stable, all of our needs are met and exceeded...life is good.

So even though it's been a very harried morning (I even broke down and bought a Snicker's bar--I will never squelch my emotional eating reflex!) it's nice to be at the end of it and see how very much for which I have to be thankful.

Awesome. (Seriously.)


Danielle said...

What a great post! But I am sorry you had to deal with that anyway. I think I'd feel violated. I mean, someone else touching your stuff. Ew.

I hope you guys have a wonderful Thanksgiving in St. Louis! Drive safe!

Grant said...

I wish we had a picture of the car in its violated state.

Amanda said...

So glad you got everything handled quickly and very glad that it wasn't worse. I'm terrified to leave my GPS in the car for that reason exactly, and I park in the garage and live in Lawrence, KS. I think I'm a bit paranoid, huh? Have an awesome Thanksgiving! Only 157 days until I get to see you!!! :-)

Belkycita said...

Yucks! so sorry. Our car got stolen once, it wasn't very nice but we did get it back that night with a full tank of gas :-)

I do love how much emotion you put into it :-) It is so true though, what you do have and they didn't take away is far more fulfilling that a GPS.
Happy Thanksgiving and think of the Turkey's little siblings when you eat him :-)

Jacqueline said...

I'm glad your trauma was so easily fixed. Blessings. But I'm still sorry for the trauma. It makes you feel terrible and vulnerable to be robbed. Have a good Thanksgiving.

Scott and Kel said...

I'm sorry to hear about your troubles, but boy are you right it really turned out pretty good considering. Way to see the positive!!! You've always been good at that ;)

Archie said...

This is a very uplifting post! We are glad that you can see the positive in your trials, and find the blessings that really do prevail in your lives.

Love you lots.

Laura said...

Great post, Ashley. It's always good to step back and realize that things are actually OK even with hiccups that are so frustrating (and violating!! I hate being robbed.) it's a good reminder for me in our present situation, too. As frustrating as it is to be stuck in a hotel for 2 weeks, we're actually surviving amazingly well and we gratefully have the money to pay for the inconvenience. Thanks. Love you.

Peterson Family said...

Thank you for sharing Ashley, our attitudes and the perspective we try to have are really key elements in our happiness and I think that is why you are such a happy person.
I loved the part about how the thief is really the one to feel bad about because he had to steal an $89 GPS... and how he probably stinks and has low self esteem, lol. I wish I could keep this perspective all the time, how appropriate to share right before Thanksgiving.