We had planned a nice little outing to Erlangen today. Richard wanted to buy a new music stand since his old one has gone missing after the last concert; we wanted to look for a new pair of shoes for Lily and pick up some groceries on the way home. On the way, we stopped really quick at the corner store to drop off a letter at the post office. I got back in the car and.. nothing. I tried a couple more times but still just a clicking from the engin starter and flickering from the dash board lights. GREAT. I went back into the store to ask the manager if it was ok if we left the car there for a couple of hours trying to figure things out. She was less than happy and gave us an hour to get our car off the lot. So we walked the girls home (our home is just a few-minutes walk from the store) and I rang the neighbors' door. We have the incredible luck to have two mechanics as neighbors. The agreed to finish their work up and then come down to check the car.
Thirty minutes later, we went back to the car, which started at the first try. This luckily gave us a pretty good hint to the culprit: our battery. We tested it at home, and sure enough, the battery is close to empty. I am incredibly glad that it was such an easy fix; right now, our battery is charging and we hope to take a longer trip to see one of my good friends tomorrow.
After much stress and worries these past weeks, today's experience helped me to just set my perspective right again. We are in a very fortunate situation. The only reason that I get to complain about my car is breaking down is that I am part of the minority of this world's population who actually has the luxury of owning a car. The car could have broken down at a much more inconvenient location, and our neighbors could have not been nice enough to help out immediately. I am in a position to complain about not having anything to wear because I have a closet full of clothes that I just lose control of it all. I have the privilege of complaining about our kids' behavior because I am lucky enough to have kids and to be able to see them grow up. I can complain about my husband, because I'm incredibly fortunate that I have found this wonderful guy who sticks with me and the girls ands loves us to infinity and beyond even though we slowly but steadily drive him nuts.
I think I have to put "The Art of Happiness" by His Holiness, the Dalai Lama back on my reading list soon. Somehow, this book always manages to ground me, calm my fears, and overall make me a happier person. Daily life often makes me lose perspective on what really counts and how fortunate I am due to all the little annoyances left and right, which actually don't mean anything at the end of the day if looked at from the right perspective.