“I Don’t Know How You Do It”

I hear these words regularly about myself from friends and family. They usually are referring to my schedule or how many things I’m usually juggling, but last week it was about my blasted car.

A long, annoying story made very short: I drive an old, beat up car that is feeling it’s age and has come into some mechanical issues, namely not starting when I want it to.

A little back story about myself: I’m the oldest child in my family, fiercely independent and discontent with being anything but self sufficient. Yes, this makes me incredibly stubborn and often very frustrated. So the car hadn’t been starting and I figured it was 1 (or more) of 3 things: battery, starter, alternator. I’ve had experience with all of these things and it took about a day of spotty starting and the occasional jump start to know it was the starter. The battery was changed, because as we know, if there’s not enough power, it won’t start even with the best mechanical parts known to mankind. Needless to say, $300, a battery, a starter (that is not the right one for the car, but the right one for the engine… that leads one to think that it wasn’t a “rebuilt” engine as we were told, but rather a “replaced” engine of a different type than the one that is original to the car) and boat loads of frustration later, the car is “fixed”. There also seems to be a bad battery connection in there somewhere too… but at least it starts (usually) when prompted.

How does this insane story of futility and uncooperative vehicles pertain to “I don’t know how you do it”? Well, I’ve heard this when I’ve told the story this week. Not only has it been because I knew the problem, almost right away, and that’s apparently unusual for a woman in this day and age, but also due to the fact that I’ve not killed anyone or let on in mixed company that I was furious. People at work commented on how I looked like I was far too calm to have just wasted 6 hours of my life wrenching on a car that was still immobile, or that I was sunburned beyond recognition. Yet I still had a smile on my face and was laughing.

I want to mention that inside, I was a complete wreck and I’d had a full on freak out before my friend brought me to work, several hours late. Outside, I have to put on the brave face. There’s nothing that I could do and being upset about it and letting the situation ruin my work day was not an option. But again, inside, I was a disaster.

Now how does this pertain to happiness and my happiness project goals this month? Simple. Instead of screaming, crying or cursing in frustration, anger and sadness, I made the conscious choice (albeit a very difficult one) to appear happy. It made the day go much better at work and afterward, simply because I wasn’t complaining or being overly negative. Yes, the situation sucked, but no, I was not going to let the car get the best of me anymore that day.

I feel better that I was able to put on the brave face, I feel stronger because of it. I feel more confident in my ability to look as though I’m not bothered. I honestly felt like I was going to explode, but after several people assured me that I looked calm and collected, I knew I was going to be ok.

I also feel much better that it got fixed, with the help of a few people, either physically or emotionally, I didn’t explode. For that, I’m truly thankful. And in all honesty… that is how I do it. I have the support of those close to me in times of struggle. Yes, I’m fiercely independent and I shun the thought that I “need” anyone or anything from anyone. However, in all reality, I’d never have made it this far in life without those forces present in my life. The help of others allows me to do anything I am able to do… and even some things I’m not able to do. It’s a blessing and I’m eternally grateful for that.

(The above is what my car would look like, if it weren’t all beat to hell)



~ by wendemachete on June 17, 2012.

4 Responses to ““I Don’t Know How You Do It””

  1. Thanks so much for the tag! πŸ™‚

  2. Just hang in there… you aren’t alone, little miss stubborn πŸ˜›

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