5 Dec 07

I came home full of purpose, ready to move forward on several projects as planned. I checked my email as I chowed down on a tuna sandwich, and noticed an email about the next writer’s group meeting. I planned to present the outline for the first Giant Armors novel.

I glanced at the date. That meeting was for tonight. I had an hour to get there.

So I grabbed my materials and leapt into my truck. The fuel gauge hovered near the bottom of the scale, so I stopped for gas. I zipped down the highway. As I neared our meeting place, my eyes happened to rest on the engine temperature gauge.

It was near the red zone.

So I pulled over. This happened about two months ago, thanks to old hoses. So I popped the hood, fished a small flashlight from the bottom of the glove compartment, and checked the engine. Looked fine.

So. I drove another few miles. The temperature gauge would rise a bit, fall back to normal, rise a bit more, fall back to normal, and repeat until it neared the red zone.

So. I pulled over to the side of the road and called my parents. They found phone numbers for a few tow services; none of them were available. So. I made my way to writer’s group, 20 minutes late, and nobody was there.

Called my parents again; Dad said he’d come to pick me up. I wandered Border’s for a bit, then ordered some tea, sat down, and concentrated on brainstorming the ending of the Giant Armors series. Only got a few things down before Dad arrived.

So. I drove my truck to a nearby Shell station, where the friendly attendant took all the relevant information. Dad drove me back to my parents’ house, where I visited for a while, then took one of their vehicles back home.

So here’s the big question: Was my evening a complete waste?

I was tempted to think so a few times. In a sense, yes, In another sense, I reacted to an emergency. I didn’t freak out. I evaluated options, sought advice, and resolved problems as best I could.

I decided—consciously—to stay upbeat. I didn’t want to feel depressed, so I decided to act positively. Which may sound like I made myself happy. No; I was simply not depressed. I felt my frustration, acknowledged it, and let it pass.

Because, frankly, it’s just one evening. Someday I’ll look back on this and laugh at its pettiness. So I dealt with engine trouble for an evening. So what?

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