Sunday, May 5, 2013
Our family is no stranger to crazy happenings. Very often throughout the week I find myself saying,
"This can't be happening!"
This past week has been no different.
Our first unfortunate event was last Monday evening. A seemingly normal night. We had eaten dinner, the kids had been bathed, and we had managed to eek out some productivity in the homework department. Everyone was getting ready to crawl into bed happy that Monday was coming to a close.
All of the sudden the house shook, coupled with a loud rumble and a final BOOM! Pretty quickly the lights in the house began to flicker. The ceiling an in the living room began spinning at warp speed and the TV began smoking out the back.
Then total darkness.
We thought it was just a simple power outage. When the lights came back on a few minutes later we were relieved and thought that was the end of it.
Light bulbs throughout the house began bursting. The microwave turned itself on and began overheating. Our air purifier blew feverishly and then final just blew out. The kids were in a panic. I was quickly trying to unplug everything in the house. Nathan finally got to the outdoor breaker box to flip the main switch.
The next day we had the power company to come out and take a look. Apparently a tree had fallen on the line to the house. It hadn't been raining the night before. There were no strong winds. No one else on the street lost power. The tree wasn't dead.
It just decided to fall,
The electric worker went on to explain that he couldn't figure out why the main breaker didn't do it's job and kill power to the house. Instead we got this huge, dangerous surge of power overloading the house. Come to find out the surge permanently blew out:
7 Light Bulbs
2 DVD players
2 Alarm Clocks
1 Air Purifier
Oh and the oven.
Fast forward to Wednesday. I had been super excited to be able to borrow my parents car. We only have one car at the moment and it has been an adjustment; since prior to moving to Hawaii we always had two. So Wednesday morning I pile the kids into the car to head off to school. We are sitting there in the car waiting for it to heat up and defrost. Yes, it does get that cold in Hawaii when you live 4500 feet up the side of a volcano. It was 43 degrees to be exact.
The heater wasn't heating and we were going to be late so I headed off down the mountain. The car temperature gage was rising but still no heat. Seriously, I thought my flip flop laden toes were going to freeze right off. All the while I have the kids whining from the back seat.
"Mom we are freezing to death! Can you turn up the heat!"
Again all that came to mind was,
Unbeknownst to me that was not all fun in store for this day. I drove the car all day. Still no heat. Which when you are in town the outside temperature ramps up to a balmy 80 degrees; so no heat is needed. I went to pick the kids up from school. My mom was with me so I leave the car running as I go in to get the kids. Moments later I come out, kids in tow. All I see is the hood of the car up and the radiator steaming all over the place. We had heat all right, too much heat. We couldn't drive the car and we were stranded.
Fast forward to Friday. I had loaded the kids up and we were headed down the mountain to school. Different car because the parents car was now in the shop with a busted radiator. This car had heat and that was a good thing. It was the normal stop and go traffic heading into town. We were listening to music and I was giving my kids their normal pep talk before school. We were all happy that the week was coming to a close. When all of the sudden,
It took me a second to realize we had been rear ended. The loud noise of the impact and the hard jerk of the car had caught the kids off guard. Heck it had caught me off guard. I turned back to make sure the kids were OK. They were both just sitting there in shock with tears running down their faces.
"We are OK guys. It's going to be fine."
I said calmly in reassurance. However the voice in my head was yelling,
"Really!?! This can't be happening!"
PERSPECTIVE is defined as
a) A view or vista
b) A mental view or attitude
c) A subjective evaluation of relative significance
I really like the last one. It is important to understand that perspective is subjective. Just like pain is subjective. It really is different for each person. You can have someone who stubbed their toe and think in that moment that they are in the worse pain of their lives. You can also have someone with three broken ribs think they are in the worse pain of their lives. To the person looking on it seems silly that the person with the stubbed toe is even complaining because over here we have someone with three broken ribs. However to the person with the stubbed toe the pain is just as great as the broken ribs. It is subjective to that person.
I used to hate it when I was little and my parents would always say,
"You shouldn't complain. Someone is a lot worse off than you right now."
My immediate thought was always,
"Yah, but there is a lot of people a lot better off than me right now too!"
I wanted to be validated in that moment that my stubbed toe was really hurting just as bad as the other guys broken ribs. And I think that is OK. Lame stuff happens and it does suck. We all have moments of
The key however is to quickly find perspective. To see the circumstances for what they actually are. We need to check our attitudes. We need to find ways to "work all things for good." If we don't, we end up self-piteous and bitter over things that really aren't that big of a deal.
So take a moment,
cry a few tears,
let off a few choice words,
pour yourself a stiff drink,
take a nap.
Whatever you need to do(within reason) to validate yourself , to yourself, for the moment
find perspective and
I got out of the car after I had been rear ended ready to explode. I had several choice words ready to fire off. When all the sudden I saw this scared, teary young woman coming towards me.
"Shit, I am so sorry. I am so sorry. Are you OK? I am so sorry." she blurted out through her tears.
At that moment I decided to say the choice words in my head. I quickly changed my perspective, took a deep breath and opened my arms to give her a hug. Immediately she fell into my arms and I said,
"It's OK, we are fine. What a way to start Aloha Friday huh?"
Relieved she responded with a laugh.
Miraculously neither car had any damage. The kids were fine. Neither one of us were hurt. There were no airbags deployed. We even made it to school on time.
When the car over heated on Wednesday we weren't really stranded. Mom's house is within walking distance to the school albeit a good trek. The kids and I got our exercise for the day. The mechanic was able to come pick the car up so it didn't have to be towed.
The power surge to the house blew out things that are totally replaceable. Our computer hard drives with thousands of pictures and documents were saved via the surge protectors. No one was hurt. There was no fire(which the power guy said could have been a possibility.) The landlord has agreed to replace the oven.
It was a crazy week that I am glad is over. But we are all safe. We are all healthy. We have a place to live. We have power and running water. We have food to eat. We have a car to drive. The kids are doing awesome in school. Nathan got a job. And for goodness sake we live on this beautiful island called Hawaii. Are there people worse off than us? Yes. Are there people better off than us? Yes. However I choose to look at things in