My family and I were heading off for a weekend camping trip when about 2 hours into our 4 hour drive smoke came out from under the hood of our car. My husband opened the hood and saw some smoking fluid in the area where the car was recently fixed. At this point, we were on a rural highway with 2 hours left on our trip. We had to decide if we would chance it and keep driving or turn around and find an auto repair shop nearby. We chose the later. I encouraged my husband to call the shop that fixed the car recently to see what they suggest. That shop provided an 800 number of affiliated repair shops around the state that could look at the car to determine if the part that was put on previously was faulty, and would be covered under warranty. If that was not it, then we would at least have a mechanic assess the problem to help us make our next move.
We called two local affiliated repair shops, but both were booked through the end of the day. Did I mention that this was at 3:30pm on a Friday? So we started driving in the direction of our home- thinking we can’t take a car that had a smoking engine to a distant campground. As we drove, I got internally quiet which helped me feel calmer and look for other options. I realized my in-laws lived nearby and I suggested we call them to see if we could stay with them and get our car looked at tomorrow morning near their home. I called them and they gladly said that we could stay the night. I found a nearby affiliated repair shop that was able to schedule an appointment to have our car looked at first thing next morning. My pessimistic thoughts about our weekend camping trip being ruined shifted right then, and everything henceforth started working in a positive way.
The end of the story goes… we spent a relaxing Friday night with my in-laws in a warm bed and spent time with people we love. Saturday morning the local mechanic looked at the car and said the smoke was old oil burning off the engine from the previous repair, and not a new leak or problem. The smoking ceased and we then were back on the road to our campsite.
We removed the sourness (lemon) of the situation:
- Car appears to be faulty when we are far from home.
- We lost a night of camping and no refund.
And concentrated our thoughts on the sweetness (lemonade):
- We had a fun weekend away, which was the point all along.
- We spent special unexpected time with my in-laws.
- We spent a great 2 days (1 night) camping at a serene, gorgeous campsite.
- We went with the flow.
I can count so many times in my life where I was seeing the situation as bad and I was angry (lemons) when if I had changed my perspective and gone with the flow, I could see the sweetness (lemonade).
Are there times in your life when you could make lemonade out of a seemingly bad situation (lemons)? I find this change in perspective opens me up to seeing the same situation in a different way that positively influences my attitude, resulting in a much more enjoyable experience.
Kim McLaughlin is a licensed therapist and motivational coach. She blogs regularly on topics including binge eating, emotional eating, self help and positive thinking. You can sign up for her FREE Report: Top Tips to End Binge Eating here.