Before I drove to Massachusetts one day, I thought it would be smart to stop off at the gas station and have my gas tank filled, the car checked out for oil and fluid levels, get my windows cleaned and my tires pumped up. And if you’re thinking maybe I could do those things myself, well, my response is, “Who me? You’re kidding, right?”
There was a new attendant at the gas station I frequent, and he did a great job of readying my car for my travels. At one point, he told me to move my car closer to the air pressure machine so he could check my tires. I moved up and saw that both he and I would have to wait because another car was parked in the way.
Meanwhile I reached down into my bag to retrieve some money so I could give him a nice tip. It’s when I looked back up and out the window that I saw her.
She was squatting on the ground, a woman of a certain age, wearing nice Capri pants, sandals, and a T-shirt. My jaw dropped because she was putting the air into her tires herself.
I couldn’t believe it. My immediate thought was thank goodness my guy Ed isn’t here to see this!
Because on the one hand, there was this capable, empowered, modern woman on the ground showing the guys she could manage quite well without them and then, there was me sitting in my car waiting for The Man to help me out.
Ed has gotten used to the fact by now (at least I hope so) that I’m not about to work on my car. Let’s get real; I’m hardly savvy about cars — I barely know where anything is.
And can you imagine that one day he wanted me to bend down and look under my car to see if I could tell where a certain leak was coming from?
“Who me?” I said all wide-eyed and in shock.
Really, how could he expect me to have anything to do with car maintenance or repairs? He tells me I’m acting like some kind of princess. Truthfully, I admire a woman who takes care of her car, who’s mechanically inclined and who doesn’t mind getting dirty or greasy.
But that isn’t me. Maybe I’m a bit highbrow (too cultured, too sophisticated) and put on airs when it comes to certain things.
It’s not in me to get down on my knees (besides my knees aren’t what they used to be) and start pumping air into my tires or do anything else car-related that requires more from me other than turning the ignition key on or pushing some buttons.
And I’m making no apologies or excuses.
Now stop and think for a moment. Are there any situations where you, too, say, “Who me?”
Because I think we all draw the line in the sand somewhere about certain things we just won’t do. So think for a moment where you draw your line.
My dad was fond of telling me, never say never. He suggested once that I move into New York City. “Who me?” I asked. I told him I’d never do it. Never, ever, ever. Time marched on, and there I was living in NYC for six years. Yes, me.
Sometimes we draw lines in the sand or take stands to express deep beliefs, to indicate a challenge or as in my car example, as an expression of distaste. It helps if the lines we draw and the stands we take in life are beneficial to us.
But sometimes we don’t know. My moving into New York City changed my life in many ways. Was it for the better or worse that I crossed the line I had set? It certainly set the course of my life in a different direction.
Don’t forget that once you swear you’ll never do something and then you do it, you’ve set a precedent.
On the one hand, opening ourselves up to new ideas, widening our perspective or reevaluating our current ideas or stance on a particular subject, allows us to grow, to improve, to discover new thoughts and beliefs.
On the other hand, it may be tough to accept that if we change our minds, the result could just as easily lead to failure, a feeling of uncertainty or disappointment.
We simply don’t know.
At some point in my future, will I be checking out the pressure of my car’s tires? It seems doubtful. I can’t picture it. I can’t embrace the idea of it. It’s not who I am right now. But I’ll never say never – because I’ve learned many times over that while I’m sure of myself today, tomorrow is a whole new experience.
For today, I must be authentic and true to my point of view. But I give myself the option of changing my mind at some future time because then I have the option to walk down a new path rather than sit stuck in the road.
So my suggestion for all of us is to experiment. Consider making one small shift in your outlook today. And then see how your day evolves. There’s a chance it could lead to new found happiness and fulfillment.
Give it a go then let me know what happens.