Happiness is having car trouble


For a brief time in my mid-20’s, I worked as a makeup artist. I traveled around central Iowa, working in department stores that held special events featuring the cosmetics line with whom I contracted. It was as fun as it sounds…I got PAID to play with makeup, meet lots of people, and instill hope in them with a promise that a particular moisturizer could be life-changing. It was also hell standing on my feet (in heels that were a required part of my attire) for 8 to 10 hours at a time, usually on hard tile floors. When an event was over, I practically ran (well, more accurately, hobbled) to my car to give my poor feet a break!

One Sunday afternoon, after a successful skincare launch in which I made a substantial amount of commission, I practically floated to my car in the busy Des Moines mall where I was working. I was pretty proud of my sales skills, and the event was a lot of fun. I was planning to meet some friends for dinner as well, so my mind was pre-occupied. I got into the car, turned the key, and put it in reverse. Though the engine was running, the car did not budge. “Huh,” I thought…and was immediately overcome with fear that something had gone wrong with the car because I was overdue for an oil change (clearly I knew nothing about cars!).


When I got out of the car, intending to go back inside to find a guy who might know a thing or two about cars, I happened to glance down. And laughed out loud. My car had been lifted by a jack, and the entire wheel (and tire) was gone. How could I not have noticed that when I got into the car?!

To wait for help to arrive and purchase 2 new tires was time-consuming, expensive, and I missed socializing with my friends. But rather than sulking and complaining about what had happened, I was able to put a positive spin on the experience:

1) The parking lot was quite full that day, so the perpetrator(s) were likely well-hidden to be able to get away with jacking up a car and stealing an entire wheel! However, I did think about what might have happened if I approached my vehicle to find the theft taking place. I consider myself lucky (and safe!) that I arrived after the fact.

2) Upon turning the ignition and stepping on the gas
, the car didn’t move. Had the jack not been there, or had I stepped on the gas pedal harder, I may have done some serious damage to the car, costing me even more time and money. Thankfully, besides a couple of small paint scratches from the jack, there was nothing else that was damaged. Once the new wheel and tires were on, I drove home without incident.

So how about you? How can you put a positive spin on something today? Can you laugh at something that might initially stress you out? I mean, my car was ON A JACK and I didn’t even notice…that’s some funny stuff. 😉

me in red car

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