Our road trip to the Oregon coast was amazing in so many ways (and I’m excited to tell you all about it, in a series of posts starting later this week!), but it didn’t go very smoothly. Less than twenty-four hours in we were stranded on the side of the highway south of Portland. We had left late in the evening after work the day prior, had a rough night in a less than stellar motel, and discovered we’d given the wrong house key to the petsitter; breaking down seemed like the final insult when we’d only just begun our trip. After having the car towed to a local shop my partner and I decided to walk the dog to a local park to blow off some steam.
I’ll willingly admit I wasn’t in good form that day. I was tired and grouchy, and grumbled to my partner, “I wish we’d never come on this trip.”
While we were in the park we crossed paths with a gentleman in an electric wheelchair. He was enjoying a warm September day listening to his headphones while he cruised through the park, but the path was bumpy and the jostling had caused his headphones to shake loose from his ears. Since he couldn’t lift his arms to readjust the headset and didn’t have anyone accompanying him, he stopped to ask us if we would help him.
We only interacted for a few seconds, but it really shifted my perspective on the day. My attitude suddenly seemed ridiculous and ungrateful…I was grumbling about the delays & expense hampering my vacation, but I failed to appreciate so many other facts: that I have the funds and vehicle available to travel, that we had speedy tow service and pleasant weather to spend the day in the park, that I have good health so I could climb up this tree & snap some selfies—I could go on, but you get the point.
It took running into someone who was pleased with the small things—just to roll through the park with his favorite tunes—even despite what others would consider unfortunate circumstances, to change my perspective.
So, there’s my very long story to tell you, be humbled, be grateful, and go climb a tree if you get the chance. The change in perspective will do you good.