Today Was Like a Sad Country Song…


…or, maybe, the start of a really stereotypical chick flick. We shall see if a prince charming arrives to sweep me off my feet. (I am currently already in my pajamas, so hopefully he gives me enough warning to get gussied up.)

It was just one of those days. You know the kind. You wake up feeling like you got zero sleep, and the day goes downhill from there. Everyone has them. It’s another example of the “only way out is through” situation that I wrote of in one of my Cross-Country Chronicle posts.

The day started off with a flat tire. When I say flat, I mean, completely flat. Currently staying with me at my supervisor’s house is a co-worker out of AdFarm’s Fargo office, Libby. Being the self-respecting farm girls that we are, Libby and I decided to try and change the tire ourselves, wearing our business attire. We pulled out the spare, jack, and tire iron, only to realize that we had no idea how to run the jack. (Little did we know, we were actually using it the right way.) Watching us struggle with the jack as he ran his route, the garbage man decided to stop the truck and help us.

It was the garbage man who then informed us that the jack that came with my car was completely useless.

We sent the friendly garbage man on his way, turning then to Libby’s travel savvy to get us by. Being a seasoned business traveler, Libby has a membership to AAA. After a while, our knight in shining armor, named Walt, showed up in his gaudy yellow tow truck. He, of course, had a working jack. Our valiant hero Walt swapped out my tires and hit the road, and Libby and I made the executive decisions that I should go get new tires. There was no way we were going to get into Sacramento on a donut and three tires with slow leaks.

When I say "flat," I mean "FLAT."

A pretty penny (borrowed from my parents, because I am a stereotypical broke college kid) and one conference call from my cell phone later, and I was back at the house to pick Libby up and head into downtown Sacramento.

Cue traffic.

In retrospect, the traffic wasn’t bad. It was nowhere near as stressful or slow-moving as rush hour on route 80 south of Chicago. It was very mild, actually. At the time, it felt like it was taking forever to get to work. When we finally got to the parking garage, the only spots that seemed to be open were compact spots. (Disclaimer, I drive an ’04 Pontiac Grand Am. It is a mom car…and definitely not a compact.) After a very brief moment of speculation, as well as a few exchanged words with Libby, I decided to go for it.

Just as I was easing into the spot, I found myself saying, “This is a really tight squeeze.” CRUNCH.

Within 15 minutes, I had written my number and insurance information on a napkin and stuck it under the windshield wiper of a relatively new Honda Civic. (My car has one minor scuff on the front bumper, and the other car has only minor cosmetic damage on the rear passenger side fender.)

Getting up to the office, all I wanted was a cup of coffee to recover from a long morning. Low and behold, there was no creamer. No half n’ half, no powdered creamer, no liquid non-dairy creamer, no milk. None.

Today's flurry of bad luck was a far cry from the serenity and solitude I experienced on my drive through Wyoming just two weeks ago.

All of this, before 11 a.m.

The rest of the work day went by in a relatively uneventful way. (That is, except for the adventure with the service elevator, that I don’t have time to share.) I had a remarkably productive day for how rotten the morning was. In fact, I’m pleased with the progress I made on many projects today. To end off the day, Libby suggested we visit this restaurant called Pizza Rock. The food was amazing. (Gourmet pizza. And I don’t mean pizza like we have in Chicago…I mean real, Italian-style pizza.) Good food, a stiff cocktail, and fantastic conversation helped today’s stress melt right away.

What’s the moral of this long, fairly-pointless story?

Smile.

Not so long ago, a day like today would have sent me into meltdown mode. I would have been so preoccupied with how miserable the day was that I would have never achieved anything at work. I would have taken it out on people around me and I would have shut out the positive. Now, instead, I laugh. I smile. I say things like, “This WOULD happen to me,” and move on. Despite how catastrophic today could have seemed, I really managed to make the most of it. I laughed, I poked fun at myself.

We all tend to waste massive amounts of energy on negitivity; I know that better than anyone else. I’m often stuck in a quagmire of my own cynicism. But, today, I experienced first-hand the value of positive thinking. It helped me survive what could have been a horrible day. In the end, I’m just fine.

My nurturing and supportive boss, Katie Pinke, took this charming picture after I was caught sleeping in during my first ever business trip with AdFarm. I found myself living this emotion often today, but instead of dwelling on it, I moved on and made the most of the day.

(In case anyone was wondering, the owner of the Honda Civic did contact me; our insurance companies are currently working out the details. He said he was touched that someone even bothered to leave their insurance information, and was incredibly appreciative of my honesty. So, at least he was nice about it.)

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