Friday, February 08, 2008

A Blob of Rice Saves the Day

Yesterday was a really busy, flustered day for me. I had several appointments and a variety of tasks to accomplish. I had the oil in my car changed the day before, and discovered that the oil change technicians had left a piece hanging from the bottom of my vehicle! The unexpected return to the oil change place threw another monkey wrench into my schedule.

I found myself picking up dinner to go, which I ate in my car on my way to my financial planning/stock market class. I settled on Japanese stir fried vegetables and steamed rice. It is one of my favorite meals and I don't get to eat it nearly enough!

Eating stir fried vegetables and rice as you drive down the freeway is not something that happens effortlessly. As you might imagine, it is tricky at best, stupid (and dangerous) most likely! I tend to be stubborn about such things, however, and I really wanted that particular meal after my trying day.

I tucked my napkin into my shirt, so that I could shovel the bits in without dumping residue down the front of my blouse. That worked pretty well. I was careful as I ate, and usually waited until I was stopped in traffic to take each bite.

I actually managed quite nicely, until one particular lump of steamed rice slipped off my plastic fork, bounced off my leg and slid down between my seat and the center console. Dang it! I thought about the fate of this rice blob. I tried to reach down and grab it, but each time I touched it I felt it slide further towards the inaccessible zone. Would it still be there when I next have my car detailed, to gross out the poor soul vacuuming under the seats? As if driving and eating wasn't dangerous enough, now I was contemplating a complicated extraction of this non-solid, slippery object! I decided to let it go until I was safely parked somewhere.

I arrived at class, and had just enough time to run in and get settled before it started. The rice blob would have to wait.

After class, I drove home and pulled in to the dark garage. The light over my car is burnt out, so I knew that I wouldn't be able to see what I was doing if I attempted to solve my problem at that moment. The rice blob would have to wait.

This morning, when I pulled the car out of my garage, I knew my moment had arrived. It was time to try and get the rice blob out. I hoped it would have hardened up a bit overnight, so that it wouldn't break into a bunch of little pieces and scatter under my seat.

As I peered down into the crack between my seat and the console, I could see where the rice blog was lodged. I started feeling like this endeavor would be successful.

At that moment, something caught my eye. A few glints of metal just to the right of the rice blob, right behind the seat belt receptacle caught the light. My heart leaped a bit. I reached down and there was my 'Jawbone' blue tooth headset that I lost back in November! It is mostly black, and it was lodged between the seat belt receptacle/seat and the console. It was standing on end, so it was very small. The only thing that made it visible were the little metal spots that connect to the charger!

I have been looking for that since November! I absolutely hate losing things. Beyond that, these little suckers are expensive! $125 - $150 each! I have two of them because, well, I talk on the phone a lot... especially when I'm driving! Having two allows me always have one fully charged. When I lost that headset, it totally disrupted my routine. I was too upset to go buy another one. It is a serious indulgence to have two. I simply couldn't justify buying another one because of my carelessness!

I had looked between the seat and console no less than 15 times searching for that thing! I don't have any idea why I couldn't see it before this morning. Perhaps I moved it when I was poking around trying to find the rice blob. Or, maybe I had never looked as deep into the void before that moment.

All I know is that I am now eternally grateful that I dropped that blob of rice down there! It saved me $150!! When I first made the mistake, I was upset with myself. I felt foolish and was unhappy with my decision to try to eat and drive at the same time.

As is so often the case, however, my 'mistake' and the inconvenience that resulted from it created the conditions for something good to happen to me! That 'mistake' solved a problem that I had been living with for 3 months! Suddenly, what had been a foolish, careless mistake, turned in to the solution of a longer standing challenge!

This is often the case in life. We never know what is going to be 'the answer' or where that answer might come from. I do believe that everything happens for a reason. We often can't see it immediately. This is where faith comes in. I often try to remember this when I'm driving and get delayed somehow. Who knows, maybe that delay is preventing me from being in an accident. Or maybe the delay is going to put me in exactly the right place at exactly the right time for something wonderful to happen!

I am now very happy that I dropped the blob of rice in my car. Partly because it helped me find my headset and partly because it reminded me that even things that seem silly and insignificant can be quite profound!

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