Friday, November 8, 2013

My Day of the Dead

Wednesday, Nov. 6th was Day of the Dead for me.

Before you consult your calendar and take umbrage to this statement, I am not talking about the traditional Day of the Dead holiday celebrated throughout Mexico. That holiday focuses on family gatherings to pray for and remember loved ones who have passed away. My understanding is the traditional Day of the Dead (October 31, November 1 and November 2) is celebrated with private altars, (ofrendas)honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed.

My Day of the Dead was celebrated by biting my nails, munching on leftover Halloween candy and asking my departed relatives to keep me from cursing the universe.

Let me explain.

I recently began visiting the Red Mountain Multi-Generational Center (RMMC) in my home town of Mesa and began taking yogalates (a combination of yoga and pilates) as well as a Zumba Gold class. Now that the Snow Birds are returning to town, the Zumba Gold class fills up fast. I made my best effort to get to class a bit early to ensure I would have the opportunity to bumble my way through this fun, albeit humbling, class of exercise and dancing.

As I skipped, okay ambled, my way across the parking lot I aimed my clicker to lock my car, Goldie. Nothing. No sound, no clickie, no lockie. I walked closer to the car, but my problem was not one of distance. My car wouldn’t lock, nor would it start. I had a dead battery. I turned on my cell phone to report the problem to my spouse, CB, and to AAA, but that battery was dead as well. Not one to fall into despair, I figured I’d dance off my frustration while awaiting rescue. Unfortunately when I approached the front desk to get my wrist band to allow me into my zumba class, I was told the class filled to capacity a mere three minutes ago.

So there I was, dead phone, dead battery and no zumba. Fortunately, the Rec Center has a phone to make local calls. I called AAA and CB and began the waiting process. I allowed myself about five minutes of pity. I had purchased a certified used car, a 2010 Toyota Prius, a mere seven months ago, but I was fairly certain the auxiliary battery would not be covered (it wasn’t.) I had owned (and loved) a previous Toyota Prius (Sparky) and replaced the battery, so I knew this would not be a cheap fix. Unfortunately, I was right about that too.

I took the car to the dealer and several hours later they confirmed the painful truth. My battery was dead. A replacement was going to be $300. I believe that is at least twice what it cost when Sparky’s battery was no longer sparking, but technology does not come cheap. On the bright side, my cell phone battery was revived by doing what I should have done last night – recharge it.

Unlike in the past, I decided I was not going to dwell on my misery. Yes, I should have recharged the phone. Yes, I supposed I should have suspected Goldie’s battery was getting weak when my clicker was not working the way it should, but as they say, “hindsight is always 20/20.”

Unfortunately, bad things happen. In the scheme of things, this was more inconvenient than bad. I tried to look at the bright side. I had an influx of extra work last month that more than paid for my battery. The car died in a parking lot where I was able to use a phone and wait in air conditioned comfort. I just renewed my AAA membership and was rescued quickly . The Toyota dealership had my car on the road again in less than 24 hours, and today I have a subject to blog about.

In the past I would have marinated in my misery for days. Now I know this tactic is a sure recipe for attracting more of what I dwell on. Ironically, I heard a motivational speaker last week and had a complimentary toe reading afterward. Many folks were asking about their life purpose. I feel I am pursuing my life purpose of writing inspirational and humorous stories and scripts, but I admitted my frustration that things were not happening as quickly as I thought they should be.

The toe reader reminded me that I should focus on gratitude, my successes and not on what I was lacking. She even helped me create a couple of useful affirmations.

• I don’t know how my book, Erase Negativity and Embrace the Magic Within will reach the millions of people who need it, I just know I do.
• I don’t know how I become a successful screenwriter and television writer, I just know that I am.

Even though the grammar seems a bit odd, it is important to write the desired effect in the present tense, so there it is.

Even though my friend and co-author, Jackie, and I have written a self-help book, it doesn’t mean we are immune from problems. We have our setbacks like everyone else. The key to embracing happiness is not to deny problems exist, but to focus on positive solutions. And, when, necessary, show up a little early for appointments and make sure to charge your batteries (whether electronic or soulful) every night and day.

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