Recently I had to take my car to the dealership for the 60k mile service. In return I was given a loaner. Boy, this car was sharp – the new Lexus ES350. It had the touch start, automatic windshield wipers and head lights and pretty much everything you could ask for. I was driving in style.
Since I got the car Saturday, I was able to keep it through Monday morning. It was luxury at best. Nobody could tell me anything as I drove my new Lex down I-71 for a planned trip to Cincinnati. I was sad to let her go, but glad to be reunited again with my SUV.
The day after returning the car, I flew to North Carolina to spend time with my aunts. The first thing I did as I arrived was pick up my rental car. Since it was just me traveling and I wouldn’t be going far, I asked for the cheapest thing – an economy car. They pulled up a cute blue Hyundai Accent Hatchback.
I turned the key in the ignition and was on my way. After a short distance I noticed my mirrors weren’t adjusted. I looked for the button to change them. There wasn’t one. There was a manual handle instead by each mirror. I could reach the left one, but the right one was too far away. I continued to look around and saw that everything was manuals. The locks were manual. The windows were manual. Everything.
It was odd going from one extreme to the other in less than 24 hours. But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that this happens to people all the time. Sometimes we feel like we are on the top of the world and all it takes is one incident, one misstep, one unfortunate event to take it all away. The recession, for example, has caused many people to be laid off and rethinking their priorities. One drink has caused some to lose their jobs. Just one car crash can cause all of your hidden secrets to come out of the closet. Just one.
But with that, you also need to appreciate what you still have. I may not have driven in luxury for those two days in NC, but I had a reliable source of transportation. It was a great size for me. The mileage was amazing and it only cost $2.30 to fill her back up. So, while it’s great to have luxuries in life (there is nothing wrong with being proud of them), also realize that when that one thing has happened to take you down a level, that there are still many blessings around you.
M.Y. December 2009