Arizona, Gratitude and Joy

Day 74 – A Year of Gratitude and Joy – Flexibility

I could easily write about negativity and things that are the opposite of joyous, but I am an optimist. I choose to find the good, even in pretty awful situations – like the one I found myself in yesterday.

The registration on the Fiat Spider expires soon and for the first time ever, I am required to get an emissions test. I went online, found the closest testing station and even clicked on the hint that suggested late afternoon in the middle of the month is typically the shortest wait time. 

Perfect timing. The calendar showed nothing on my Wednesday afternoon. I dropped the top on a sunny Arizona afternoon, drove to the testing site and joined the line of cars that snaked past the building to enter the testing bays from the back. It looked like I was behind a dozen-or-so cars. 

At first the line behind me looked longer than the line ahead.

After about five minutes the line moved. Another five minutes went by and we moved again. A little easy math … twelve cars x five minutes per car … I’d be in line for about an hour. Scooch … wait … scooch … wait … I’m next to the building now. Scooch … wait … OH NO! As I got to a point where I could see past the building, my heart sank.

Oh no … the line split in two.

From my new vantage point, I could see the line kept going about eight car lengths … AND split into two lanes! I did a quick count … there were now about two dozen cars still in front of me. My wait time more than doubled. Well, as I mentioned, I am an optimist. I played a couple games on my phone, chatted with my daughter in Virginia, sang along with the car radio and thanked karma for the light breeze and beautiful blue sky.

Bummer … I couldn’t get out of line to get an ice cream cone!

By now I can guess you’re wondering where gratitude and joy come into play. I am retired. I have no boss expecting me at a meeting. I have no kids who need to be picked up from school. My calendar is my own. I am grateful for the flexibility that affords me. I am joyful I had a career that allowed me to retire a little early. In no time at all the RV in front of me pulled into the garage … I was next.

There’s something exciting about finally reaching the first place in line.

I eased forward to the designated spot when it was my turn. The inspector politely asked me to “wait in the booth” while he ran the appropriate diagnostics and took my $17 fee. He thanked me for my time and I thanked him for his hard work as I drove away. I passed and I can take care of the rest of my renewal online.

All plugged into the computer for the test.

There’s a whole world out there just waiting to be explored. Avoid overscheduling so you can take your time and enjoy life, even when life throws you a curveball!

5 thoughts on “Day 74 – A Year of Gratitude and Joy – Flexibility”

  1. Judy, I admire your writing skills. I relate to so many of your stories. I think I just figured out who purchased the Tucson SUV!! It would be fun to exchange our experiences about our fantastic choice of our new Tucson.


      1. We are still trying to figure out all the great things car offers. My hubby sleeps with the manuals. Probably will have to back to dealership for class 102.


  2. Even if I had the patience to wait in that ridiculously long line, I would have needed a potty break! 😳


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