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Things I Have Learned: Just chill

Today’s Wisdom: Relax. We’re all crazy. It’s not a competition.

The other day my wife and I were driving and suddenly encountered a large white bird glop spread across the windshield, right in front of her. When we got home I decided to do the honorable thing, even though it was not on my side, and clean the window. I filled a bucket half full of water and grabbed a sponge and took care of the situation.

She had also been complaining that the car was dirty, and I recalled she had recently gotten her pants soiled from rubbing against the door. There I was, with a half pail of water and the ability to be the hero and save her next pair of pants. I was also impressed with myself that this had actually occurred to me.

I washed the dirt off her door, and still having a little water left, kept going. I made it nearly from headlight to taillight. With the water then exhausted, I dutifully put the pail away as I had been trained. When she came out she noticed the car was clean and was genuinely impressed.

She said, “Wow, did you wash the whole car?”

“No, I washed the window for you and had some water left so I cleaned off your side,” I said, expecting her thanks.

“Wait! You washed half the car?”

“Well, yes, I ran out of water.”

Somehow the conversation had taken a direction I hadn’t anticipated. When the neighbors stopped over, the story was out that I had washed half a car. No one seemed to acknowledge that I had washed the most important half, hers.

One of the things I have learned is that we all go through life with different perspectives on things. My good deed became the neighborhood joke. I do see their point, and I think they saw mine, but I was still the butt of the joke, something I have grown used to at this age.

It only takes a few minutes of watching the news to see the problem we have created. Everyone is upset with someone over something. It gets too easy to criticize and too unthinkable to see another perspective.

Some stuff is important enough to get upset about. However, at our age we have learned that a lot of it isn’t. Sometimes we just need to chill out and have a laugh. And in my defense, yes, I eventually did go and wash the whole car. I’m just sayin.’

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