There’s just no telling what will happen next. Though I’m an eternal optimist at heart it’s not a blind optimism. Why? Because of days like Wednesday.

I have been kind of busy lately, which is good for digging out of a financial hole. It has also meant starting to have a couple of dollars in my pockets. Maybe even to start saving some. But of course being busy also means being a bit more tired. Thus at the end of the work day yesterday I grappled with not wanting to go anywhere.

However, I had finally been able to schedule a chance to view a friend’s garage and lanai as possible storage for my extra belongings. I must admit that I often feel like a cross between a hermit crab carrying my house everywhere I drive and a squirrel with stashes of nuts and things for later. So it seemed prudent to not miss that appointment since it could save me money on storage costs.

The crazy display of thunder and lightning over Manoa made me suspect it might be raining harder there than where I was. Sure enough, going past Punahou it was a fairly steady downpour; heavy enough in fact that I hadn’t noticed the extra vibration as I drove up Manoa Rd. By the time I had reached the classic 5-way stop by Waioli Tea Room I had begun to notice it, but the van hadn’t become sluggish yet. Ironically I daydreamed about the poor topography for breaking down on Manoa Rd. since there was no real room to pull over out of the way. You would really block traffic badly.

Just after the intersection is the turn to my friend’s house. Going up that hill I could start to notice the van moving a bit slower, but the vibration wasn’t so strong. I just assumed it was the steep hill and my wheezing old van struggling to make it up. However, by the time I reached the house and parked I had a strong inclination to look at my rear tire; the one that I knew had a slow leak. Sure enough there it was with a huge gash in the side and flat as a pancake.

Now at this point I just shrugged my shoulders. All things considered I was thankful that it had stopped raining where I was, and that it had flatted near my destination, and that it was still light enough to see most of what I needed to do with the spare tire. Of course what it also meant was buying some new tires this morning. So much for that extra money in the pocket; Instead of a money savings it had swung the other way.

It is another lesson in absorbing the stress of unexpected change with as much calm and patience as possible. Optimism is what it is, but not everything can be scripted according to plan. I was glad that I went and didn’t hold off any longer. Besides the flat could have happened somewhere more inconvenient, like the freeway. So I’m trying to appreciate the positive side of things.

Of course the storage has some promise, but it won’t happen right away. In the meantime I continue to squirrel things away. Thanks to the guys at Goodyear my closet is fully mobile again. It’s a relief since it’s all I have at the moment that resembles private space. Now let’s hope that the groaning sound in the engine doesn’t cause trouble.

Previous posts in this series:

About the Author

  • Joe Bright
    Joe Bright is a graduate of Iolani School and went on to study art at The Cooper Union School of Art in New York City, and later Chinese medicine at The American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco. Joe currently runs a small acupuncture clinic, Kama’aina Acupuncture in Kapahulu as the first dedicated low-cost “community acupuncture” clinic in Honolulu. Joe has a varied background that has included working as a bicycle mechanic, freelance artist, teaching calligraphy and Tai Chi, a nanny, and even a CEO of a small entrepreneurial company. He continues to create art, even having work recently appear at the Honolulu Academy of Arts as well the Bishop Museum. He also continues with entrepreneurial projects when possible and serves on the Board of Directors for a local Buddhist meditation organization, Vipassana Hawai’i.