It’s 13 days since my once reliable car decided to start playing “silly buggers” with me!
I don’t think I’ve mentioned here previously that 13 is my favourite number. I came to this number, partly by circumstance and partly by choice. The circumstance being that I was born on the 13th of February and I got married on the 13th of December and a whole lot of other happy or momentous family occasions occur/occurred on the 13th therefore leading me to claim it as my number. The choice part, comes from that bloody-minded part of me that says, if you are going to tell me that 13 is an unlucky number and talk to me about Black Friday’s (one on which I was born ….. and yes I’ve seen and heard the knowing nods and eye rolls and the words – that explains why you are how you are, before!!) well then you really leave me no choice but to choose the 13th as my favourite number and to spend the rest of my days proving that exact thing to all and sundry!! But I digress.
13 days ago, for the first time, my car became unreliable and caused me to feel incredibly stressed and vulnerable when driving it. My independence was threatened and I no longer felt safe to go where and do what, I wanted or needed, when I wanted. The stress and vulnerability feelings came as a bit of a surprise, because in the weeks leading up to *Car Breakdown Day, I had been noticing a desire within myself to withdraw a little bit from my life and had been experiencing a reasonably strong desire to stay at home and avoid hard things. But the moment, something happened to take away the decision to either go out or stay at home ….. I wanted to go out! Strange thing my mind!
Today is Day 8 of my car being in the mechanic’s workshop. For 8 days I have not even been able to choose to risk another *CBD! 8 days may seem a long time for it to be in a workshop but it took awhile for the fault to occur under the watchful eyes of my trusted mechanic, Dave, and then it had to be transferred to an auto electrician and more diagnostic happenings had to happen and parts had to be ordered and then the fixing could begin! And here we are at Day 8! Maybe today I will get the good news that my car is once more reliable and I can bring her home. I realise, of course, with that good news, will also come the bad news of the cost of all these repairs. Yes, I was given an estimate but even that and the fact that I already know that I also need 2 new tyres, does not help with my patchy (although slowly improving) sleep patterns.
For every one of my 13 days since *CBD, the Olympic Games have been teaching us about the concepts of team and individual. Some lessons have been inspiring and wonderful. Some have been less than inspiring and frankly, just wrong. It has seemed to me that the inspiring lessons have come when the Team has been put first and the Individual has been put second and the less inspiring lessons have come from the times when Individual have put themselves first and the Team second. Defining Team when talking about Olympic sport may not be as straight forward as it at first seems. Of course, it can mean Country e.g. Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, USA, Great Britain etc. It can also mean the sports involved e.g. Swim team, Basketball team, Athletics team, Badminton team etc. But, it can again change slightly, to include the families and communities, both those in attendance and back home, that have sacrificed time and money to get the members of the Team to where they are today. Lastly, there is the Team of volunteers and supporters that make the Olympic Games what they are today. This Team is made up of people who just want to help and support people – whether it be by doing and helping, or by attending events or sending messages of support to the athletes.
The concept of Individual is a necessary one when it comes to Olympic sport. Each athlete has striven to be selected to compete and many athletes do this in individual sports but even so, they are acutely aware of the Team behind them and the larger Team they are a part of. This was seen many times over the Games when individuals were interviewed and they praised their families, coaches, fellow relay team members and their communities back home. Although Individuals, they knew they were only where they were, because of Team. On the occasion when Individuals thought they were bigger than Team, perceived failure happened (although how competing at the Olympic Games can be called a failure baffles me), drug cheats were discovered and trouble with the law ensued. In all these incidents, it seems to me that Individuals lost sight of Team and what that means!
So what, you may be asking, does any of this have to do with Day 13 of me not having a car?
It’s like this – I, too, have a Team. My Team are around me most of the time, to keep me functioning but when stuff like *CBD number 13 is happening, my Team seems to go into overdrive! They rally – mostly before I realise I need them and they help me to get shit done and with such precision that I hardly notice any change in my schedule. Yes, I have had to cancel some appointments but for the 13 Days since *CBD – I have been able to live a full and functional life. I have attended a music festival, a Hen’s Night, been delivered food, been taken grocery shopping, visited by friends and family, gone to the hairdresser, attended a wedding, met a friend for a cider at the pub and attended a football game! Now that is Teamwork! There appears to be no Individual in my Team at all. While I am extremely hopeful that Day 13 will indeed bring good news on the car front, I believe Loki says it best when he says …..
*CBD = Car Breakdown Day
STOP PRESS: Got my car back this afternoon!!!