Time to Shift.

A year ago, I was rear-ended by a woman who spoke no English, had an expired license and out-of-date insurance info. My deductible was waived because although I was able to give her info to my insurance company, they had nothing current on her. In the end, I got a new, free bumper which was pristine and glorious.

Until today.

Because this year’s was a hit and run and I had none of the other driver’s info, the good news is that I’m still not at fault and it doesn’t adversely affect my insurance. The bad news is that I have to pay my $500 deductible to get it repaired. Oh well. Since this will be my second, I figure a $250 per-bumper-average isn’t too shabby.

I was thinking earlier about the little frustrating things in life. Why bother taking care of something when someone else is not only going to wreck it, but not ‘fess up to it? Sheesh.

When I called earlier to file a claim with my insurance company, I was impressed by how helpful they were. I was told that I’d get a call back from a rep by end of day tomorrow, which seemed fair enough. Granted, I’ll be en route to Chicago and any call I’d receive would likely get sent straight to voicemail, at which point which I’d land, return the call, get their voicemail, and then we’d inevitably end up in a week-long game of telephone tag.

Nope.

During the Super Bowl, I got a call from the rep. She asked if it was a good time. At that moment, the Giants couldn’t really seem to get it in gear, so yep — it was as good of a time as any.

We went over the details, she confirmed my repair location of choice (same as last year — you’re welcome, Longo), reserved a rental car for me, sent me a few emails to confirm everything we discussed, and I was good to go.

Again, I was struck by how helpful this woman was. No longer was the bumper the focus of my day, it was her helpfulness. Her working on a weekend — gladly. Her kindness. Her interest in making sure I was all set.

I got to thinking some more about the many things we have that we likely take for granted. Damaged bumper thanks to a hit-and-run? At least we have cars, and at least it still runs. It could’ve been so much worse. There could’ve been body damage, airbags could’ve deployed, I could’ve been injured. But none of that happened.

And at least we’re not living in a country where carbombs are a daily reality, and which would do far more damage entirely — not only to the car, but also to human life.

Irritated by the person that didn’t own up to his or her mistake that caused the situation you’re in? At least there are people who can help you make the best of it, and who do so with a smile. At the end of the day, we can let it suck the character out of us, or we can consider it a character-building experience. Your choice.

Frustrated by your morning commute? It means others are also going to work. And the more people who are employed, the better our economy.

Bent out of shape with some aspect of your job? It gives you a paycheck. At the end of the day, if you don’t like it, you can still change it. Find your happiness. Everyone deserves it.

Tonight I am thankful for the shift in my mindset that helped put things into perspective. Annoying to be dealing with bumper shenanigans again, but in the grand scheme of everything, its importance is probably a one…on a scale of one to 100.

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