I thought it was the end of the world, or almost. I was driving to an interview for work and heard a clanking sound, followed by a couple of loud thumps under the hood of my car. It’s not my car, I thought. It must be some muffler-lacking car behind me.
The clanking got louder, and I stopped, having to admit I had a problem. I pretended I knew what I was doing and opened the hood. I noticed the windshield wiper fluid was low and that the coolant was full.
I had two miles to go to my interview or five back to the office. I chose the interview with an 83-year-old business owner. He had me drive my car a quarter-block and said it sounded like the transmission.
I wanted to cry but called a tow truck and a couple of auto shops to try to get my car in the next day.
At home that night, I called my mother. I told her I couldn’t afford to shell out more money on my almost 10-year-old car and would walk everywhere. Forget cars. Having one wouldn’t be worth $3,000, I figured.
Sleeping on it, I realized I didn’t want to give up my dependence on my car, both physically to get me to places, but also emotionally. I didn’t want to go back to my college student days where my transportation was my bike and my feet.
I got a call from the mechanic in the morning. He said three of the four engine mounts were cracked or broken, causing my engine to shake. The cost was $240. I hung up, feeling silly. I had overreacted, imagining the worst-case scenario when I could have waited to see what happened, and then reacted.
My challenge next week is to have all positive thoughts, even when I normally take comfort in being negative.