When It’s Time To Replace That Thing

My son and his wife were in a car accident on their way to work yesterday morning. He called at 6:21am, and left me a voicemail. I called back 10 minutes later, and he was just talking with the police and paramedics. They were a little banged-up, but nothing serious enough, thankfully, for an ambulance ride.

No matter how old your kid gets, these phone calls are scary.

The police cited the other driver; the paramedics, fire, police left – and so did the truck with my son’s totaled car in tow. He and his wife had to go to work – too many commitments – so they made their way, and got in late.

Now the fun begins. Life is going along, then, bam!, something happens. You have to change your routine, time and money you didn’t plan on spending, and you just simply move ahead and adapt.

Most of us have been through a car accident and survived just fine. Even though not serious, it changes routines. We become more vigilant, irritated, inconvenienced, and have to pay out in time and money that is always so limited.

What was working just fine for my son – his car – now must be replaced.

Yeah, I know, it’s just a thing, but hang in there for a minute or two. . .

His car was 11 years old, looked and worked great, low mileage, didn’t need anything other than regular maintenance, and he didn’t have a car payment.

So what was a gem for him by all standards, isn’t worth much on the market. He’ll get his check from the insurance company, and most likely for the money, won’t find something as good as he was driving.

Therein lies the issue.

We have stuff, systems, processes – that have been working just fine, then bam!, something happens and we have to change. Adapt to something new. Make an investment.

Then there’s the time, and the cost, and the inconvenience of all that change.

Sometimes you don’t have a choice.

The irony in this was my son got a rental car, covered by insurance until he finds a replacement. Brand new rental car and he said, “wow, it’s so nice.”

Status quo is fine. I love predictability. But there comes a time where what was working stops working. It can be a catastrophic event, or simply a slow decline. At some point there is that bam! moment.

That’s when you take stock of everyone – you ask them, “are you alright?”

Then you construct your plan to move ahead. Replace the old system and map new routes. We find out that with the new stuff in place, we too say, “wow, that’s so nice!”

We can’t prepare for everything, but we can put ourselves in a place that when the unplanned happens, we have the tools to deal with it.

And, you can always call mom.