Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Gratitude and the Garage Door Opener

For the past few days the garage door has been slow to respond to the click control in the car, so I figured the battery was running low. Wrong. My husband came in this afternoon and announced that the motor was jammed, so he couldn't get the door to open at all. I did a quick archeological dig through my office and - I'm proud of this! - we found the emergency garage door key. That did not work either.
A quick hunt through the Yellow Pages turned up a repair company. Within an hour they arrived, cased out the situation, and deployed a few strategies, one of which worked. We got our car out, and they will return on Friday to repair the motor. End of story.
But I got to thinking how grateful I was that it didn't turn into a huge crisis, like these things often do. And taking a few moment to be grateful when things work out OK is good for one's soul and mood. (Lots better than dealing with the healthcare system for example!) Indeed studies show that cultivating the habit of gratitude actually boosts happiness:

In a series of studies, psychologists Robert Emmons at the University of California-Davis, and Michael McCullough at the University of Miami found that those who did exercises to cultivate feelings of gratitude, like keeping weekly journals, ended up feeling happier, healthier, more energetic and more optimistic than those who didn't.
So I made a list:
1) I am grateful to have an electric garage door opener. I can hardly remember when I didn't have it, but I know it was a tremendous pain in the butt. The garage door was hugely heavy, and opening and closing it required getting out of the car and shoving it up or down. Not using it increased the likelihood of our car being stolen, which was quite common when we first moved here. Kind of a lose-lose. Since we sprang for the electronic closer, I barely ever think about it.
2) I am grateful that it worked faithfully for 20 years. Most of our appliances have needed replacing long before that, sad to say.
3) I am so grateful there is a guy/company out there which specialized in garage door emergencies. I mean, we've called them once in 20 years. What are the chances they can be in business? Magic!
4) I am grateful they figured out what to do and didn't have to damage the door or the garage. For awhile it looked like that might be the plan.
5) I am really grateful my husband was home! I don't really like dealing with household emergencies by myself, though that is the norm. He took charge beautifully.
6) I am grateful that we have the money for the repair. It will be a reasonable bill, as it turns out, but it could have been a whopper. I think one of the biggest positives of financial security is not the stuff you can buy, though that's nice - it's that you don't have to panic about bills like these. The situations are stressful all by themselves; not having to also stress out about how to pay the fees is an enormous blessing. I think many of use lose sight of that. It really is one of the answers to the central riddle of my blog: what is money for? Money is for solving problems.
Let's hear some of the small things for which you are grateful....


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nygatesus said...

When you come home and want to drive the car in the garage you always need to open the heavy garage door. Well with a garage door opener you won't have to open the door ever again. All you will need to do to open and close the garage door opener is to press a button.

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