A happy accident

Mary McFerren Stobie
Posted

This morning, Thursday March 20, I was I was listening to the radio as I put on my makeup. I was getting ready to go to a Toastmasters meeting where I am assigned to do Inspiration.  On the radio  the announcer said “Happiness is in the news today. The U.N. wants you to share your happy moments. And while you’re at it, the U.N. says ‘why not extend it for a lifetime?’”

The way I received this message was: I am supposed to share my happy moments. I am to pay attention to them and not forget them as they pass by. Great idea. The announcer went on to say, “Happy people don’t isolate and they engage with others. Happy people don’t compare. Last of all happy people forgive easily.”

Bingo. I know what to share with in this column about my happy moment. It’s sort of a confession. I used to be proud of my excellent ability to park my car without hitting anything. Skooch into parallel spots, and avoid contact with bumpers and sides of cars in parking lots. But yesterday, when I pulled into a tight parking space at the fitness center, where it’s often even hard to get a space, I scraped and left a small gash in the back left side of a car. I’ve never, never done this pulling into a parking space before. Yes, it’s true my car is wide, but still — no excuses. 

But when other cars in the past have scraped or gashed my car in parking lots, I have been surprised that no one, not one person has ever left me a note to get in touch with them. Yesterday, I said to myself this has to start with me, I have to at least change this pervasive behavior for myself.

You might be wondering what this has to do with International happiness Day. Oh joy, joy. Under the wiper on the windshield of the car I hit, I left a note of apology with my name and my phone number. I expected someone would be mad at me and I’d owe them money.

But today, on International Happiness Day, l I found a text message on my iphone: 

“Hey — you slightly damaged my car! Bumps happen.  It’s just a little scuff on an old car-the car and I are both fine. But thank you for your honesty!”

Not what I expected. I was glad I left the note so I could receive the text message. The universe is not such a bad place. Maybe it’s a happy place full of good people if I pay attention. I texted back:

Thanks. You sound like a cool person. I will be more careful and not try to squeeze into that spot on the end again. Thank you for your forgiveness.

“Bumps happen.” That must be a happy person whose car I hit. And now I feel happy too. I just have to pay attention.